In its transformation from a fishing village to a commercial hub, Shenzhen has been attracting talented people from different walks of life, including artists. Chen Xidan, a watercolor artist and native of Shanghai, was among early artists from other parts of the country to settle in Shenzhen and contribute to the development of art. To review Chen’s accomplishments, the Shenzhen Art Museum is showing dozens of his works through this weekend.
A painting by Chen Xidan. Photo from the museum's WeChat account
Since his relocation to Shenzhen in 1984, Chen has played a vital role in the city’s watercolor scene. In addition to his work as a painter, he has established a society for watercolor enthusiasts and organized exhibitions in China and abroad to show works by Shenzhen artists.
“Urban and water scenes are my preferred painting subjects. In my watercolor works, I focus on light, flow and texture. I aim to depict the solidness and depth of buildings, the light reflected by the metal objects and the movement of water,” said Chen.
“I like to paint the background first, using brushes saturated with water and color, then apply more colors and decisive strokes to depict lines and shapes and, lastly, often use extremely dry brushes to sweep out the texture. I have been painting for 60 years now. Watercolor has given me confidence and endless happiness. It has become part of me,” he said.
Chen started painting at the age of 17. He has initiated and founded many events and organizations, such as the Shanghai Watercolor Association, the Shenzhen Watercolor Society, Shanghai Quanhua Watercolor Art Gallery, and the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition. As one of China’s foremost watercolor painters, he has judged over 100 art shows.
Dates: Until June 26
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Venue: Shenzhen Art Museum, inside Donghu Park, Luohu District (罗湖区东湖公园内深圳美术馆)
Metro: Line 5 or 7 to Tai’an Station (太安站), Exit C and then take a taxi