"When Jinshan's peasants exhibited their paintings for the first time in the China Art Gallery in Beijing, they were praised in the capital's art circles," writes Cao Zhengfeng. "Their peculiar style showed the rural flavor of Shuixiang County and expressed the painters' love for life. They not only appealed to the aesthetic sense but also revealed the truth of life. The successful exhibition opened up a new type of art, the art of the labouring people, which, for hundreds and thousands of years, had not been acknowledged as a national art. When peasant painting overcame historical prejudice and revealed its charm, people started to look at it with new eyes."
"Another extraordinary phenomenon resulting from peasant painting is that rural women, who have never painted before, paint according to their own free will. Since folk art is different from western painting techniques, instructors in the cultural center taught them to apply their own techniques in designing and colour mixing, which they had learned from embroidery, printing and paper cutting, to painting. When the obstacles between folk art and painting are removed, the peasants' talent and ingenuity for artistic creation are given full play."
Stop by Westland Gallery to see these important works in person and read the book's forward in its entirety.
"Legacy" is on display from January 30th - February 10th 2018.