It is both accidental and inevitable for me to meet and get to know
with the young oil painter Yang Haifeng of the Art Institute of Henan
University and become friends with him despite different ages. It is
accidental because I have always thought the pupil of Mr. Li Boan is
inaccessible. Mr. Li Boan is a giant in the painting circle of Henan
which is rare in one hundred years. It is a pity that he died young and
Chinas painting circle lost a master. I admire Mr. Boan very much for
his humanness and arts, so as a fan of arts, I have been always studied
him. It is during the process of studying that I find that Mr. Li Boan
had three pupils in his lifetime, which is recorded in his collected
works. One of them is Chen Yumin whom Mr. Li received in 1971. He is a
researcher of the Military Museum of the Chinese Peoples Revolution, a
first-class artist, a councilman of Chinas Artists Association, the art
director of Painting and Calligraphy Academy of China Research Institute
of Culture and History. He is famous in Chinas painting circle; his
second pupil is Xu Jianguo whom he received in 1973, who is nationwide
famous for his sculptures. He has a doctors degree and is the director
of sculpture department of the Fine Arts College of Tsing-hua
University. He once participated in designing and creating the China
Redbud in Full Blossom Forever that Chinese central government gave to
Hong Kong as a gift and was awarded. He took part in the overall
designing of Beijing China Millennium Monument, Beijing World Park Fairy
Tale World, Shenzhen Childrens Playground, Childrens World; his third
pupil is Yang Haifeng whom he received in 1997.


  According to documents, Mr. Li Boan only received three pupils in
his lifetime. Among whom, Cheng Yumin and Xu Jianguo are nationwide
celebrated artists, whom I know something about. As for Yang Haifeng, I
knew nothing about him. Besides, Mr. Li Anbo died in 1998, so Yang
Haifeng is his last pupil. Therefore, I had a sense of mystery about
Yang Haifeng. Coincidentally, in 2009, I suddenly received a short
message from one of my literary friend Zheng Yiqun, the host of
Zhengzhou Dengxintang Art Club. He told me that Yang Haifeng would host
a painting exhibition in Zhengzhou. It was the fancy finding by sheer
luck what one has searched far and wide. At that time, it occurred to me
that it is the Yang Haifeng who I have searched for many years.
Therefore, ignoring poor health, I headed for Zhengzhou. It was my first
time to see the mysterious young painter Yang Haifeng. Since then, I
have often associated with him. During our intercourses, I admired not
only his achievements in arts but also his low-profile and character. We
have become bosom friends despite different ages because we often talked
about arts with each other.


  Firstly, in my study and research of artists, I not only review and
appreciate their art styles but also pay attention to their masters. As
an old saying goes, A good teacher produces a brilliant student, as a
pupil of Mr. Li Anbo, Yang Haifeng must have his strong points.


  There may be not too many people know the master of art Mr. Li Anbo
today, however, I heard the provincial leader Wang Shuquan speak highly
of Mr. Li. Since I want to talk about Yang Haifengs relationship with
his master, I will firstly introduce Mr. Li Anbo. Here, I will extract
several passages from Laments on Mr. Li Anbos Memorial Meeting so that
you can reorganize this master. At the beginning of the lament, it
writes, at 11 a.m. of May, 2nd, 1998, a star fell in Chinas painting
cirle. Mr. Li Anbo passed away only at the age of 54. China lost a very
excellent figure painter; Henan lost a very outstanding art editor;
society lost a most kind and excellent citizen; we lost a most trustable
loyal friend. This generated in every friend who know him a deep
inconsolable sorrow. We know that the precious things in Mr. Li Anbo
make the spiritual support for our countrys and our nations existence
and prosperity. Mr. Li Anbo didnt enjoy any celebrated title when he was
alive. He is the member and vice-editor of China Artist Association.
Thats all without anything special. However, in the circle of arts,
there has long been such a census: In modern China, he deserves being
one of the most excellent traditional Chinese figure painter. It is
cautious and fair to say that his achievements are rare in Chinas art
circle. Xu Beihong and Jiang Zhaohe introduced sketch into traditional
Chinese figure paintings. They made arduous efforts to start a new era,
leading a new trial amid thorns. They had gone, leaving the difficult
mission of expanding the trial to descendant art lovers. How many people
made painstaking efforts to achieve it? With his super courage and
fantastic art willing, Li Anbo, overcoming all criticism and
interference, widely drew nutrition from sister arts, combined them with
his arts and improved them, gradually forming his own distinguished
language style.It is true that in current Chinas painting circle, nobody
but Anbo dedicates so much into figure painting creation and behaved so


