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Exclusive interview of guqin master Gong Yi



Guqin master Gong Yi is playing guqin at the  concert.

The sixth annual Guqin Concert was held at the Minghui Teahouse of the West Mahabuddha Temple in Beijing on June 19. Guqin is an ancient plucked instrument from China which has seven strings. At the concert, noted guqin player Gong Yi and others such as Chen Leiji, Qiao Shan, and Wang Peng gave a performance of several classics of guqin songs such as The Flowing Water and Guangling San. They tried to convey the artistic charm of this ancient instrument to the audience, and to communicate with them the knowledge about its history. While the players were plucking the strings, the master of Zen painting Li Zhi was painting a picture, which was a fine embodiment of the art of Chinese tea and the thoughts of Zen. The music and painting formed a delightful combination.

Gong Yi has been taken part in the Guqin Concert six times. He loves the teahouse which is full of quietness and elegance, and appreciates very much the efforts and contribution that the hostess of the teahouse Murong Zigui has made to promote guqin art. When talking about the art of this instrument, he says, “The playing technique and the connotation of guqin reflect well the rules of art, which, just as the philosophy of Zen and Tea-appreciating, celebrates a disengaged manner.” When asked about the development and future of this instrument, Gong showed a cool attitude. He holds that since guqin is not an instrument popular with common folk, but is played by refined scholars in the ancient time, it has no nature to promote itself. Guqin learners should be attracted by the charm of music itself, instead of propaganda.

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