Zhong Kui Painted by Lin Yueping
The Figure of Zhong Kui Painted by Lin Yueping
The young artist Lin Yueping is adept at traditional Chinese figure paintings. Nowadays he is steeped in the series of Zhong Kui figure paintings. Zhong Kui is always in the good graces of many renowned artists in history who have produced a great number of exquisite works. Following the strokes of Liang Kai, Gao Qipei and Ren Bonian, Mr. Lin pays specific attention to portraying the facial expression of figure. By combining the Chinese ink-painting with cursive handwriting and integrating the visual shock of handwriting, he depicts a bold, righteous Zhong Kui who symbolizes auspiciousness at one stroke. With the romantic exaggeration and distortion technique, the multiple figures of Zhong Kui stand vividly and cater to both refined and popular tastes.
The figures of Zhong Kui drawn by Mr. Lin wear misfit clothes and hats, with his angry glare, raised hair, twisted head and body, and the grip of sword, the figure is depicted lively as if the hero was breaking away from the paper. Some figures are portrayed as riding on a donkey, with a broken umbrella as the canopy; some are gazing with examining eyes behind an outworn paper fan; some are holding Jade Ruyi, persimmon or birthday peach with bats or spiders shown in paper, which has profound meanings and delight of life; ghost servants are depicted to shoulder lyre, sword, book and painting in some paintings, which indicates the battle between virtues and vices, incisively represents the power of personality and ideological level of Zhong Kui, reflects people’s aspiration for righteousness and hatred to evil and their desire and wish for ward of evil, better life, happiness and health and longevity.
As the ancient has said, a good painting should reflect contemporary. China is a civilized country with thousands of years of history. For the past hundreds of years, the myth of Zhong Kui spreads widely among various nationalities and people of different ages, and Zhong Kui is the constant figure painted by those great artists through Tang, Song, Yuan and Qing Dynasties. Enjoying worship and respect from the royal families and general mass, Zhong Kui has its influence extended to every household, even the remote and poor regions. Zhong Kui painting is not only an artwork or propitious painting worth of appreciation, but also constitutes a folk custom that the painting should be hang in every household during Spring Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. The Zhong kui painted by modern artists Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong and Li Keran etc. has reflected the contemporary society and criticized the evil force in the society. The Zhong Kui-themed paintings are created as needed by the society and resonate with the society.
Nowadays’ China is seeing a new era of building a socialist well-off society, i.e. a harmonious, happy, well-off, uniform, thriving and powerful society. For thousands of years the figure of Zhong Kui has been deeply rooted in peoples’ heart as the symbol of evil-exorcising and fortune-impetrating and righteousness. In my opinion, the young artist Lin Yueping has made a bold attempt to and persistently tried for more original form, he created works with skillful cursive handwriting lines combing the traditional and the modern. His paintings imply significantly, being associated closely with patriotism and the symbol of social values with sense of responsibility and mission of the society.