  I also want to extract a passage from the article about appraisal of
Mr. Li Anbo that Feng Jicai, former executive vice chairman of China
Federation of Literary and Art Circles and cultural authority, published
on China Daily, Wen Hui News, Writers Digest, Celebrity Biography and
Xinhua Digest and some other publications. Mr. Feng wrote, He (Li Anbo)
died of tiredness before his paintings. After he passed away, not many
people knew him, either, because he was so unknown. In the times of
information, such a giant blankness was left to a genius. Is this a
satire on mass media who praise themselves infinitely resourceful or an
indication of their inability and superficiality? I understand these
words not only as complaints about mass media but also an indication of
the helplessness and pity of art circle and other similar circles.


  Mr. Feng also wrote, When we further observe his application of
Chinese ink painting skills into his paintings, we will be surprised at
the painters extraordinary talents in painting realistically. He
integrated Chinese ink wrinkling and rubbing methods and sketch method
and combined the sense of volume in sculptures and freedom in paintings
without leaving any tracks. Therefore, ink becomes full of possibilities
and endless charms. Before him, who can create spacious and boundless,
thick and firm scenes only with ink? The prospect of Chinese traditional
paintings is a debate only among mediocre persons, but a boundless and
expansive land under the brushes of geniuses where the can maneuver


  However, the transformation of life is anything but easy! In the
transformation, talent is just a kind of necessary aptitude. It requires
that artists should wiling to drop human pleasures, suffer from physical
pains and labors, casting their bodies into their works little by little
until they sacrifice all they possess. In the times when people are
seeking hedonism, where can we find a saddhu like Mr. Li who treats art
as a religion? Although the environment of arts has changed, the nature
of arts remains the same. Money worship defeats innumerable talented
artists, but Mr. Li Anbo wasnt tempted at all. Then almost at the ending
of this century, an unprecedented Chinese traditional painter emerged.
There stands a giant at the lofty height of Chinese traditional figure


  Today, I spare no pains to record the above characters, because I
want to tell the people about my respect for Mr. Li Anbo. It is a pity
that nobody has ever systematically studied and publicized him.
Especially in today when we rejuvenate the country with culture, this
seems to be a large gap. Most of my literary friends think Mr. Li Anbo
is Henans giant painter that deserves being nationwide famous when
speaking of Henans painting circle. But all of these are helpless pity.
Of course, talking about Mr. Li and the fact that he received Yang
Haifeng as his last pupil is a writing method of my article. Mr. Li is
such a great master, and since he values Yang Haifeng, there must be
reasons for his valuing of Haifengs arts talents, and he is by no means


  Secondly, Yang Haifeng was born in a village in Xingyang County,
Henan in 1977. He is now teaching in Fine Arts Academy of Henan
University and he is a member of Chinese Artists Association. He has had
high talents for arts since childhood. When he studied in Zhengzhou
Normal University, his talents for arts were first discovered by a great
painter Xie Bingyi. Later, recommended by Mr. Xie, He was valued by Mr.
Li Anbo, who received him as a pupil. When learning from Mr. Li, Yang
Haifeng not only learnt the essence of art, but more importantly,
influenced by his teachers noble character and sterling integrity, he
learnt how to be an upright person.


  Here, I also want to extract several passages from Yang Haifengs
article titled Teacher, I Miss you that express his missing for Mr. Li.
The article was published in his book SHIZHE RUSI (time passes like the
water). In this article, Yang Haifeng wrote, He who teaches me for one
day is my father for life. Thinking of my teacher, I always can not help
but shedding tears. I want to record this sincerest experience of being
his pupil in honor of him.


