On Thursday the 25th of June, in a week otherwise filled with monotonous revision and heat induced restlessness, four students from year nine were privileged enough to go and take part in a small capacity work shop to learn about Chinese art. The work shop was run by a famous Chinese artist from Beijing named Han Zhibing who is the president of China’s painting and calligraphy art research institute, Mountain.
Once we had arrived at the Mountbatten Centre – the venue where the workshop took place – we were seated at a round table filled with a plethora of art supplies. Han Zhibing began by explaining the difference between Western art and Chinese art. It was extremely interesting to learn how the different cultures expressed themselves through art. As we were a group of only six people, there was a relaxed and intimate atmosphere which allowed us to ask any questions we may have had about the art work.
After Han Zhibing had explained the difference between the materials used in Chinese artwork compared to Western artwork, he demonstrated how he used angled brushes and ink (mostly black) to create his beautiful pieces of art. He created the pieces using long, flowing strokes and it was fascinating to watch. We also got to see some of the art work that he had created previously which was extremely intricate and absolutely stunning.
His artwork had inspired us to have a go at creating our own traditional Chinese style art, so, after some demonstrations and useful tips, we began to produce our own paintings. To start with, they weren’t very good, however as we practiced and our confidence grew, our paintings got much better and eventually, we produced some excellent pieces. With the help of Han Zhibing, we were able to create wonderful paintings of fish, birds, dragonflies and even bamboo. Han Zhibing came to speak to us all individually and gave us tips on how to improve our paintings.
It was a truly memorable experience. Everyone had an amazing time and learnt a huge amount about Chinese art work. Along with some great memories, we got to take home our own pieces of art and, although we were all pleased with how they turned out, I don’t think any of us will be experts in Chinese art any time soon!