Home >> Hot Issue

Artist paints a career from grottoes

Updated: 2022-07-06 08:26 ( CHINA DAILY )
Share - WeChat
After digging soil on the lakeside, Qin crushes it into pieces, sifts it to obtain a fine earth and makes a drawing board with it, then paints on it to re-create murals from the ancient past, such as those at the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu province. CHINA DAILY

"All I could remember about that time was the lack of sleep," she recalls.

In 2013, Qin was admitted to the Shandong University of Art and Design and focused on artwork appraisal and restoration.

She picked up culture and art history, as well as cultural relic and archaeology theories. At the same time, she honed practical skills of restoring ancient books, bronzes and ceramics.

She used to go to the flea market to purchase old books and repaired them using complex and meticulous processes.

She had to find paper of a similar color and texture to mend worm-eaten pages, before removing the dirt, flattening them out and binding them up with threads.

"The key is to not leave any trace of repair work," Qin says, adding that, at first, she was clumsy and had to work longer hours to grasp the necessary skills.

The experience further exposed her to the beauty of ancient art. "It has all laid a foundation for me to better understand the styles and characteristics of books and paintings from different historical periods, thus enabling me to produce more accurate artwork," Qin says.

After finishing her undergraduate education in 2017, Qin worked at a private art museum in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province.

The job enabled her to meet many artists, whose understanding of art further opened her eyes. "Their perceptions toward aesthetics were inspiring," Qin says. "I realized there was more I could learn."

After saving enough money for tuition and an intense four-month preparation for the postgraduate school tests, Qin secured enrollment to the Shandong College of Arts in 2019.

Along with two other students, she settled on ancient mural reproduction and protection.

"The professor offered us theoretical knowledge and then encouraged us to try it on our own," she says.

In the beginning, Qin struggled with every step of mural reproduction.

"You need to create a drawing board made of soil to emulate the grotto wall," Qin says.

But climate and soil quality vary by region, so experiments had to be conducted, she adds. "Otherwise, the soil board might crack or exhibit other problems."

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 Next   >>|
Hot words
Most Popular