The Pupil of a Master, the New Star in Painting Circle

  It is both accidental and inevitable for me to meet and get to know with the young oil painter Yang Haifeng of the Art Institute of Henan University and become friends with him despite different ages. It is accidental because I have always thought the pupil of Mr. Li Boan is inaccessible. Mr. Li Boan is a giant in the painting circle of Henan which is rare in one hundred years. It is a pity that he died young and Chinas painting circle lost a master. I admire Mr. Boan very much for his humanness and arts, so as a fan of arts, I have been always studied him. It is during the process of studying that I find that Mr. Li Boan had three pupils in his lifetime, which is recorded in his collected works. One of them is Chen Yumin whom Mr. Li received in 1971. He is a researcher of the Military Museum of the Chinese Peoples Revolution, a first-class artist, a councilman of Chinas Artists Association, the art director of Painting and Calligraphy Academy of China Research Institute of Culture and History. He is famous in Chinas painting circle; his second pupil is Xu Jianguo whom he received in 1973, who is nationwide famous for his sculptures. He has a doctors degree and is the director of sculpture department of the Fine Arts College of Tsing-hua University. He once participated in designing and creating the China Redbud in Full Blossom Forever that Chinese central government gave to Hong Kong as a gift and was awarded. He took part in the overall designing of Beijing China Millennium Monument, Beijing World Park Fairy Tale World, Shenzhen Childrens Playground, Childrens World; his third pupil is Yang Haifeng whom he received in 1997.

  According to documents, Mr. Li Boan only received three pupils in his lifetime. Among whom, Cheng Yumin and Xu Jianguo are nationwide celebrated artists, whom I know something about. As for Yang Haifeng, I knew nothing about him. Besides, Mr. Li Anbo died in 1998, so Yang Haifeng is his last pupil. Therefore, I had a sense of mystery about Yang Haifeng. Coincidentally, in 2009, I suddenly received a short message from one of my literary friend Zheng Yiqun, the host of Zhengzhou Dengxintang Art Club. He told me that Yang Haifeng would host a painting exhibition in Zhengzhou. It was the fancy finding by sheer luck what one has searched far and wide. At that time, it occurred to me that it is the Yang Haifeng who I have searched for many years. Therefore, ignoring poor health, I headed for Zhengzhou. It was my first time to see the mysterious young painter Yang Haifeng. Since then, I have often associated with him. During our intercourses, I admired not only his achievements in arts but also his low-profile and character. We have become bosom friends despite different ages because we often talked about arts with each other.

  Firstly, in my study and research of artists, I not only review and appreciate their art styles but also pay attention to their masters. As an old saying goes, A good teacher produces a brilliant student, as a pupil of Mr. Li Anbo, Yang Haifeng must have his strong points.

  There may be not too many people know the master of art Mr. Li Anbo today, however, I heard the provincial leader Wang Shuquan speak highly of Mr. Li. Since I want to talk about Yang Haifengs relationship with his master, I will firstly introduce Mr. Li Anbo. Here, I will extract several passages from Laments on Mr. Li Anbos Memorial Meeting so that you can reorganize this master. At the beginning of the lament, it writes, at 11 a.m. of May, 2nd, 1998, a star fell in Chinas painting cirle. Mr. Li Anbo passed away only at the age of 54. China lost a very excellent figure painter; Henan lost a very outstanding art editor; society lost a most kind and excellent citizen; we lost a most trustable loyal friend. This generated in every friend who know him a deep inconsolable sorrow. We know that the precious things in Mr. Li Anbo make the spiritual support for our countrys and our nations existence and prosperity. Mr. Li Anbo didnt enjoy any celebrated title when he was alive. He is the member and vice-editor of China Artist Association. Thats all without anything special. However, in the circle of arts, there has long been such a census: In modern China, he deserves being one of the most excellent traditional Chinese figure painter. It is cautious and fair to say that his achievements are rare in Chinas art circle. Xu Beihong and Jiang Zhaohe introduced sketch into traditional Chinese figure paintings. They made arduous efforts to start a new era, leading a new trial amid thorns. They had gone, leaving the difficult mission of expanding the trial to descendant art lovers. How many people made painstaking efforts to achieve it? With his super courage and fantastic art willing, Li Anbo, overcoming all criticism and interference, widely drew nutrition from sister arts, combined them with his arts and improved them, gradually forming his own distinguished language style.It is true that in current Chinas painting circle, nobody but Anbo dedicates so much into figure painting creation and behaved so fantastically.