  My relationship with my teacher should be attributed to Mr. Xie
Bingyi. It was through his recommendation that I have the fortune to
know my teacher. I have been fond of drawing and sketching since my
childhood. This fondness never stopped until I was enrolled by Zhengzhou
Normal University. In April, 1997, I screwed enough courage to ask for
Mr. Xies guidance. He examined my paintings carefully and in the end, he
said, You must be somebody in future. Recommended by Mr. Xie, I met Mr.


  I am a child of farmers and had never seen the world. So in the
strange place, I felt more uneasy. I hadnt expected that Mr. Li and his
wife didnt dislike and avoid me- a country student; instead, they cared
about me on my life and study very much. When I first met Mr. Li, he
wasnt in a good health and practiced qigong on every evening. His wife
worried about his health very much and repeatedly reminded me not to
talk with him for too long. My teacher drew most of his scrolls, and you
can image in what state he specially found time to receive me- a student
from a secondary technical school. Afraid that I was living a tight
life, my teacher often said to me, if you are in lack of money, just let
me know and I can help you. I talked sincerely. Until today, there is a
big box of paint for Chinese traditional painting in my luggage, which
is given by my teacher. I didnt use it and have collected it as a
precious gift. After he passed away, I cherish it more and always bring
it with me.


  With my teachers direction, in 1997, I was enrolled in Fine Arts
College of Henan University with the best grade in Henan Province.
Later, I felt that only this thing was a comfort for Mr. Li. In the
process of taking examinations, my teacher wrote a recommendation letter
for me and asked me about my scores on telephone. He even carefully
directed and corrected my daily gouache work. It was my teacher that
gave me confidence and courage for taking examinations, helping me to be
admitted by the university successfully. My university was in Kaifeng,
so I had fewer opportunities to meet Mr. Li, but he cared more about me
than ever. Each time I visited his home, he always specially found time
to accept me. In retrospection, I should not have bothered him, because
every minute and even every second is important for him. My plan to
inspect and paint from nature independently in Tibet is guided by my
teacher. He looked excited when talking about his trip to Tibet when he
was young. He stayed in Yushu for as long as one month, during which
time he had a fever because of poor health. People who have been to
Tibet know what catching a fever means, but he insisted on. However, he
looked at ease when talking about this thing. He talked about his
feeling about Tibet, best routine and season for inspection and methods
of collecting materials and even necessary clothes, medicines and
equipment, all clear and in detail. Without his encouragement and
instruction, I didnt have the courage to set my feet on the plateau.


  Those who saw Mr. Lis works would be shocked by his strong and sharp
painting style, which was because that Mr. Li had equal broad bosom. In
out chatting, Mr. Li preferred listening to me. He would nod with smile
when he agreed with me. If he had a different opinion, he would not
interrupt me, instead, he would give his opinion when I finished. I,
young and aggressive, didnt like the style of decadence in the circle of
painting, but Mr. Li told me sincerely that we should respect others
feelings. In my memory, he never depreciated other painters, even those
whose painting style is totally different. Besides, he could also always
merits in their works. Compared with those who elevate themselves only
by depreciating others, Mr. Li was so tolerable.


  I, young and flippant, often lost direction, while Mr. Li treated
gains and losses in life very calmly. He often said frankly that many
superficial things in life can be given up, and we shouldnt fight with
others for too much. We should have our own life principle and targets
and head unswervingly towards them. Mr. Li did as what he said. He didnt
like fighting with others for gains and losses on fame and wealth. A
decade cast a sword, and he really realized his lofty life ideal.

The Long Road of Art

  We can see from Yang Haifengs article that he not only learnt art
from Mr. Li but also understood the meaning of being an upright person
from Mr. Lis words and actions.

  I was born in Jiangsu China in 1959.When I was in the primary
school, I changed my name.

  Mr. Lis labor on Yang Haifeng wasnt in vain. Haifeng has indeed
scored proud achievements on art creation in the past years. He has
become a new star active in Chinas painting circle in recent years. He
drew many works and most of them were chosen to be exhibited on many
large exhibitions.

