Before the popularization of the television and internet, Chinese New Year paintings were one of China’s most direct media observations that could reach hundreds of households throughout the country.
During the Spring Festival, decorating a house with Chinese New Year paintings means bringing gorgeous colours and joyful life scenes to a home. So, let’s discover some of these unique pieces of art!
1. The Grand Ceremony of the Founding of the People’s Republic – Dong Xiwen
If you know the history of China well, you would remember that on the 1st October in 1949, Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the rostrum of the Tiananmen Gate. Thus, this painting depicts this historical event’s panoramic view with highlighted details and expressing the moment’s tremendous exhilaration.
The painting shows Mao Zedong standing before the microphone with the announcement in his hands and the crowd holding thousands of banners. You can even see a raised national flag fluttering in the wind.
It is said that the artist Dong Xiwen finished the painting after two months of hard work and arduous efforts and his work was exhibited in the Forbidden City’s Hall of Martial Prowess and was considered a great success.
2. Joyous Celebration of the Promulgation of the 1st Constitution of the People’s Republic of China – Yu Yunjie
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China was passed in 1954 by the First National People’s Congress. It was a time when the Constitution set the nature of the Chinese state and political system. In other words, it laid the foundation for the development of socialist China and its institutions.
The gouache work by Yu Yunjie represents a young woman in front of a red flag holding flowers in the foreground and behind here are the Chinse people. This painting symbolizes the joy and support of the Chinese inhabitants upon the news of the promulgation of the Constitution.
3. The Red Lantern Shines From Atop – Wang Xin
This painting clearly shows people celebrating the Chinese New Year in the House of the Commune Members, a cultural entertainment establishment in the countryside. The painting describes how the people are rehearsing for the Festival performances, pasting Festival couplets, putting up “fortune” characters and lighting lanterns.
One of the most remarkable details in the painting is the red lantern with the phrase “the people’s commune is good” hung below the sign of “Home of the Commune Members” on the front door. This specific detail expresses the wonderful life that the people’s communes have brought to peasant households. Overall, this painting was appreciated for its strong sense of hierarchy and its bright and festive colours.
4. Red Flowers in Bloom Everywhere – 1959
This beautiful painting depicts five babies playing amongst rice, corn, pumpkins, pomegranates, peaches and other crops amidst the background of blooming red flowers. One of the five children is joyously holding a “Long Live the People’s Communes” banner, which once again shows that the people’s communes had brought the large number of peasants a happy and harmonious life. This painting is an enchanting decoration for the Chinese New Year with its intense colours, symmetric composition, and hidden meanings. Year.
5. Grapefruits – Jin Xuechen
This 1955 painting shows a large basket of grapefruits. But why grapefruits? According to Chinese customs, the grapefruit is symbolic of prosperity. It shows the workers enjoying the fruits of their labours. As a result, the artist’s exquisite painting is often used as a Chinese New Year painting.
These Chinese paintings are exquisite expressions of art and represent some critical phases in Chinese history. So, what do you think about these unique paintings? Please share your comments and don’t forget to come back for part 2!