  I also want to extract a passage from the article about appraisal of Mr. Li Anbo that Feng Jicai, former executive vice chairman of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and cultural authority, published on China Daily, Wen Hui News, Writers Digest, Celebrity Biography and Xinhua Digest and some other publications. Mr. Feng wrote, He (Li Anbo) died of tiredness before his paintings. After he passed away, not many people knew him, either, because he was so unknown. In the times of information, such a giant blankness was left to a genius. Is this a satire on mass media who praise themselves infinitely resourceful or an indication of their inability and superficiality? I understand these words not only as complaints about mass media but also an indication of the helplessness and pity of art circle and other similar circles.

  Mr. Feng also wrote, When we further observe his application of Chinese ink painting skills into his paintings, we will be surprised at the painters extraordinary talents in painting realistically. He integrated Chinese ink wrinkling and rubbing methods and sketch method and combined the sense of volume in sculptures and freedom in paintings without leaving any tracks. Therefore, ink becomes full of possibilities and endless charms. Before him, who can create spacious and boundless, thick and firm scenes only with ink? The prospect of Chinese traditional paintings is a debate only among mediocre persons, but a boundless and expansive land under the brushes of geniuses where the can maneuver freely.

  However, the transformation of life is anything but easy! In the transformation, talent is just a kind of necessary aptitude. It requires that artists should wiling to drop human pleasures, suffer from physical pains and labors, casting their bodies into their works little by little until they sacrifice all they possess. In the times when people are seeking hedonism, where can we find a saddhu like Mr. Li who treats art as a religion? Although the environment of arts has changed, the nature of arts remains the same. Money worship defeats innumerable talented artists, but Mr. Li Anbo wasnt tempted at all. Then almost at the ending of this century, an unprecedented Chinese traditional painter emerged. There stands a giant at the lofty height of Chinese traditional figure painting.

  Today, I spare no pains to record the above characters, because I want to tell the people about my respect for Mr. Li Anbo. It is a pity that nobody has ever systematically studied and publicized him. Especially in today when we rejuvenate the country with culture, this seems to be a large gap. Most of my literary friends think Mr. Li Anbo is Henans giant painter that deserves being nationwide famous when speaking of Henans painting circle. But all of these are helpless pity. Of course, talking about Mr. Li and the fact that he received Yang Haifeng as his last pupil is a writing method of my article. Mr. Li is such a great master, and since he values Yang Haifeng, there must be reasons for his valuing of Haifengs arts talents, and he is by no means ordinary.

  Secondly, Yang Haifeng was born in a village in Xingyang County, Henan in 1977. He is now teaching in Fine Arts Academy of Henan University and he is a member of Chinese Artists Association. He has had high talents for arts since childhood. When he studied in Zhengzhou Normal University, his talents for arts were first discovered by a great painter Xie Bingyi. Later, recommended by Mr. Xie, He was valued by Mr. Li Anbo, who received him as a pupil. When learning from Mr. Li, Yang Haifeng not only learnt the essence of art, but more importantly, influenced by his teachers noble character and sterling integrity, he learnt how to be an upright person.

  Here, I also want to extract several passages from Yang Haifengs article titled Teacher, I Miss you that express his missing for Mr. Li. The article was published in his book SHIZHE RUSI (time passes like the water). In this article, Yang Haifeng wrote, He who teaches me for one day is my father for life. Thinking of my teacher, I always can not help but shedding tears. I want to record this sincerest experience of being his pupil in honor of him.

  My relationship with my teacher should be attributed to Mr. Xie Bingyi. It was through his recommendation that I have the fortune to know my teacher. I have been fond of drawing and sketching since my childhood. This fondness never stopped until I was enrolled by Zhengzhou Normal University. In April, 1997, I screwed enough courage to ask for Mr. Xies guidance. He examined my paintings carefully and in the end, he said, You must be somebody in future. Recommended by Mr. Xie, I met Mr. Li.

