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TJU teaches Chinese painting to Slovakian students during summer camp

 Global


Philip, an attendee of the summer camp, drawing bamboo stems under Liu Jun’s instruction in Zuo Mo Ya Xuan, a studio on Tianjin’s Ancient Cultural Street, July 15th. 

Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street presents more than just local souvenirs. It can also be an ideal place for people who are eager to learn Chinese painting. On July 15th, 13 students from Slovakia Agricultural University attending a summer camp held by TJU and the Confucius institute had their wish come true during their visit to Ancient Cultural Street. 

Situated along the Belt and Road, Slovakia Agricultural University is a prestigious institution of higher learning certified by the EU. The college students attending this summer camp come from different grades and majors, united by their desire to learn more about China and its culture. From July 11th to 23rd they are scheduled to take various courses including Chinese language, Chinese martial arts, Chinese painting, Chinese knotting and Chinese music, visit places of interest and experience Chinese-style life with local families. 

Liu Jun, a professor at the Wang Xuezhong Art Research Institute and one of the top ten young artists in Tianjin, selected a serene courtyard on the Ancient Cultural Street instead of a classroom on campus to teach these students Chinese painting. “The Chinese painting exhibition is being held here” said Liu Jun. He wishes to transform an ordinary painting class into a way of disseminating Chinese traditional culture and a bridge culturally connecting countries along the Belt and Road. 

“What can you see in my paintings?” Liu Jun asked as he was explaining the essence of Chinese painting to Slovakian students. “I consider your painting to show a touch of modernism, not so much as the traditional Chinese brush painting I usually see in daily life,” said Philip, a member in the summer camp, “I used to study oil painting, which resembles Chinese painting.” 

A Slovakian student trying Chinese painting after Liu Jun showed them how to paint bamboo, a classic element in Chinese painting. 

Liu Jun also taught them calligraphy, starting with how to hold an ink brush. “I’ve never held a brush before, and it is really interesting.” A female student said.  

Liu Jun shows a Slovakian student how to hold an ink brush. 

Liu Jun asked students what they wanted to paint. “We can paint a panda!” suggested one student. Each student gave it a try after Liu Jun’s demonstration and some even added a bamboo branch to the panda. The panda drawn by Philip looked true to life, and impressed Liu Jin with its artistry. 

Philip is drawing a panda with the Chinese painting skills he has learned in the class on July 15th . 

“Communicating with foreign students is joyful and also meaningful.” Liu Jun said. He has taught thousands of foreign students Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting since 2010, with nearly a hundred classes opening in each semester. Foreign students know more about Chinese traditional culture through learning Chinese painting and some of them have already started spreading Chinese culture in their home countries. Such a sharing experience allows the world to get to know China better, and China gets to know the world through inviting more people to visit. 

By: Cai Wenting

Editors: Yin Shiyu, Qin Mian and Christopher Peter Clarke