Brushstroke with verse

Updated: Jun 17, 2022 By Lin Qi China Daily Print
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Wang Mingming focuses on creating paintings inspired by, and inscribed with, ancient poems written in the style of Chinese calligraphy. His works, based on poems by artist Wang Xizhi, poet Li Bai (pictured) and Li Zhiyi, are on display in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The close association between painting and poetry has been reiterated in both Eastern and Western cultures.

Greek poet Simonides of Ceos, for example, once said, "painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech".

Guo Xi, the noted Chinese painter and art theorist from the 11th century, mentioned in one of his influential texts, titled The Interest of Lofty Forests and Springs, "painting is a poem with form, while poetry is a picture without form".

In classical Chinese painting, the role of poetry is vividly represented. After completing a painting, the artist would write down poetic verses on liubai (the blank spaces left intentionally) on paper, or sometimes ask friends to write. By doing so, the poetry would enrich the composition and reinforce the painter's erudition.

Even today artists are inspired by poems. And they combine the figurative and semi-abstract strokes in paintings to accentuate an intensively poetic atmosphere.

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