  I am a child of farmers and had never seen the world. So in the strange place, I felt more uneasy. I hadnt expected that Mr. Li and his wife didnt dislike and avoid me- a country student; instead, they cared about me on my life and study very much. When I first met Mr. Li, he wasnt in a good health and practiced qigong on every evening. His wife worried about his health very much and repeatedly reminded me not to talk with him for too long. My teacher drew most of his scrolls, and you can image in what state he specially found time to receive me- a student from a secondary technical school. Afraid that I was living a tight life, my teacher often said to me, if you are in lack of money, just let me know and I can help you. I talked sincerely. Until today, there is a big box of paint for Chinese traditional painting in my luggage, which is given by my teacher. I didnt use it and have collected it as a precious gift. After he passed away, I cherish it more and always bring it with me.

  With my teachers direction, in 1997, I was enrolled in Fine Arts College of Henan University with the best grade in Henan Province. Later, I felt that only this thing was a comfort for Mr. Li. In the process of taking examinations, my teacher wrote a recommendation letter for me and asked me about my scores on telephone. He even carefully directed and corrected my daily gouache work. It was my teacher that gave me confidence and courage for taking examinations, helping me to be admitted by the university successfully. My university was in Kaifeng, so I had fewer opportunities to meet Mr. Li, but he cared more about me than ever. Each time I visited his home, he always specially found time to accept me. In retrospection, I should not have bothered him, because every minute and even every second is important for him. My plan to inspect and paint from nature independently in Tibet is guided by my teacher. He looked excited when talking about his trip to Tibet when he was young. He stayed in Yushu for as long as one month, during which time he had a fever because of poor health. People who have been to Tibet know what catching a fever means, but he insisted on. However, he looked at ease when talking about this thing. He talked about his feeling about Tibet, best routine and season for inspection and methods of collecting materials and even necessary clothes, medicines and equipment, all clear and in detail. Without his encouragement and instruction, I didnt have the courage to set my feet on the plateau.

  Those who saw Mr. Lis works would be shocked by his strong and sharp painting style, which was because that Mr. Li had equal broad bosom. In out chatting, Mr. Li preferred listening to me. He would nod with smile when he agreed with me. If he had a different opinion, he would not interrupt me, instead, he would give his opinion when I finished. I, young and aggressive, didnt like the style of decadence in the circle of painting, but Mr. Li told me sincerely that we should respect others feelings. In my memory, he never depreciated other painters, even those whose painting style is totally different. Besides, he could also always merits in their works. Compared with those who elevate themselves only by depreciating others, Mr. Li was so tolerable.

  I, young and flippant, often lost direction, while Mr. Li treated gains and losses in life very calmly. He often said frankly that many superficial things in life can be given up, and we shouldnt fight with others for too much. We should have our own life principle and targets and head unswervingly towards them. Mr. Li did as what he said. He didnt like fighting with others for gains and losses on fame and wealth. A decade cast a sword, and he really realized his lofty life ideal.

  We can see from Yang Haifengs article that he not only learnt art from Mr. Li but also understood the meaning of being an upright person from Mr. Lis words and actions.

  Mr. Lis labor on Yang Haifeng wasnt in vain. Haifeng has indeed scored proud achievements on art creation in the past years. He has become a new star active in Chinas painting circle in recent years. He drew many works and most of them were chosen to be exhibited on many large exhibitions.

  His paintings were successively exhibited on Modern China in Artists Eyes- Chinas Oil Painting Exhibition; The Light of Love-Exhibition of Modern Chinese Famous Oil Painters in Aid of Poor Mothers; The First Exhibition of Zhengzhous Arts; China Today-the Exhibition in Honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of New China (Korean Chon-buk National Gallery); the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works and the First Exhibition of Works Winning Art Award, Creation Award and Works Nominated; Uncover- Discover-the First Exhibition of Works by Chinese New Artists; the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Oil Painting); the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Water-colors); Chinese Arts Tour around the World-Exhibition in Paris, France; 2009 Great Eastern Modern Exhibition of Oil Paintings in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Peoples Republic of China; the 11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Oil Painting); the 11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Water-color); the Third Beijing International Art Biennale in 2008; the Third Exhibition of National Oil Paintings of Sceneries, Landscape and Figures; the Third Exhibition of National Young Artists Art Works; Gathering Sandcastles Exhibition of Chinese New Paintings; Exhibition of Works of Art Teachers in Colleges and Universities of Henan Province; the Seventh National Exhibition of Water-color and Pastel Paintings in 2005; the National Exhibition of Art Works in Honor of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Speech Given by Chairman Mao Zedong on Yanan Art Conference and so on.

