Carren's Pitch

Life by Design


On Chinese Painting

Posted by Carren |

I was honored to be asked to write for an exhibition of my sister's Chinese Painting Class in Ateneo. Not only until I wrote did I realize the amount of control and patience it took to create one beautiful line.

Text by: Carren Jao
Painting by: Catherine Jao
Posted in Ateneo de Manila University website

In Chinese painting, one of the oldest living art forms in the world, every stroke tells a story. Soft strokes gently narrowing to a point convey the delicacy of a flower. Firm strokes, with brush almost bereft of water, convey the sturdiness of branches and trees.

Elegant in form and simple in design, Chinese painting can easily be dismissed as beautiful yet simplistic. But, beneath its simplicity lies a richness of meaning that can only be fathomed with an open heart and compassionate spirit.

The Bamboo, growing upright, represents the tenacity of summer. Bending—but never breaking—with the rain and monsoon, it embodies courage and endurance. The Orchid, wild and untamed, represents spring and its blossoming. Growing deep in the mountain recesses, its quiet beauty symbolizes true nobility—humble and modest. Frequently blooming in the midst of winter, the Plum reminds us of the renewal to come in spring. Gnarled branches convey sturdiness in the cold, while the fresh blossoms inspire hope for the future. In the autumn, when most life surrenders its beauty, the Chrysanthemum blooms magnificently. Delicate, intricate, yet hardy, the Chrysanthemum’s numerous petals arranged in circular formation remind us of the complexity of our own relationships. These are the Four Paragons, the foundation of all Chinese painting. Embodying the finer characteristics of humanity, they inspire all mankind to greater heights.


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