Traditional ink paintings reflect changes in southern Chinese village

NANNING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — As China bids farewell to absolute poverty, many traditional ink paintings focusing on the theme of poverty alleviation have demonstrated the changes in southern Chinese villages.

Shang Xinzhou, a painter from the Guangxi Arts University, has been creating traditional ink paintings depicting poverty-stricken areas for over five years.

“Thanks to my experience in Duomai Village, I can make the paintings more vivid,” said the 36-year-old painter, who has spent two and a half years as head of Duomai’s poverty alleviation team in Baise City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Shang’s paintings changed alongside the progress made in the fight against poverty. The focus of his works shifted from unfavorable local conditions and people’s hard time to better infrastructure and happy lives.

In his paintings, rocky paths and shabby houses were replaced by wide concrete roads and buildings made of bricks and steel, and the poultry and silkworm industries are highlighted.

“I like drawing people’s real lives and impressive moments, and paintings became a bridge for communication between me and the local people,” said Shang.

During his stay, he used his paintings to help villagers sell their products.

“Shang has helped us promote local agricultural products by posting works depicting pigs and chickens on social media to attract buyers,” said Zhou Jiahu, a 37-year-old local farmer.

To enrich the local nightlife, he sold paintings to buy street lamps so people could enjoy square dancing in the evenings.

Shang’s delicate works enjoyed wide popularity in the village. “I love his paintings and they reflect the earth-shaking changes in our village,” said Zhou.

In recent years, more artists have traveled to impoverished mountain villages to record the development of China’s rural areas, presenting stories of the country’s battle against poverty.

“I’ve been a witness to the local poverty alleviation efforts. I want to record the changes of this era with my brush and create more works about people,” said Shang.

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