  Besides, many of his works on exhibitions won awards: nomination for award in the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Oil Painting), excellent work in 2009 Great Eastern Modern Exhibition of Oil Paintings in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Peoples Republic of China (top prize); excellent work in the Third Exhibition of National Oil Paintings of Sceneries, Landscape and Figures (top prize); gold prize of Exhibition of Works of Art Teachers in Colleges and Universities of Henan Province; gold prize the 11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Oil Painting); gold prize in the 11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Water-color) and so on.

  His works that were recorded and published include: Works of Yang Haifengs Oil Paintings, Art, Chinese Oil Painting, Art Observation, HI Art, Art Market, Artist, Gallery Industry, Chinese Gallery Federation, Haite Painting Boat and some other art publications and collections of exhibited works.

  His works that have been collected include: the oil paintings The Battle of Shanghai and Spark amid the Reeds are collected by the headquarters of a group army of Jinan military region; the oil painting Portrait is collected by Shanghai Gangtai Gallery, the oil painting Undergraduate is collected by Shanghai Great Eastern Art Centre; the oil painting Suspending for One Minute Everyday is collected by the committee of Beijing International Art Biennale; the oil painting Portrait is collected by Dahe Newspaper Office.

  Thirdly, Appreciation of Yang Haifengs Paintings

  From 2005 to now, Haifeng has painted a series of works about marriage customs, which are represented by Whose Red Sailboat. This work consists of two pictures. The work describes a group of marriage scenes in a village. Fellow countrymen are watching the marriage of a young couple. The bride is cleverly arranged at the right lower corner of the picture while there the bridegroom doesnt show. The work is named Whose Red Sailboat, prompting peoples boundless imaginary. Outside the boisterous crowd, there is a little girl who is accompanied by an ordinary dog. She stares directly at viewers outside the picture as if she has seen through the vanity of the world while viewers also stare at this innocent and carefree country girl. There is a indescribable wonder both inside and outside the picture. As for the overall arrangement of the work, a horse can run in the sparse space while wind cannot blow through in dense space, forming a strong contrast of vision. The background adopts the color of silk in Chinese ancient paintings, which is simple and thick. The painting of figures adopts the painting method that combines western realistic skills and fine brushwork skills of Chinese Song Dynasty, making full use of painting to make the figures vivid and live, especially the children in the hug of adults, which are an apt addition to the picture. The expression in the childrens eyes is described both innocent and meaningful, expressing something outside the picture that can not be fully expressed by words. The whole work achieves comprehensive mastery and is full of whims and fancies, and it deserves to be an excellent work that can pass through generations. Haifeng is also creative in mounting the work. He, getting inspiration from Chinese traditional mounting method, uses white as the color of the frame, which is similar with the Chinese traditional paintings exhibited on vertical shaft when it is hung in the exhibition hall. Combining all wonderfulness into one, this piece of work was nominated in the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works in 2009. Its size isnt big, which is 72cm*36cm*2, so its nomination has the wonder of achieving great with small things. The authority of the national art exhibition hosted by the cultural department, China Federation of Literary and Art and Chinese Artists Association is undoubted. Haifeng won this important award at such a young age, which can be described by a sentence once you get to be famous for one thing, everyone will know you. It is not by chance that he won the prize. He stood out from nationwide multiple oil painters because his unique talent convinced judges and viewers. Taking a comprehensive look at Haifengs series works of marriage customs, we can find that although he describes the marriage scenes in villages of western Henan, he isnt confined within simple duplication and record of scenes of marriage customs. His works always guide viewers to grasp and appreciate the implied meaning expressed in his paintings, including puzzlement about modern Chinese peoples marriage situation and outsiders inner struggle and hesitation. This is the soul of his repeated painting pictures about marriage customs. When talking about catching figures appearance with his cameras, Haifeng says that village kids stares at him with their black and big eyes. Plain and simple children dont have the notion of cameras and they will not give you stereotype poses like city kids. They just stare at the camera with their bright and clean eyes while standing there without movements. Their eyes possess cleanest and holiest beauty, which is the great beauty in human world, simple but shocking. Haifeng is indulged in portraying the expression in childrens eyes. He tries to pass this kind of touching to viewers, helping more people to understand and appreciate this simple and pure great beauty in human world. Famous oil painter Cao Xinling once commented Whose Red Sailboat and spoke highly of it. He said, there are many national cultural elements in the work Whose Red Sailboat: a large space of blankness, pictures without background, figure portfolio through inverse perspective, the application of perspective of high and remote method in Chinese traditional figure paintings. He thinks a lot over his composition of his picture, his dealing with figures and the adoption of the color of Chinese ancient painting silk as the color of a large space. This is not painted by random but needs training and experience and a profound grasp of the two cultures of both Chinese traditional painting and western realistic oil painting. He also needs courage to combine these two cultures together. As a young artist at his thirties, I think he has a large space for art and the quality for further development.

