Zhuxianzhen, Xiangfu District, Kaifeng, China


Performance technique
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Performance technique

The woodblock New Year paintings from ZhuXianZhen originate from the folk and are passed down among the folk, different from the refined and elegant style of court scholars and literati in past dynasties. They have rough and unrestrained lines, vivid and touching plots, full and balanced composition, simple and lively imagery, thick and strong colors, and are highly decorative with distinct local characteristics.

In terms of expressive techniques, the New Year paintings from ZhuXianZhen have absorbed traditional painting techniques and various decorative techniques, creating lifelike character stories, but not intentionally depicting the characters' background, achieving a balanced effect. The woodblock New Year paintings from ZhuXianZhen are characterized by their concise, clear, and exaggerated handling of the images and portrayal of character images. The description of deities is particularly noteworthy, with a strong emphasis on the head and exaggerated body proportions, making them highly engaging. The characters are depicted as handsome and robust, without any hint of flirtatiousness, a notable characteristic of the ZhuXianZhen New Year paintings.

Originating from the folk, these paintings have been passed down through generations of artists and incorporated elements of traditional cultural aesthetics and reverence for deities, reflecting the rural population's aspirations for a bountiful harvest, prosperity, harmony, safety, and prosperity of livestock, as well as their clear-cut ideas and emotions of righteousness and evil.

The wooden block New Year's prints of ZhuXianZhen have inherited ancient Chinese traditional artistic techniques, forming their local characteristics: the entire picture is complete, compact, and strict, with very little blank space, able to achieve clear distinctions between primary and secondary elements, with the main subject standing out and not being overly intricate, expressing a balanced and symmetrical decorative taste. The artists also use the "scattered dot perspective" technique of Chinese painting, making each thing clearly define the main subject and serve the main subject, and the arrangement of the picture will not make people feel illogical.