Artist's heart has soft spot for human faces

Updated: 2013-10-13 08:23

By Zhuan Ti (China Daily)

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Artist's heart has soft spot for human faces

In her study, focusing on periods after the founding of the People's Republic of China, Ding found that the facial expressions of oil painting figures conformed to the lifestyles of the specific times.

For instance, she stated that portraits composed during the cultural revolution (1966-76) always featured heroic figures, who usually had proud and fanatical facial expressions. It is something that can also be seen in films, dramas and posters from that period.

She noted that facial expressions of portraits after the late 1970s are more diverse, reflecting artists' changing notions of humanity.

This period reflected what Ding calls a school of "rural realism" in which farmers and minority ethnic people are depicted in rich details.

She also noticed the "deadpan" facial expression that artists used to describe the modern, indifferent city life.

Ding said her research is not meant to be a form of art criticism. She said she just wants to improve her skill and understanding of painting by drawing inspiration from the great painters in both China and the world.

"There is no end in learning and research. I hope my study and practice at present can lay a solid foundation for my future career as a painter," Ding said.