  The three consecutive years of natural calamities in 1960, 1961 and
1962, the political campaign of criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius,
opposing rehabilitation of right-leaning elements, and the overthrowing
of the Gang of Four

  His paintings were successively exhibited on Modern China in Artists
Eyes- Chinas Oil Painting Exhibition; The Light of Love-Exhibition of
Modern Chinese Famous Oil Painters in Aid of Poor Mothers; The First
Exhibition of Zhengzhous Arts; China Today-the Exhibition in Honor of
the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of New China (Korean Chon-buk
National Gallery); the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works and the
First Exhibition of Works Winning Art Award, Creation Award and Works
Nominated; Uncover- Discover-the First Exhibition of Works by Chinese
New Artists; the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Oil Painting);
the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Water-colors); Chinese Arts
Tour around the World-Exhibition in Paris, France; 2009 Great Eastern
Modern Exhibition of Oil Paintings in Celebration of the 60th
Anniversary of the Establishment of the Chinese Peoples Republic of
China; the 11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Oil Painting); the
11th Art Exhibition in Henan Province (Water-color); the Third Beijing
International Art Biennale in 2008; the Third Exhibition of National Oil
Paintings of Sceneries, Landscape and Figures; the Third Exhibition of
National Young Artists Art Works; Gathering Sandcastles Exhibition of
Chinese New Paintings; Exhibition of Works of Art Teachers in Colleges
and Universities of Henan Province; the Seventh National Exhibition of
Water-color and Pastel Paintings in 2005; the National Exhibition of Art
Works in Honor of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Speech Given by
Chairman Mao Zedong on Yanan Art Conference and so on.

  Having burned willow tree sticks into charcoal bars, I used them to
draw pictures on the ground and wall, color the black and white photos
with watercolor, red faces, red lips, green army uniforms

  Besides, many of his works on exhibitions won awards: nomination for
award in the 11th National Exhibition of Art Works (Oil Painting),
excellent work in 2009 Great Eastern Modern Exhibition of Oil Paintings
in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of the
Chinese Peoples Republic of China (top prize); excellent work in the
Third Exhibition of National Oil Paintings of Sceneries, Landscape and
Figures (top prize); gold prize of Exhibition of Works of Art Teachers
in Colleges and Universities of Henan Province; gold prize the 11th Art
Exhibition in Henan Province (Oil Painting); gold prize in the 11th Art
Exhibition in Henan Province (Water-color) and so on.

  During my childhood, I used to writing Spring Festival couplets and
selling them ,painting picture posters, depicting the scenes of Learning
from Dazhai in Agriculture and Learning from Daqing in Industry in the
grain station and farming machinery factoryOn the billboards of mining
bureau, hospitals and institutions, I painted picture posters depicting
such revolutionary heroes and heroines as Li Yuhe and Li Tiemei as well
as Huangshan pine Trees and Chairman Mao toes to Anyuan.

  His works that were recorded and published include: Works of Yang
Haifengs Oil Paintings, Art, Chinese Oil Painting, Art Observation, HI
Art, Art Market, Artist, Gallery Industry, Chinese Gallery Federation,
Haite Painting Boat and some other art publications and collections of
exhibited works.

  In 1977 , I took part in entrance examination for Nanjing Art
Institute and scored rather high in sketch and colors, but I was not
enrolled, the reason being that I was too young and older applicants
should be admitted with recommendation.

  His works that have been collected include: the oil paintings The
Battle of Shanghai and Spark amid the Reeds are collected by the
headquarters of a group army of Jinan military region; the oil painting
Portrait is collected by Shanghai Gangtai Gallery, the oil painting
Undergraduate is collected by Shanghai Great Eastern Art Centre; the oil
painting Suspending for One Minute Everyday is collected by the
committee of Beijing International Art Biennale; the oil painting
Portrait is collected by Dahe Newspaper Office.

  Luckily, I joined the army in 1978 and had a chance to temper myself
in the great melting pot of the army. The soldier-carrying army train
docked at the station and I rode an army green Beijing jeep for the
first time.

