This art educator gave classic Chinese painting a pandemic twist
An exciting modern reinterpretation of one of the most famous Chinese paintings of all time, Along the river during the Qingming festival, goes viral online.
While the original depicts life in a small town during the hubbub that accompanied the Qingming festival at the time, the updated version highlights critical Covid-19 containment efforts in the modern era.
Inspired by the efforts of healthcare workers, neighborhood workers and volunteers during Covid-19 mass testing locally, Zhijie Chen, a young arts educator based in Foshan, southern China’s Guangdong Province, wanted to document how the community came together to fight the pandemic during difficult times.
Using nucleic acid testing scenes as a backdrop and featuring a total of 345 characters, including 136 medical workers, the panoramic painting includes an enormous amount of detail, while also depicting local cultural and historical landmarks.
âI wanted to be one of the volunteers, but registration without an appointment was not an option. So I started to wonder if I could try painting something since I have this skill, âChen said. in an interview with news publication Yangtze evening shift. “I was hoping that when I finished painting, the local epidemic in Foshan would be under control.”
The painting took Chen five days and started making headlines online after it was discovered by internet users, âAmazing! Talented and full of heart â, a surfer commented under a related article on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
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It comes after a Covid-19 outbreak in Guangdong province, with the first new local case reported on May 21, which has prompted a rapid medical mobilization for tests, vaccinations and partial lockdown in some cities in the region. region, including the capital Guangzhou and nearby Foshan.
Sometimes referred to as “China Mona Lisa, ” Along the river during the Qingming festival is one of the best-known masterpieces in Chinese art history. Made by Song Dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (CE 1085-1145), the painting is also a historical document capturing the daily life of people on the streets at the time.
All images: Weibo