"Bird and Flower" painting is a well known ancient Chinese style. The name comes, obviously enough, from the subject of the pictures. But it is the style of these delicate paintings which makes them so recognisable -- check out this example here.
But though the art has great historic significance, that doesn't mean nobody is doing it today. One artist who was recently featured in the Chinese news site ECNS (English Chinese News Service) is Wan Fei.
Vital for Wan is that modern practictioners of ancient styles UPDATE these styles, to make them relevant for contemporary audiences; "Tradition is good, but it is too far from our modern life and aesthetic taste," says Wan. "I adopted some Western abstract style in the background to distinguish the lovely birds surrounded by a natural, dim world."
But despite this, Wan says that the old notion of art as an expression of the feelings which you hold within remains true today: "To paint a bird, I must first be a bird lover," she says. "I love talking to my birds and treat them like my best friends. They are creatures of spirituality."
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