  Thirdly, Appreciation of Yang Haifengs Paintings

  College entrance examination was restored, and for the first time,
dressed in green army uniform, with a red star on my cap and a pair of
red badges on the collars, painted male and female models in the

  From 2005 to now, Haifeng has painted a series of works about
marriage customs, which are represented by Whose Red Sailboat. This work
consists of two pictures. The work describes a group of marriage scenes
in a village. Fellow countrymen are watching the marriage of a young
couple. The bride is cleverly arranged at the right lower corner of the
picture while there the bridegroom doesnt show. The work is named Whose
Red Sailboat, prompting peoples boundless imaginary. Outside the
boisterous crowd, there is a little girl who is accompanied by an
ordinary dog. She stares directly at viewers outside the picture as if
she has seen through the vanity of the world while viewers also stare at
this innocent and carefree country girl. There is a indescribable wonder
both inside and outside the picture. As for the overall arrangement of
the work, a horse can run in the sparse space while wind cannot blow
through in dense space, forming a strong contrast of vision. The
background adopts the color of silk in Chinese ancient paintings, which
is simple and thick. The painting of figures adopts the painting method
that combines western realistic skills and fine brushwork skills of
Chinese Song Dynasty, making full use of painting to make the figures
vivid and live, especially the children in the hug of adults, which are
an apt addition to the picture. The expression in the childrens eyes is
described both innocent and meaningful, expressing something outside the
picture that can not be fully expressed by words. The whole work
achieves comprehensive mastery and is full of whims and fancies, and it
deserves to be an excellent work that can pass through generations.
Haifeng is also creative in mounting the work. He, getting inspiration
from Chinese traditional mounting method, uses white as the color of the
frame, which is similar with the Chinese traditional paintings exhibited
on vertical shaft when it is hung in the exhibition hall. Combining all
wonderfulness into one, this piece of work was nominated in the 11th
National Exhibition of Art Works in 2009. Its size isnt big, which is
72cm*36cm*2, so its nomination has the wonder of achieving great with
small things. The authority of the national art exhibition hosted by the
cultural department, China Federation of Literary and Art and Chinese
Artists Association is undoubted. Haifeng won this important award at
such a young age, which can be described by a sentence once you get to
be famous for one thing, everyone will know you. It is not by chance
that he won the prize. He stood out from nationwide multiple oil
painters because his unique talent convinced judges and viewers. Taking
a comprehensive look at Haifengs series works of marriage customs, we
can find that although he describes the marriage scenes in villages of
western Henan, he isnt confined within simple duplication and record of
scenes of marriage customs. His works always guide viewers to grasp and
appreciate the implied meaning expressed in his paintings, including
puzzlement about modern Chinese peoples marriage situation and outsiders
inner struggle and hesitation. This is the soul of his repeated painting
pictures about marriage customs. When talking about catching figures
appearance with his cameras, Haifeng says that village kids stares at
him with their black and big eyes. Plain and simple children dont have
the notion of cameras and they will not give you stereotype poses like
city kids. They just stare at the camera with their bright and clean
eyes while standing there without movements. Their eyes possess cleanest
and holiest beauty, which is the great beauty in human world, simple but
shocking. Haifeng is indulged in portraying the expression in childrens
eyes. He tries to pass this kind of touching to viewers, helping more
people to understand and appreciate this simple and pure great beauty in
human world. Famous oil painter Cao Xinling once commented Whose Red
Sailboat and spoke highly of it. He said, there are many national
cultural elements in the work Whose Red Sailboat: a large space of
blankness, pictures without background, figure portfolio through inverse
perspective, the application of perspective of high and remote method in
Chinese traditional figure paintings. He thinks a lot over his
composition of his picture, his dealing with figures and the adoption of
the color of Chinese ancient painting silk as the color of a large
space. This is not painted by random but needs training and experience
and a profound grasp of the two cultures of both Chinese traditional
painting and western realistic oil painting. He also needs courage to
combine these two cultures together. As a young artist at his thirties,
I think he has a large space for art and the quality for further

  In1980,my oil painting entitled Maternal Love participated in the
Second National Youth Fine Arts Exhibition and was awarded the third

