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Retired teacher's works show inspiration of art

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: July 4, 2022 L M S


The flower-and-bird paintings Ma Ding'an shows are brimmed with vitality and grace. [Photo by Lin Qi/China Daily]

Self-taught painter Ma Ding'an makes a statement through her works that it is never too late to learn to paint, as long as one is determined to invest time, commitment and energy.

The 70-year-old schoolteacher from Jinhua, Zhejiang province, has been improving the techniques of the flower-and-bird genre of classic Chinese painting since the 1990s. She showed more than 50 recent pieces at her solo exhibition, Setting Sun Glows, at the art gallery of Art News of China in Beijing from July 1 to 3.

The paintings brimming with vitality and rich colors demonstrate how art has enriched Ma's spare time and her spiritual world.

"It (painting) is out of my sincere love of art and life," Ma says. "It is happiness that one, in the different stages of lifetime, can find something he likes and wants to devote to by which he is able to reform himself."

She says picking up the brush has revitalized her, although she retired years ago. "Painting puts me into a state of forgetting who and where I am. It takes me to a garden of a variety of flowers in full bloom, to select the most beautiful ones among them."

Qiao Yinan, who heads the flower-and-bird genre department of the China National Academy of Painting, says the works show that Ma truly understands the depth and aesthetics of the flower-and-bird paintings as a popular category of classic Chinese art, and has set a good example of integrating art into daily life and public education.

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