Culture

Art

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There are many famous Chinese artists, each with their own style.

Here are some words you might need to talk about them.

yì shù jiā / 艺术家 - artist

yī jiàn yìshù zuòpǐn / 一件艺术作品 - a work of art

Chinese art comes in two main forms: calligraphy shū fǎ / 书法 and brush painting guó huà / 国画.

shū fǎ / 书法 - Chinese calligraphy

Calligraphy is the art of writing. Think of it as very beautiful handwriting.

shū fǎ jiā / 书法家 - calligrapher

You need a writing brush, ink, paper and ink stone to write calligraphy.

máo bǐ / 毛笔 - writing brush

mò / 墨 - ink

xuān zhǐ / 宣纸 - rice paper

yàn tái / 砚台 - ink stone

DID YOU KNOW... The oldest Chinese writing is on animal bones and turtle shells from over 4,000 years ago?

xǐe / 写 - writing

wǒ huì xǐe / 我会写 - I know how to write

guó huà / 国画 - Chinese brush painting

Traditional Chinese brush painting is the art of painting on a piece of rice paper or silk with a brush that is soaked in black ink.

zhè fú huà zhēn piàoliàng。/ 这幅画真漂亮 - This painting is beautiful.

Many Chinese paintings tell a story.

The artist Qi Baishi painted two chickens scrabbling after an earthworm. He called the painting ‘Say Hello Afterwards’. Why? Because even though the two chickens are fighting for food, afterwards they will become good friends. 

Qí Báishí / 齐白石 - Qi Baishi

huà jiā / 画家 - painter

Other Chinese artists often try to paint what they see.  Zheng Xie was famous for painting beautiful orchids, bamboo, and stones. 

Other Chinese artists often try to paint what they seeZheng Xie was famous for painting beautiful orchids, bamboo, and stones.

Zhèng Xiè / 郑燮 - Zheng Xie

One Chinese emperor made an army of 6,000 statues. These were soldiers and chariots made out of clay and lined up as if ready for battle. They’re called the terracotta soldiers and they were made over 2,000 years ago.

diāosùjiā / 雕塑家 - statue

nián tǔ / 黏土 - clay

Ai Weiwei is a famous Chinese artist. He makes many different kinds of art, from lots of sunflower seeds made out of porcelain to big animals made out of bronze. These bronze animals sculptures are the 12 animals from the Chinese zodiac. They are very big at 10 feet tall!

sùxiàng / 塑像 - sculptor