Stroke of luck

Updated: 2011-07-01 10:33

By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza (China Daily European Weekly)

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While some Chinese art forms, such as the Peking Opera, paper cutting designs and dragon dancing, are very colourful and loud, traditional painting, in contrast, is beautful because of its simplicity.

"White space is very valuable," she says. "The format of this art has a very simple graphical quality, almost minimalism."

Being the only Westerner enrolled in the academy's undergraduate program was not always easy, and says she faced a lot of scepticism at the academy.

"Some were sceptical about a foreigner studying this major," she says.

"It felt like they didn't believe in me. And the atmosphere at the academy wasn't always friendly either.

"I guess because it's full of artists. I can't speak for everyone but most of us are narcissistic, introverted and living in our own world," she adds laughing.

After graduation, she joined a graphic design company in Beijing, even though she had never studied in this field. A friend at the academy taught her the basics.

"I use to be very negative toward modern design and stubborn when it came to using new technology," she says.

"I didn't care about the latest software and vowed to do things the same way people did it in the 1990s.

"But I came to realize there are many ways art can be expressed."

A good example of a different way of expression is seen in her personal seal, which she uses as her signature on her paintings.

The red stamp portrays a woman's body with Kirincic initials on both sides of the emblem.

"My own logo is inspired by red Chinese seals, which you can see on every Chinese painting as the signature for the artist. But the seal also adds to the beauty of the painting," she says.

"Something like a seal is a graphic design. It's different of course, but art is art."

Unlike many other newcomers to the capital who marvel at its dramatic and rapid physical transformation, Kirincic believes the city still retains the same spirit she remembers as a teenager.

"Beijing has changed in some ways, like Sanlitun (bar area) looks different. But in some other aspects it hasn't changed. You can still buy chuan'er (kebab-like snack) on the streets."

"For me, Beijing is one of those places that can annoy you when you live here, but you miss when you are not here."

The young artist has already held three exhibitions, one in Croatia where her works are growing in popularity and two in Beijing.

Right now Kirincic is working on a new art project, which focuses on ballet and takes the form of a scroll.

"My father now works in the Ukraine, and when I visit I spend most of my time at the ballet watching every single performance," she says.

"For me I find ballet connected to Chinese art because it's refined."

According to Kirincic, the No. 1 trait to becoming a good traditional Chinese painter is patience, a virtue every successful artist must have.

Her long-term goal is to become financially independent from her art work and now has to practice the patience to allow this to happen.

"I don't see myself as anything else then an artist, it's just impossible to imagine," she says.

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