Ethnic art exhibition in Shanghai enthrals art lovers
Shanghai Museum of Glass is currently hosting an exhibition on Pingpo Miao paintings, which has been received with much fanfare by art aficionados.
The unique paintings are all created by a group of female peasants from the mountain areas of southwest China's Guizhou Province.
The Pingpo Miao paintings originated from the province's Pingpo Village, located in the northeastern part of Longli County, which is a major settlement of "Xiaohua Miao," a branch of the Miao ethnic group.
"These paintings amazed me at the first sight. They are truly vibrant," said Lei Jia, curator of the exhibition. The exhibition offering glimpses of the Miao ethnic culture kicked off on Feb. 7 and has attracted more than 10,000 visitors since its opening.
Pingpo Miao paintings are mainly done by female artists aged between 20 and 80, who unleash their creativity after a day of farm work and domestic chores. They learn the art form from the elderly, imbibing it through personal examples and verbal instructions.
However, many of these women can hardly afford the painting materials, said Lei, adding that the number of female painters has decreased to around 20 with their creativity succumbing to the pressure of life.
Inspired by traditional customs and beliefs, Pingpo Miao paintings are full of beautiful and creative images. The paintings also illustrate the changes around the people, depicting their daily lives in an authentic and vivid manner.
The female artists use abstract patterns of water and fish to imply the never-ending saga of life.
To help more people understand the Miao ethnic art, the Shanghai Museum of Glass has created a modern neon installation as part of the exhibition. The installation, named Butterfly, uses colorful neon pipes to reconstruct the symbol of the Miao people's ethnic origin.
"Visitors love these artworks created by passionate artists living in the mountainous regions of China as their works embody the originality of Chinese minority folk art," said Zhang Lin, director of the Shanghai Museum of Glass.