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05:39 Oct 01 2011

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Tibetan inspirations
09:18, November 16, 2010  

Wu Changjiang at work.

The subject of Tibet has long been the source of inspiration for writers, poets and painters both in and out of China. For Wu Changjiang, the 56-year-old painter who has been devoting himself to depicting landscapes and people's life in the area, Tibet means far more than just the subject of his artistic career.

"I've been fascinated by everything there, not just the beautiful and natural landscape, but also the spirit of people living on this land," Wu told the Global Times in an exclusive interview. "I just find my heart in peace each time I step onto this land," he smiled.

Wu's enthusiasm toward Tibetan people is not confined to Tibet alone, but the whole Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. He has continuously visited the area for almost 30 years and spent time there creating numerous works, some of which have been widely collected by galleries and museums across the world.

His large-scale solo exhibition, Facing Life - Exhibition of Wu Changjiang's Works on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, will open Thursday at Guan Shanyue Art Museum in Shenzhen, showing a wide range of works Wu created in recent years in Tibet and neighboring areas.

More than 100 pieces will be on display, including prints, watercolors and sketches, all reflecting the landscape and people's life on the plateau. Among the works, most will be figure paintings, according to Wu.

Unlike many painters and photographers who tend to focus on the hardships people on the plateau face, Wu prefers to reflect their positive attitudes toward life and their virtues such as diligence, courage, warm-heartedness and hospitality.

"Some of these virtues have long disappeared for most of us who live in a commercialized world," Wu said. "For my own part, these virtues are of the ideal characteristics I've been pursuing. I think that's part of the reason why I love to be there and paint them."

Born in 1954 in Tianjin, Wu studied at the print department of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and has been extremely interested in capturing life on the plateau. He has visited more than 30 times since his first trip in 1983.

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