Capturing the Spirit of the Uyghurs through Ink Wash Painting. 抓住中国画的精髓。

in art •  2 years ago
Greetings Steemian friends! I don't know how you guys feel about paintings, when I think of paintings, I think of Oil Paintings, Cartoons or Sketches. But today, i'm going to introduce a different style of painting - Chinese Ink Wash Painting. You must be curious as to what people used in ancient times to do Ink Wash Paintings? Lets go to Xi'an's Shuyuanmen(Street of Classical learning) and find out.

A browse through Shuyuanmen

Shuyuanmen is Xi'an city's street dedicated to literature and art. The main things bought and sold here are the tools used for Chinese Calligraphy and Chinese Paintings. (these are called the Four Treasures of study)

In the four treasures of study, you have the brush, xuan paper, ink stone and ink stick. In order to get the liquid ink, you apply some fresh water to the ink stone and grind the ink stick on the ink stone to produce the liquid ink. You can change the colour shade by grinding more ink (darker), or adding more water (lighter).

Aside from the four treasures of study, there's plenty of other arts and crafts too. The street's building's are all old style buildings with boards hanging above the street pavements and roads paved with limestone.

Follow me a bit more and we end up at "Guanzhong Shuyuan", actually Shuyuanmen is named after Guanzhong's great plains in Shaanxi.

"Guanzhong Shuyuan"was known in ancient times as the a highly prestigious educational institute, it is also one of the four best and most famous academies of classical learning.

There are street stalls as well as brick and mortar stores of all sizes.

More calligraphy paper and other Chinese painting instruments for sale.

A Terracotta Soldier is shopping here too!

The Shadow Play Puppets have such rich colour, perfectly representing Xi'an. These puppets are cardboard although traditionally they are made from Animal skin. A light source is shone behind them towards a translucent screen and a puppeteer then controls the movements of the puppets to tell a story.

Below, lets take a sneak peak at how a Chinese Painting is completed!

This is my uncle painting. His inspiration comes from the horse riders of Xinjiang, both a young male and young female.

From the angle of Form

Traditional Chinese Paintings place a strong emphasis on the overall form of the objects, and less on the small details. My uncle is able to paint the shape and form of the horse with just a few strokes, afterwards, the gaps and spaces are gradually filled in.

"Liu Bai" - The White spaces

All steemians pay attention to the details, so you might have noticed the white blanks on the canvas. In western style paintings, white space is itself painted in. Chinese traditional paintings leave white spaces for where white colour is required and allows the viewer to mentally fill in the blanks. It is an artistic and creative concept that pushes the boundaries of aesthetic perception.

Lines and Contours

My uncle used just a few lines to paint the high forehead of the beautiful woman, he also painted her with a high nose ridge and a pointy chin. Using just a few contour lines, my uncle was able to create a 3D effect making sure to use softer strokes to pain the woman. In the painting, you can see how her clothes wave in the wind as she rides her horse.

Ink and Brush Skill

If you look closely, you will notice that the horse furthest away is much lighter in shade than the horse closer to us. The texture of the horse is formed from many individual light strokes, this ensures that not too much ink is applied at once. Since the there is as much meaning in the white spaces as their are not, this layered effect of the strokes gives us a clear distinction between the two horses, both in shade as well as texture.

Before applying colour

After the colours have been applied, you can see the young Uyghur man singing and playing his Uyghur Dombra instrument to the young and beautiful girl. It's as if the music and song excited them both to the point of dancing out of the painting into real life!

And that concludes my introduction of Chinese Traditional Ink Wash Paintings to my fellow Steemians. In the future, if you come across this style of painting, you will know a little more about them, as well as how to appreciate their beauty.














If you are interested in my other blogs related to Chinese Culture please check out these other blogs below

Unravelling the mysteries of Ancient Chinese Opera.
Impressions of China--Taking Steemians back to the Tang Dynasty.
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Im interested to know more about chinese culture. Following you.


Thanks! Steemit is a wonderful place to do cultural exchange, so you can expect many more articles on Chinese culture by me in the future!


Thats great @sweetsssj, I will also sharing cultures and traditions of my country philippines. Follow me if you are interested.




Beautiful sweetsssj! :)
Look forward to more.

Your uncle must be a grand master painter. His work is so good.


Thanks! Hes actually received many awards for his work and is very well respected in China. He usually doesn't paint in the presence of other people so I was honoured to see the whole process!

Thanks for a very artistic and informative post. I have been collecting these paintings for a number of years so it is great to see them featured here.


You're very welcome! It's amazing to see them painted live in-front of you. That's something quite hard to come by!

Looks incredible. I hope i get to visit there someday. Going to look for those calligraphy sets.




Wow your uncle is awesome at this :)

What an interesting and detail report, good for you @sweetsssj! I didn't know that Shadow Play Puppets were made from animal skin, for example. Thank you!

You're so cute. Love your posts.

Cute Steemit girl! :)

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