  Mr. Cao also said, Whose Red Sailboat tells a story of young people and is definitely not a kind of sentiment that we in our sixties can figure out, it is young peoples understanding about marriage, life, life partner and happy events, sparked with a feeling of non-front-edge and non-cynicism, which seems to possess folk-custom in his paintings. Gathering of common people and their pursuit of beauty are infused with poetic sensation in his picture. His picture is small, and in fact, many technical problems have been covered by his conception and painting forms. The sensation and national forms in the whole picture are enough to make his pictures spark and make him stand out with a small picture in an art exhibition with large numbers of pictures which are exhibited like photos. Many young people judge the 11th National Art Exhibition as a photo exhibition for most of them are like photos, uninteresting and low in art content. But Yang Haifeng has unique thinking about Chinese culture and combination of eastern and western cultures. He also has new understanding about folk customs and expectation for life as a young man. His work has both spiritual and cultural content. Therefore, his picture is not big but dynamic. His overall handling of the picture opens a new idea for realistic painting. He forms a contrast between reality and unreality and connects with culture by putting realistic painting in an unreal space. The combination of western realistic painting and eastern perspective handing makes the sizes of figures and various relationships free, blessing the picture with eastern appeal and strong modern sense. For a people in his thirties, he has adequate thinking about realistic and classic, eastern and western. He is a true painter and possesses all qualities for painting good pictures. He is not a speculator and you can tell at one glance that he is a young artist.

  Apart from a large number of figure paintings about marriage customs, Yang Haifeng also created many portrait pictures, which also made proud achievements. His oil painting Portrait won the excellent work prize in the Third Exhibition of National Oil Paintings of Sceneries, Landscape and Figures (top prize) and is collected by Shanghai Gangtai Gallery. In 2009, the oil painting Undergraduate won the excellent work prize in Great Eastern Modern Exhibition of Oil Paintings in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Peoples Republic of China (top prize) and is collected by Shanghai Great Eastern Art Centre. Haifengs prizes in national exhibition of figure oil paintings lay his academic status in Chinas field of oil figure painting creation. Haifeng becomes a raising new star in Chinas oil painting circle. Haifeng develops his own style in his works of oil figure and portrait painting with creative picture composition, cautious shapes, bold and coordinated use of colors and free sketches. Yang Haifeng paints without doubts and with freedom. We can see his brushes and temper in his pictures. The character of figures in his pictures is vivid and live. The fact that Haifengs oil painting works often participate in national exhibitions and wins prizes has fully proved that Haifengs works have gained their status in the circle of painting, which is fair payback for Haifengs years of persistent dedication in the circle of painting.

  Fourthly, after Yang Haifeng traveled and learned in Europe on business when he felt the true essence of oil painting art at the origin place of oil painting. His oil painting made new progresses.

