Heart of thanksgiving and love of focusing
Mr. Dong Baichuan is a painter who is working diligently, sensitive to feelings, thoughtful, and creative.
A painter makes painstaking efforts to create works, in order to express thoughts for society, life, history and art, and deep feelings for his motherland and people.
Traditional Chinese culture advocates Tao not far away from people which means the existence of human should not be ignored, we should attach importance to people, get close to people, care about people, Taoshould possess the human warmth and brilliance.
However, among the boundless universe, all living things, human is specific, differing in thousands of ways. Therefore, taking what kind of human as the basis, what kind of human life as the basis, what kind of human emotion and will as the basis, what kind of human thought, morality, spirit as the basis, for artists, different people have different views and opinions, therefore the expressions differ in thousands of ways.
Mr. Dong Baichuan works and lives in bustling and noisy cities, in Beijing, Xiamen, Jiangmen and Toronto Canada
But he hasnt drawn materials from nearest setups, has not been lazy and saving trouble,he hasnt described the high-flyers who are lavish with their money and beautiful girls who would rather cry in a BMW, than smile at the rear of a bicycleand stars big shots sought after by fans like a myriad of stars surrounding the moon
Instead, he fixes his eyes on the grassroots and throws himself into them. He took the trouble and hardship in going to Yunnan, Guizhou etc. of areas inhabited by ethnic minorities for more than ten times, from the labor and production activities of the grassroots, he has been experiencing life, observing society, cultivating sentiment, accumulating source materials, extracting and purifying the theme, sparking the inspiration, carrying on his elaborate creations.
The great poet Ai Qing once had a widely-read line of a poem: Why my eyes are always full of tears, because I deeply love this land.
While reading the paintings of Mr. Baichuan, from sensation to meditation his works are the artistic creation from the heart and reaching the soul; therefore, I have slightly changed Ai Qings verse into Why my eyes focus on this, because I love this land deeply. Such kind of pure feeling, a kind of common peoples mentality, such kind of humanistic feeling showing concern to the grassroots especially the vulnerable group are worth our solid backing and advocation, especially in todays world.
More than once, Mr. Baichuan mentioned such kind of thanks-giving idea from his heart A drop received in need will be repaid with a whole river. The love and care received from childhood from the motherland, the people and the Chinese nation are eternal, wherever I go, I shall never forget it for a moment. I think, his thanksgiving idea is quite evident from this.
Emotional appeal and returning to great Tao
By means of the picture, or through the picture, we can also feel the painters humanistic appeal of deeper level.
Cities come into being in the confrontation between human and nature. People live in such kind of contradiction, more and more increasing the attachment to nature, the yearning and pursuit for harmony with nature. In the forest of steel, iron and cement, with the pollution of the communication of human beings all stemming from interest; all the hustle and bustle going for benefits, just as what people are reproaching, the phenomenon of heart desertification, thoughtless and treacherous human relations in the city are common occurrence.
Certainly, the kind of situation has attracted the attention of society, and is being improved as a whole, gradually bettered and optimized; people are trying to make city life much better, But this is another subject, naturally it shall be discussed otherwise.
In the face of blundering flauntiness, a painter needs to find a piece of green grassland for nature and soul, his vision naturally turns to a wide, peaceful and unsophisticated borderland.
Retrieving lost rites from barbarians . At the borderland, the people often live in harmony with nature all year round, deeply winning the good luck of the universe, breeding a kind of pure, simple and unadorned, honest moral character; the painter can see what others can not, focusing the viewpoint on this. This is a kind of emotional memory and appeal. The great poet in Dang Dynasty had a poem, entitled. in which there is a line from a poem pen and ink may make up the shortage of nature, while heaven has no contribution. While explaining the line of poem, I think it may be expanded to pen doesnt necessarily refer to literature, it may also mean the painting brush of a painter, the pen of a composer, when the creator is not so perfect, artists shall use their own painting brushes to supplement, in order to achieve an ideal realm.
The artists spiritual home at heart, is the flyingsoul of emotion in the romantic charm in the flying soul of emotion entitled by Dong Baichuan in his art exhibition.
At the borderland focused by the painter, a kind of aesthetic and artistic conception has also been bred, refined and formed from the accumulated experiences of appreciating the natural beauty of mountains, the sun and the moon, extending from this, I may also say Retrieving lost beauty from barbariansRetrieving lost art from barbariansnamely among the people, in the masses, it is to seek the inexhaustible source for art and beauty and endless power for continued and lasting development. This is the returning to the artistic great Tao and law-obeying of the work creator.
Integration of artistic creation and nationality
Focusing on the areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, Mr. Baichuans creative activities shall certainly enjoy a high appraisal within the artistic category, such as the profound source materials, refined and outstanding theme, a unique image, the expanding and opening up of aesthetic visual field, etc. For these, the well-known domestic and foreign art critics have already had a lot of very precise and specialized research, I dont need to say further.
If changing a dimension, I would like to add some discourse, that is the significance and social value of his artistic creative activities for the promotion of Chinese culture.
The famous sociological, anthropological theory master Mr. Fei Xiaotong once proposed a theory of the pluralistic integrated pattern of the Chinese nation at the 1980s. He said, the term of Chinese nation is used to refer to all the people with the national identity in current Chinese territory; which includes more than 50 national units which are pluralistic, the Chinese nation is an integrated one. The Chinese nation , as a self-conscious national entity, is emerging in the confrontation between the China and Western powers for nearly a hundred years; as a free national entity, it has been formed in the thousands of years of historical process.
More than 10 years ago, I wrote an article entitled a humble view on harmonious culture , which talked about the natural fusion issue of the big family of Chinese nationality. I think, Chinese concept of All are brothers within the four seas is deeply ingrained. Therefore, in the process of formation and development regarding the big family of the Chinese nationality, despite the tragedy of ethnic conflict, among the various ethnic groups, they live together in peace with continued integration, always occupying a leading position. The Han nationality today is the largest ethnic group among 56 nationalities in China, accounting for about 93% of the total population, and itself is the fusion of a variety of nationalities. The historian of the past dynasties all laid stress on writing a history about a unified multinational country, respecting the official position of history books written in biographical style in terms of the national minorities building the dynasties. In fact, according to the textual research and study of a scholar, among the great Chinese past dynasties, only Han, Ming Dynasty emperors are the Hans, the rest are ethnic minorities or Chinesized minorities.
In terms of Mr. Baichuans paintings, whether it is about the colorful people of all ages and both sexes, or cheerful or light-hearted cows and horses, and even the lovable and intimate shepherd dog,all make the audience find everything fresh and new with cordial feeling, and the kind of feeling is based on the national equality, common prosperity, mutual solidarity, and natural fusion, they all show the national complex of blood is thicker than water .
Undoubtedly: Dong Baichuans paintings (with the extensions to the painting works of other artistes having the same category of national theme as Dong Baichuan) actively participate in such an activity: reflecting- strengthening-promoting the historical process of Chinese nations national identity; all Chinese people, which include fifty-six national units as being pluralistic, through the process of fusion, have become integrated into one Chinese nation.
Octo. 1st, 2012 Beijing
Jin Jianfan Vice chairman of Chinese Culture Promotion Society, the former secretary at the Secretariat of Chinese Writers Association)