  Mr. Cao also said, Whose Red Sailboat tells a story of young people
and is definitely not a kind of sentiment that we in our sixties can
figure out, it is young peoples understanding about marriage, life, life
partner and happy events, sparked with a feeling of non-front-edge and
non-cynicism, which seems to possess folk-custom in his paintings.
Gathering of common people and their pursuit of beauty are infused with
poetic sensation in his picture. His picture is small, and in fact, many
technical problems have been covered by his conception and painting
forms. The sensation and national forms in the whole picture are enough
to make his pictures spark and make him stand out with a small picture
in an art exhibition with large numbers of pictures which are exhibited
like photos. Many young people judge the 11th National Art Exhibition as
a photo exhibition for most of them are like photos, uninteresting and
low in art content. But Yang Haifeng has unique thinking about Chinese
culture and combination of eastern and western cultures. He also has new
understanding about folk customs and expectation for life as a young
man. His work has both spiritual and cultural content. Therefore, his
picture is not big but dynamic. His overall handling of the picture
opens a new idea for realistic painting. He forms a contrast between
reality and unreality and connects with culture by putting realistic
painting in an unreal space. The combination of western realistic
painting and eastern perspective handing makes the sizes of figures and
various relationships free, blessing the picture with eastern appeal and
strong modern sense. For a people in his thirties, he has adequate
thinking about realistic and classic, eastern and western. He is a true
painter and possesses all qualities for painting good pictures. He is
not a speculator and you can tell at one glance that he is a young

  In 1981, I went to Beijing by Boeing 737 and entered for National
Youth Oil painting Forum on behalf of Qinghai and exchanged autographs
with such renowned painters as Ai Xuan, Luo Zhongli, Zhou Chunya, Xu
Mangyao, Liang Zhaotang and Shang Ding. We drew cartoons for each other.

  Apart from a large number of figure paintings about marriage
customs, Yang Haifeng also created many portrait pictures, which also
made proud achievements. His oil painting Portrait won the excellent
work prize in the Third Exhibition of National Oil Paintings of
Sceneries, Landscape and Figures (top prize) and is collected by
Shanghai Gangtai Gallery. In 2009, the oil painting Undergraduate won
the excellent work prize in Great Eastern Modern Exhibition of Oil
Paintings in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of
the Chinese Peoples Republic of China (top prize) and is collected by
Shanghai Great Eastern Art Centre. Haifengs prizes in national
exhibition of figure oil paintings lay his academic status in Chinas
field of oil figure painting creation. Haifeng becomes a raising new
star in Chinas oil painting circle. Haifeng develops his own style in
his works of oil figure and portrait painting with creative picture
composition, cautious shapes, bold and coordinated use of colors and
free sketches. Yang Haifeng paints without doubts and with freedom. We
can see his brushes and temper in his pictures. The character of figures
in his pictures is vivid and live. The fact that Haifengs oil painting
works often participate in national exhibitions and wins prizes has
fully proved that Haifengs works have gained their status in the circle
of painting, which is fair payback for Haifengs years of persistent
dedication in the circle of painting.

  In search of art, I set my foot steps all over the Qinghai-Tibetan
plateau and the south and north of the Tianshan Mountain range along
with the maneuvering of the army.

  Fourthly, after Yang Haifeng traveled and learned in Europe on
business when he felt the true essence of oil painting art at the origin
place of oil painting. His oil painting made new progresses.