  Oil painting comes from the west. It should be a pity if one who drew oil paintings in China has never learnt and studied in the west. Haifeng focuses on oil painting. Although he comes from a village, he has long cherished the dream of touring around Europe. He is fortunate and chance found him. After a long examination from his work place, he got the chance of being sent to study in St. Petersburge University in Russia on public funds by Henan University. It was hard to have this chance. Before leaving for Europe, I once invited Haifeng to Shangxiu to see him off. He attached much importance to value this chance. When he first told me the news, he was excited into tears. After arriving in Europe, he wrote many letters to me, telling me that he would make good use of this chance, carefully review different nations culture and art, get familiar with representative works of European traditional works and their creation process and improve and enrich his own oil painting. Haifeng was thirty years old and was down to the earth. He had thorough plan and clear target for this tour to Russia. I read from his letters that apart from normal course learning, he spent most of his spare time in galleries. He visited Winter Palace and Russia National Gallery almost everyday. On holidays, he would visit places of historical interest around St. Petersburg urban areas: Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, Vyborg, Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan Cathedral, and St. Isaacs CathedralHe was in a hurry everyday, touring around areas surrounding St. Petersburg. He also went to Moscow twice. He began his art tour to Italy in August. He visited Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Zach and Italy in the end. Afterwards, he visited Milan, Florence, Roma and Venice. In October, he started his art tour around Paris, France and visited countries in Northern Europe, Holland and Germany and so on. The Uiffizi Palace in Florence, Italy is a classic art palace that art lovers all over the world are longing for. Haifeng saw the representative works of almost all great artists during the Renaissance, including Botticelli, Vinci, Titian and Drer and so on. He was convinced by delicate, beautiful and great art created by Italians. Vatican City in Roman chocked him up with full emotions. After being renovated, the wall painting on the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo has sparking and bright colors. It makes you feel that the giant angels above your head can walk out of the pictureParis in France made Haifeng excited very much. He visited the Louvre twice and the works of Delacroix left a deep impression on him! Amsterdam in Holland, Vienna in AustriaRembrandt, Hals, Monnai, Van GoghHaifengs apprehension of art was greatly improved! The art tour to Europe gave Haifeng the chance to visit many famous galleries. He watched famous works, toured famous cities, broaden his horizon and increased his knowledge. Haifeng also had calm mediation over arts in Europe, Russia and China. When he first came to Russia, Russias collection of art deeply shocked Haifengs mind, but during his visits to Italy and France, Haifeng saw originate European art and understood that Russians had duplicated the art in Italy and France, so Russian art fell behind that of Italy and France in scope and depth. It is hard to surpass through imitation. Only opening a new path can obtain the dignity of existence. However, Chinese peoples art has its own system, totally different from Europeans appreciation of beauty, which is the most precious spiritual wealth that Chinese ancestors left to their descendants. If Chinese people want to win a place in the circle of oil painting, they must combine western materials with traditional Chinese appreciation of beauty, creating new oil paintings different past European traditional art.

  After apprehending the true essence of art, Haifeng immediately returned to his hometown and drew a batch of scenery paintings from nature- it was the dry mountain areas that his root lied at. Soon, Xinyu and I went to Kaifeng for the purpose of visiting him and saw his new oil paintings. Haifeng brought two western pictures from Europe to let me appreciate: one of them is a human body oil painting drawn by a top student named Andre in Rapin Art College. The picture had a typical Russian oil painting style. Haifeng said Andre was very talented, so he was very proud and often contradicted his teacher, but his paintings were good and won many praises and prized in Rapin Art College. The other picture was a high imitated printed work of an oil painting Haifeng brought from the State Tretyakov Gallery for me. The painting is the representative work of the founder of Russian ambulant school Kramskoy Nameless Girl. The print of the painting was very delicate, and the figure in the painting was noble, elegant and very beautiful. I also carefully examined and appreciated two oil pictures that Haifeng created after returning home. One of them was drawn after he came back, into which he integrated new skills he had learnt in Europe. It was a portrait of a girl in red and the background was pink. The work had a fresh style, provoking peoples thought. The other was a work of scenery. It was a sketch of sceneries in a forest that Haifeng drew in the Russian Rapine College. The sunlight shines through green forest and several cars stops at the road side. He was free at drawing and painted vividly and naturally. This painting all used Russian painting materials, which was delicate. It was a masterpiece among his scenery paintings. From the two pictures, I felt that Haifeng made a great progress in skills. His works were gentler and felt freer when painting. The works possessed unique poetic sensation and the painting materials were more delicate. The can be called excellent works. When asked why the works were so good, Haifeng explained that when he drew sceneries in Russia, he was calm. He often drew pictures at outdoors and went to galleries to see masters works if he had some problems. He got inspiration and enlightenment form masters works and follow them. In this art atmosphere, it was difficult not to draw good paintings. Besides, European painting materials had good quality and complete types, laying a good foundation for drawing excellent works. Most new works at home were sceneries painted in hometown. Although the scenery was dry country areas, he had a indescribable sense of intimacy and felt at ease when painting, so he could paint freely and easily and get them done without stopping.

