Classic style given modern flair
Updated: 2013-09-22 07:54
By Zheng Xin (China Daily)
One of the most notable painters in China, Guo Shifu is a master in freehand bird-and-flower painting.
Instead of targeting his work toward an audience of scholars and upper-class society, Guo brings the art to the public.
"It's incredible that Guo, in his 60s, is still taking on the responsibility of promoting the traditional bird-and-flower painting," said Liu Xilin, a commentator on Chinese art history.
"Everyone, regardless of social class or identity, can enjoy these pieces of art," he said.
Refining theater play, literature, calligraphy, seal-cutting as well as history and philosophy, Guo's works are "outstanding, original, bold, unrestrained, simple, modest, beautiful and rich," Liu said.
Guo is a major name in the field of bird-and-flower painting.
He started learning the style from his grandmother when he was 8 years old.
Most of Guo's paintings are grand and profound in scope while remaining refined and elaborately detailed.
Bird-and-flower painting is a genre of Chinese art in which flowers and birds serve as the main subject, but they also depict a wide range of other natural topics, including flowers, fish, insects, birds and pets.
Most of Guo's paintings focus on plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemum, lotuses, magpies and myna. His work is known for its vigorous and vibrant style.
Rather than focusing too much on the layout of a painting, Guo cares more about the spirit of the subject as well as the overall frame structure rather than the shapes and details.
"In addition to the temperament of the literati and the artistic conception, people are more impressed with the poetic illusion delivered through the ink and paper," he said.
(China Daily 09/22/2013 page4)