  In the 1990s, I went to Louvre in Paris to copy masterpieces and

  Oil painting comes from the west. It should be a pity if one who
drew oil paintings in China has never learnt and studied in the west.
Haifeng focuses on oil painting. Although he comes from a village, he
has long cherished the dream of touring around Europe. He is fortunate
and chance found him. After a long examination from his work place, he
got the chance of being sent to study in St. Petersburge University in
Russia on public funds by Henan University. It was hard to have this
chance. Before leaving for Europe, I once invited Haifeng to Shangxiu to
see him off. He attached much importance to value this chance. When he
first told me the news, he was excited into tears. After arriving in
Europe, he wrote many letters to me, telling me that he would make good
use of this chance, carefully review different nations culture and art,
get familiar with representative works of European traditional works and
their creation process and improve and enrich his own oil painting.
Haifeng was thirty years old and was down to the earth. He had thorough
plan and clear target for this tour to Russia. I read from his letters
that apart from normal course learning, he spent most of his spare time
in galleries. He visited Winter Palace and Russia National Gallery
almost everyday. On holidays, he would visit places of historical
interest around St. Petersburg urban areas: Church of Our Savior on
Spilled Blood, Vyborg, Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan Cathedral, and St. Isaacs
CathedralHe was in a hurry everyday, touring around areas surrounding
St. Petersburg. He also went to Moscow twice. He began his art tour to
Italy in August. He visited Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany,
Switzerland, Austria, Zach and Italy in the end. Afterwards, he visited
Milan, Florence, Roma and Venice. In October, he started his art tour
around Paris, France and visited countries in Northern Europe, Holland
and Germany and so on. The Uiffizi Palace in Florence, Italy is a
classic art palace that art lovers all over the world are longing for.
Haifeng saw the representative works of almost all great artists during
the Renaissance, including Botticelli, Vinci, Titian and Drer and so on.
He was convinced by delicate, beautiful and great art created by
Italians. Vatican City in Roman chocked him up with full emotions. After
being renovated, the wall painting on the Sistine Chapel painted by
Michelangelo has sparking and bright colors. It makes you feel that the
giant angels above your head can walk out of the pictureParis in France
made Haifeng excited very much. He visited the Louvre twice and the
works of Delacroix left a deep impression on him! Amsterdam in Holland,
Vienna in AustriaRembrandt, Hals, Monnai, Van GoghHaifengs apprehension
of art was greatly improved! The art tour to Europe gave Haifeng the
chance to visit many famous galleries. He watched famous works, toured
famous cities, broaden his horizon and increased his knowledge. Haifeng
also had calm mediation over arts in Europe, Russia and China. When he
first came to Russia, Russias collection of art deeply shocked Haifengs
mind, but during his visits to Italy and France, Haifeng saw originate
European art and understood that Russians had duplicated the art in
Italy and France, so Russian art fell behind that of Italy and France in
scope and depth. It is hard to surpass through imitation. Only opening a
new path can obtain the dignity of existence. However, Chinese peoples
art has its own system, totally different from Europeans appreciation of
beauty, which is the most precious spiritual wealth that Chinese
ancestors left to their descendants. If Chinese people want to win a
place in the circle of oil painting, they must combine western materials
with traditional Chinese appreciation of beauty, creating new oil
paintings different past European traditional art.

  I saw the famous sculpture Thinker by Auguste Rodin, Mona Lisa by Da
Vinci and toured Paris City Hall and Notre Dame de paris.

  After apprehending the true essence of art, Haifeng immediately
returned to his hometown and drew a batch of scenery paintings from
nature- it was the dry mountain areas that his root lied at. Soon, Xinyu
and I went to Kaifeng for the purpose of visiting him and saw his new
oil paintings. Haifeng brought two western pictures from Europe to let
me appreciate: one of them is a human body oil painting drawn by a top
student named Andre in Rapin Art College. The picture had a typical
Russian oil painting style. Haifeng said Andre was very talented, so he
was very proud and often contradicted his teacher, but his paintings
were good and won many praises and prized in Rapin Art College. The
other picture was a high imitated printed work of an oil painting
Haifeng brought from the State Tretyakov Gallery for me. The painting is
the representative work of the founder of Russian ambulant school
Kramskoy Nameless Girl. The print of the painting was very delicate, and
the figure in the painting was noble, elegant and very beautiful. I also
carefully examined and appreciated two oil pictures that Haifeng created
after returning home. One of them was drawn after he came back, into
which he integrated new skills he had learnt in Europe. It was a
portrait of a girl in red and the background was pink. The work had a
fresh style, provoking peoples thought. The other was a work of scenery.
It was a sketch of sceneries in a forest that Haifeng drew in the
Russian Rapine College. The sunlight shines through green forest and
several cars stops at the road side. He was free at drawing and painted
vividly and naturally. This painting all used Russian painting
materials, which was delicate. It was a masterpiece among his scenery
paintings. From the two pictures, I felt that Haifeng made a great
progress in skills. His works were gentler and felt freer when painting.
The works possessed unique poetic sensation and the painting materials
were more delicate. The can be called excellent works. When asked why
the works were so good, Haifeng explained that when he drew sceneries in
Russia, he was calm. He often drew pictures at outdoors and went to
galleries to see masters works if he had some problems. He got
inspiration and enlightenment form masters works and follow them. In
this art atmosphere, it was difficult not to draw good paintings.
Besides, European painting materials had good quality and complete
types, laying a good foundation for drawing excellent works. Most new
works at home were sceneries painted in hometown. Although the scenery
was dry country areas, he had a indescribable sense of intimacy and felt
at ease when painting, so he could paint freely and easily and get them
done without stopping.

