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Brush Art and Bamboo

There are many people who find Chinese brush paintings to be some of the most understated, beautiful paintings in the world. Depicting subjects such as people, birds, flowers, and landscapes, these paintings represent one of the oldest styles of art to exist in the world today.

说明: artistic-plum-flower-china-art-brush-painting.jpgThe major instrument in Chinese brush painting is the Chinese ink brush. Originally, painting brushes were made of animal hair such as goat, hare, or fox hair because the hair of these animals was suitable in producing brushes that were soft and stringy at the same time. These brushes hold up against pressure very well.

Composition in Chinese paintings is very distinctive and different from the developed rules of perspective in Western art. Many paintings depict a shifting perspective where when you look at the painting, you seem to be looking in many different ways at once. Many artists also tend to depict the “spirit” of their subject rather than its exact shape. The white space behind the subjects in many paintings was left empty on purpose to maintain this composition.  Instead of oil or acrylic which is popular in Western art, Chinese ink is used in Chinese brush painting.

The bamboo tree is abundantly found in many Asian countries. It has been a prominent part of the Chinese culture where the love of nature has drawn them towards this unique tree which can be used for many different things. Not only is the bamboo tree used to make weapons, homes and boats rather it has been a popular material to work with in order to create different works of art in China.

The artists have also taken the bamboo as a motif for their paintings, pottery and scrolls. Such art work was most commonly displayed in the various temples that dotted the landscape. The bamboo is still a popular theme amongst the contemporary artists of today. Today’s artists seek to take this ancient popular theme and experiment with them using the latest techniques and mediums of artistic expression. This has created an interesting fusion between the ancient Chinese art trend and modern traditions.
The abundance of bamboo in Asia has made it a sort of representative plant of the continent. The bamboo grove along with the seven sages of Ancient China have long enchanted Asian arts and crafts for many years. 


Bamboo art in various forms
Painting was not the only medium of artistic expression that made use of bamboo. Rather bamboo art includes a wide range of art forms with sculpture being one of the most popular forms through which the artists sought to express themselves. Examples of ancient Chinese bamboo sculptures can be found that display a great deal of artistic skill and craftsmanship as they feature detailed carvings into bamboo tree trunks and branches.

Bamboo was also a common material used in the building of homes. The multi-purpose tree was used especially for creating the thatched roof of Chinese homes thereby giving birth to a new architectural style. The Chinese would construct the roof on highly complex grid systems that incorporated the use of bamboo poles that were held in place using ropes that were made of rice straw.

The Chinese have been intrigued by the unique nature of the bamboo tree which is considered to be a species of grass but possesses the characteristics of a tree. The hollow interior is what makes it unique and one would consider it to be fragile but it is incredibly strong. Along with these amazing qualities the bamboo is also beautiful; this is the reason why it has been used as a popular motif.


Excerpted and reprinted from Kwintissential.

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