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Painter Huo Chunyang says the essence of art is eternal and can 'purify hearts', Zhang Zhao reports
For Huo Chunyang, a master of traditional Chinese painting, art is not just about skill but more importantly a philosophy and a lifestyle.
Born in Qingyuan county in Hebei province, the 67-year-old painter is now a professor at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and vice-chairman of the Tianjin Artists Association.
In 1997, Huo was elected as one of the top 100 Chinese painters by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
He said that an artist should sense "the circle of life".
"Chinese painting should interpret life," he explained. "It is the carrier of all sentient beings.
"But rather than the shape, Chinese painting focuses more on describing the spirit of lives," he added.
"Chinese culture emphasizes tolerance. Traditional Chinese painting is more about similarity than individuality, although different painters have varied styles," he said.
"So, an artist must devote himself to the practice of pursuing cultural essence that stays eternal and unchanged."
He believes that many of modern concepts of today are merely "detailed explanation of our ancestors' ideas".