Classic ink paintings on show reveal the spiritual ‘xieyi’ style – Chinadaily USA

Bodhidharma, by Luo Pin, collection of Tianjin Museum. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The xieyi style of classic Chinese ink painting is more than a technique that features a reduction in detailed brushstrokes. Essentially it describes a philosophy of Chinese culture to emphasize freedom, spirituality, individuality and expressiveness.

Figure paintings drawn in the xieyi style emerged the third century and reached its peak in the 13th century.

The creation of xieyi-style figure paintings further diversified in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties to cater to the taste of the upper-middle-class and the interest of a rising group of city dwellers, boosted by commercial prosperity.

An ongoing exhibition at the Art Museum of Beijing Fine Art Academy reviews the booming scene of xieyi-style figure paintings. The exhibition through Dec 15 shows works by prominent Ming and Qing artists, drawn from the collection of eight museums across the country.

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Classic ink paintings on show reveal the spiritual 'xieyi' style - Chinadaily USA

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