  With the background of having been to Europe for learning, Haifeng became more famous in the circle of painting. In order to prepare for an important national meeting, with mass election and approval of the Jinan military region, a group army of Jinan military region invited him to draw works about military affairs for important spots in the military region. The content of the picture were Liberation of Shanghai and Shangjiabang. He paid much attention to this. From a macro perspective, he did a meaningful thing for his country, and from a micro perspective, this was a practicing opportunity for him. In order to do it well, he stayed at home for only two days in New Spring Festival and headed for Kaifeng to make preparation in the afternoon of lunar New Years Day. He specially went to Shanghai and Changshu to take photos as materials and saw historical sites during the war years, fully respecting objective historical facts. The army tried it best to coordinate. It borrowed the military uniform that warriors wore at that time from Beijing Military Museum, transferred out Arisakarifles and Buck pistols made in Zhongshan that were cultural relics from a arsenal of a brigade. The principals of the army gave guidance by himself. Political commissar Yang, vice corps commander Lu and Secretary Tang participated in the painting composition and arrangement of figures poses. The army provided Haifeng with a super-big office room with good conditions, picked up full-time models with proper image from warriors, trying their best to guarantee successful painting. It took long and painstaking work and half a year to finish the two pieces of works. When the workers were hung on the wall, present principals and warriors were convinced by works art charm and gave compliments. The works were displayed at the army regions important places and were a perfect complement to its environment. Principals also spoke highly of the two pictures and used them as the cultural card of this group army and paid a lot for collecting them. This experience will start a new glorious chapter for Haifengs art life.

  After drawing the works for the army, Haifeng didnt stop and fully dedicated himself into creating his new work When the Mountain is covered with Full Blossom. The work continued the topic about marriage, but the size expanded from two pictures to three pictures and the background was richer. There were connections and breakthroughs. We can feel from his pictures that Haifeng is advancing and trying new methods. Haifeng didnt forget participating in society activities. At the beginning at this year, his works participated in Modern China in Artists Eyes- Chinas Oil Painting Exhibition. Later, being invited by China Song Qingling Foundation, he donated his still object oil painting Five Flavors of Life to participate in auction. All collected money was used to help poor mothers in western regions. Speaking of this, Haifeng expressed that he was born in a poor family, so he knew clearly the arduousness of poor mothers. It was a comfort for him to help those in need of help with the money collected with his works.

  I have just begun studying Yang Haifeng, but I have seen his potential for art. At the end of this article, I want to recite a passage written by Ma Guoqiang, the chairman of Henan Literary Federation, Chinese famous figure painter, to congratulate and wish that Haifeng will score more achievements in the future art path.

  Chairman Ma wrote:

  Yang Haifeng is an excellent painter with great potential for development who stands out in Henan oil painting circle and even among nationwide young oil painters in recent years. He is young and vigorous, industrious and enterprising. He sticks to the creation path of realism. He dose very well in both realism and expression. His works are both realistic and expressive, being proper in the combination of expression both from objective and subjective perspectives. He is a hopeful relay runner in continuing Chinese traditional oil painting in modern times. He has firm basic skills and a strong ability for realistic painting and his expression of events of figures is profound in his works. He will have a good prospect for art development!