  The 21st China Art Salon was held in Nancy, France and the Chinese
national flag was raised for the first time, and I was received by
Chinese ambassador Wu Jianmin.

  With the background of having been to Europe for learning, Haifeng
became more famous in the circle of painting. In order to prepare for an
important national meeting, with mass election and approval of the Jinan
military region, a group army of Jinan military region invited him to
draw works about military affairs for important spots in the military
region. The content of the picture were Liberation of Shanghai and
Shangjiabang. He paid much attention to this. From a macro perspective,
he did a meaningful thing for his country, and from a micro perspective,
this was a practicing opportunity for him. In order to do it well, he
stayed at home for only two days in New Spring Festival and headed for
Kaifeng to make preparation in the afternoon of lunar New Years Day. He
specially went to Shanghai and Changshu to take photos as materials and
saw historical sites during the war years, fully respecting objective
historical facts. The army tried it best to coordinate. It borrowed the
military uniform that warriors wore at that time from Beijing Military
Museum, transferred out Arisakarifles and Buck pistols made in Zhongshan
that were cultural relics from a arsenal of a brigade. The principals of
the army gave guidance by himself. Political commissar Yang, vice corps
commander Lu and Secretary Tang participated in the painting composition
and arrangement of figures poses. The army provided Haifeng with a
super-big office room with good conditions, picked up full-time models
with proper image from warriors, trying their best to guarantee
successful painting. It took long and painstaking work and half a year
to finish the two pieces of works. When the workers were hung on the
wall, present principals and warriors were convinced by works art charm
and gave compliments. The works were displayed at the army regions
important places and were a perfect complement to its environment.
Principals also spoke highly of the two pictures and used them as the
cultural card of this group army and paid a lot for collecting them.
This experience will start a new glorious chapter for Haifengs art life.

  In recent years, I toured Europe, and held solo exhibitions, joint
exhibition and artistic exchanges in Europe.

  After drawing the works for the army, Haifeng didnt stop and fully
dedicated himself into creating his new work When the Mountain is
covered with Full Blossom. The work continued the topic about marriage,
but the size expanded from two pictures to three pictures and the
background was richer. There were connections and breakthroughs. We can
feel from his pictures that Haifeng is advancing and trying new methods.
Haifeng didnt forget participating in society activities. At the
beginning at this year, his works participated in Modern China in
Artists Eyes- Chinas Oil Painting Exhibition. Later, being invited by
China Song Qingling Foundation, he donated his still object oil painting
Five Flavors of Life to participate in auction. All collected money was
used to help poor mothers in western regions. Speaking of this, Haifeng
expressed that he was born in a poor family, so he knew clearly the
arduousness of poor mothers. It was a comfort for him to help those in
need of help with the money collected with his works.

  Enlightened by Western classicism, romanticism, modernism, abstract,
realistic painting and installation, influenced by the ancient Roman
statue with broken arms, Terracotta Warriors and Horses at Xian China.
After 10 years of study and research, I combined oil paint and sculpture
on canvas and formed my unique artistic style, 3-D oil paintings on the
plane canvas

  I have just begun studying Yang Haifeng, but I have seen his
potential for art. At the end of this article, I want to recite a
passage written by Ma Guoqiang, the chairman of Henan Literary
Federation, Chinese famous figure painter, to congratulate and wish that
Haifeng will score more achievements in the future art path.

Wang Xiuzhang

  Chairman Ma wrote:

October 12, 2012

  Yang Haifeng is an excellent painter with great potential for
development who stands out in Henan oil painting circle and even among
nationwide young oil painters in recent years. He is young and vigorous,
industrious and enterprising. He sticks to the creation path of realism.
He dose very well in both realism and expression. His works are both
realistic and expressive, being proper in the combination of expression
both from objective and subjective perspectives. He is a hopeful relay
runner in continuing Chinese traditional oil painting in modern times.
He has firm basic skills and a strong ability for realistic painting and
his expression of events of figures is profound in his works. He will
have a good prospect for art development!