Birds in four seasons – The collection of Chinese flower-and-bird paintings

Flowers and birds were favorite subjects of paintings in ancient China, offering a kind of special aesthetic interest. Flower-and-bird painting originated from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). This art form slowly advanced from initially serving as an ornamental pattern for daily utensils, then later serving as symbolic, metaphoric and allegorical elements in the background of figure painting. Finally, flowers and birds are seen in independent themes.

Birds and Plum artist: Pu Zuo (1918-2001)
 Chinese Painting

Flower-and-bird painting further developed during the Five Dynasties period (907-960), and reached maturity during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Five Dynasty Period was a crucial era of shaping this style as one of the three major trends in Chinese traditional painting, together with Landscape Painting and Figure Painting.

Birds and Camellia artist: Lu Yifei (1908-1997)
 Chinese Painting

Flower-and-bird painting is peculiar to China. Flowers and birds can be associated with almost all thoughts and feelings of a human being. They can symbolize feminine beauty, virtue, political authority, omens, and lucky niceness. Once established, this tradition became popular in every dynasty. Therefore, their symbolic meaning grew increasingly rich and specific.

Four Gentlemen and Three Friends of Winter are the representatives of flower-and-bird painting. Plum blossom, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum were known as the Four Gentlemen. Their common features are nobleness, modesty, and integrity. And as the Three Friends of Winter, pine, bamboo, and plum blossom are often associated with a man of great virtue. For their own natural qualities, these five plants are given the corresponding symbolic meanings and appear in flower-and-bird paintings frequently.

Bird and Camellia artist: Sun Yunsheng (1918-2000)
 Chinese Painting
Bird and Magnolia Flower artist: Qi Baishi (1864-1957)
 Chinese Painting

The tradition of flower-and-bird painting evolved into two main trends, namely the Gong Bi tradition where artists focused on small details, careful application of color and meticulous technique, giving their art a realistic and ornamental feeling, while the other trend of Xie Yi is more expressionistic and impulsive.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

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Artist fuses ink of China and oil of the West

For over a millennium, Chinese artists have been using ink to express the beauty of flowers and birds. Artist Huang Yue has carried that tradition on, but uses a different medium – oil.

A painting by Chinese oil painting artist Huang Yue.
 painting

Flower and bird ink painting, a traditional art form that’s unique to China, originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907.) Since then, Chinese artists have expressed their emotions with gradations of mostly monochromatic strokes in ink, with scarce touches of color to accentuate. The manifestation differs greatly from those of Western oil paintings, where abundant colors and textures are used to create depth and abstractness.

Huang Yue’s oil paintings of flowers and birds exists somewhere between the two. “My paintings are neither the traditional ink paintings of flowers and birds nor paintings of that under natural light in the West. It’s somewhere in between. It’s completely new, and innovation is the key for me.”

Paintings by Chinese oil painting artist Huang Yue.
 painting

More often than not, artists paint not just to capture the beauty of what they see, but use shapes and contours as metaphors to express their inner feelings and views of the world. So a flower, through an artist’s eyes, is not just a flower. It can be the symbol of femininity, peace, optimism and beauty. Every stroke an artists paints is an expression of culture. When the message that lies behind is too deeply embedded in cultural traditions, audiences from other parts of the world may have difficulties understanding it.

“When we export our art to the world, these metamorphic artistic conceptions are sometimes not understood,” Huang said. “Oil paintings are more easily accepted by the West. Some in the west are puzzled by the traditional Chinese flower and bird paintings. They don’t understand the complex message behind its visual simplicity. My works, however, with its rich usage of colors, are better taken and understood.”

Chinese oil painting artist Huang Yue (R) signs for a fan at Royal Asscher-Beijing Sparkle Roll Luxury Brands Culture Expo 2013 Fall in Beijing on Oct 10, 2013.
 painting

And they really are. Huang started fusing Chinese and Western styles of painting in 2000. As of today, nearly 20 of his pieces are a part of the Rockefellar family collection, a family known for their love of beautiful art. Steven C. Rockefeller Jr. and Kimberly K. Rockefeller both expressed their fondness for Huang’s work in the preface of his latest publication, Huang Yue Flower and Bird Oil Painting (4th).

“Steven Rockefeller said he has never seen anything like my works. This is also the opinion of many who have appreciated my works in the US and the UK.”

Silk scarves inspired by Chinese oil painting artist Huang Yue’s work displayed during Royal Asscher-Beijing Sparkle Roll Luxury Brands Culture Expo 2013 Fall in Beijing.
 painting

Huang, who participated in the Royal Asscher-Beijing Sparkle Roll Luxury Brands Fall Culture Expo 2013, is also tapping into the luxury market. He has already started making scarves inspired by his paintings. Soon, there will be ready-to-wear items, evening gowns and porcelain.

“Luxury to me means beautiful, unique and rare things. Most of them cannot be recreated. They may be expensive, but the price is not what defines luxury,” he said.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!