Beichen sticks to its farmer painting roots
He Xiaobao, associate researcher at the Beichen Culture Palace in Tianjin, shows local residents how to create a nongminhua, or farmer painting. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Tradition born in the 1950s remains strong in Tianjin
Nongminhua, or farmer painting, a popular school of painting developed by Chinese farmers, has been thriving in northern Tianjin's Beichen district since the late 1970s, and numerous training courses and activities have flourished there in recent decades.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1, 100 top works painted by local residents were exhibited at the Beichen Cultural Palace. They were selected from more than 200 pieces submitted by enthusiastic artists.
Some primary schools, including Shuangkou and Lizui, have included farmer painting courses into their art curriculum and offer tailor-made teaching materials to help students appreciate and continue the art form.
"Beichen has devoted great effort, including human resources and funds, to supporting the art form's sustainable development," said Liao Kaiming, a writer on folk art and former director of the National Art Museum of China's Folk Art Department.
Exhibitions of works by students have often been featured on major TV programs, including on China Central Television, and in newspapers. Last October, Beichen asked the district's leading artists to create new farmer painting works inspired by its urban scenery and held seminars on the art form.