Exhibition in Suzhou reignites the flames of heavy-color tradition

Updated: Nov 16, 2022 By Lin Qi Print
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Father and Daughter, by Jiang Caiping. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The genre of heavy-color ("zhongcai") painting constituted an important part of classic Chinese painting, characterized by the fine, precise delimitation and the layering of pigmented hues to give a vivid presentation.

Its popularity however waned for centuries until Pan Jiezi, a noted painter, initiated a campaign to revive heavy-color painting in the late 1970s.

Coloring a New Era, an exhibition running through Dec 4 at Suzhou Art Museum, Jiangsu province, shows the recent progress of this. It gathers 106 works from across the country, and also displays mineral pigments and images of the mural paintings at the Yongle Palace, a construction in Shanxi province with its history traced to the 13th and 14th centuries and exhibiting the brilliance of heavy-color techniques.

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