Modern Folk Art: Peasant Paintings by Shao Qihua

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7 Nov – 21 Dec (Part 1) | 9 Jan – 19 Feb (Part 2)

Jinshan Peasant Paintings, also known as “Farmer Painting”, began to attract international attention in the 1970s after artist Wu Tongzhang taught painting techniques to farmers in Jinshan – a district of Shanghai well-known for its agricultural products.

Peasant paintings have a unique cultural significance due to the status of its painters: older female farmers in rural China who did not receive a ‘formal’ art education, but were otherwise skilled in folk arts that had been passed down for generations including paper cutting, paper folding, embroidery, and weaving.

These modern folk artists depict an idealised rural life, and while their paintings appear almost childlike in style, this is deceptive. In fact, their strong graphic design, bold colour combinations and imaginative ideas are simple but sophisticated, justifying their nickname of ‘Chinese Picassos’.

Today Jinshan Peasant Painting has become a full-time occupation for many farmers and their work is being exhibited internationally. Despite the wide appeal of the artwork and their international recognition, some critics still view the paintings’ consistent theme of happiness as neither ‘real’ nor ‘serious’ art.

 

About the artist

All the artworks in this exhibition were painted by Shao Qihua. Shao was born in 1965 and is a famous Jinshan folk artist whose works have been exhibited internationally. She has won many awards and in 2006, was named Jinshan Peasant Painting Artist by the People’s Government of Jinshan District, Shanghai.

 Artworks available for sale – all proceeds benefit the Chinese Museum

Artworks are available to purchase for $200 (including GST) from curatorial staff from Wednesday to Friday at the museum. Payments can be made by card or cash. After the conclusion of the first part of the Modern Folk Art exhibition, artworks can be picked up on 21 and 22 Dec. If you have any questions, please contact the curatorial staff or call 61-410- 810-782 for further information.