Shandong and Vitebsk brought closer
[b]Young Chinese artist devotes series of works to Belarusian city[/b]In early April, an exhibition of works by young Chinese painter Yang Liming opened at Vitebsk’s regional library. The series entitled Shandong. Vitebsk — is dedicated to the Belarusian regional centre, where he has learnt much and acquired many good friends.
In early April, an exhibition of works by young Chinese painter Yang Liming opened at Vitebsk’s regional library. The series entitled Shandong. Vitebsk — is dedicated to the Belarusian regional centre, where he has learnt much and acquired many good friends.
Yang Liming was born in China’s Shandong province. Two years ago, he graduated from the Art History School at the East China Institute of Technology in Fuzhou, arriving in Vitebsk to bring his dream to life. He wished to master the secrets of European drawing and painting, so enrolled on a preparatory course at P. Masherov Vitebsk State University’s Art and Graphic Department for a year. He then applied for a Master’s degree, having learnt to speak Russian rather well and achieved definite success in the creative sphere. He didn’t just create works for his course, but indulged his own passion for art, specialising in painting and the realistic style.
“Contemporary painting dominates in China, while you have a completely different school — traditional and classical,” notes Yang, comparing the tuition systems in our countries. “I’ve learnt to work in the realistic manner in Belarus. I’m very grateful to my teachers — wonderful artists — who helped me realise my dream. My exhibition has taken place largely due to the efforts of Grigory Fedkov, who taught me painting and composition, to Vasily Nesterenko, a teacher of drawing, and to Valentin Klimovich, who headed my diploma project.”
The teachers of the young Chinese painter speak of him as hard-working and capable. He has shown stubborn determination, while making progress ‘in leaps and bounds’. They also note his sensitivity and kindness, calling him the most responsive boy in the group. His first word learnt in Russian was ‘to help’.
Now, the 25 year old painter speaks Russian well and has no need of an interpreter. At his exhibition, he spoke for himself. Asked what he most remembers from his life in Vitebsk, he smiles, “I particularly like Belarusian nature. It’s very beautiful here!” He has tried to reflect the beauty of Belarusian nature in such lyrical works as First Snow, Winter Night and Vitebsk Motif. Of two dozen pictures being showcased at the exhibition, landscapes account for the greatest share. The remainder are still life paintings, created during the last year in Vitebsk. The artist hasn’t forgotten his homeland, allowing us to compare images of Vitebsk region with those of Shandong province.
At present, Yang is finishing his Master’s degree at Vitebsk State University’s Art and Graphic Department in the ‘theory and methods of education and upbringing’. Valentin Klimovich, a candidate of sciences and an associate professor at the Pictorial Art Chair, tells us that Yang’s thesis will be connected with painting techniques.
“China is keen to master our European school of drawing, painting and music,” adds Mr. Klimovich. “With this aim, Chinese students arrive in Belarus to study. Currently, around 20 Chinese students study at our department.” This year, VSU’s Art and Graphic Department is preparing to welcome about 40 more students from China. They’ll come to Vitebsk after graduating from Hohhot Professional Institute and will become fourth year students.
In June, Yang Liming will defend his thesis and receive a Master’s diploma. He plans to return to Shandong, on China’s eastern coast, famous for its cultural traditions. It’s known worldwide as the home of the great ancient thinker and enlightener Confucius, as well as many other talented poets, artists and philosophers. Once home, Yang plans to teach and to continue creating landscapes. “Wherever I go, Vitebsk city, its residents, university and teachers will remain in my heart forever, alongside my personal exhibition,” he muses.
By Tatiana Solovieva