The walls inside International School of Beijing are brightening up with the help of well-known painter Lu Yongzhong from Shanghai. Founder of an artist community focused on Jinshan Peasant Painting, Lu is creating beautiful, vibrant murals on the walls inside the main reception area of the school. These murals depict a style that blends different kinds of Chinese folk art into evocative scenes from everyday life in the countryside. The project takes several weeks and is scheduled to finish by the end of the calendar year. After Chinese New Year, he hopes to return and enhance other major hallways within the school.
Lu Yongzhong has been painting since he was a young child. In his late teens, he realized that he was drawn to the folk peasant style of painting. Born in the countryside, he wanted to create art reflecting the Chinese life he knew.
Very successful in Shanghai, Lu owns a studio and museum there. He teaches students and displays some of his magnificent artwork, including a 15-meter long mural that took him four years to paint, and which has placed him in the Guinness Book of World Records. People can see (and buy) his work in Shanghai, Hong Kong, France, Japan, and other places in various museums and shops. At the moment, some of his original artwork and gift items are available for sale at ISB.
Lu’s original artwork is done in oil paintings as well as tempera paint. He uses bright, vibrant colors and the paintings are in a variety of sizes. Large paintings (RMB 800) take three-four days to complete; smaller ones (RMB 300) about two days. Exciting news is that in March of 2011, he will come and work with ISB students in the art classrooms, teaching oil painting technique once a week. What an experience for the students!
Lu visits with students, teachers, staff, parents and guests during the day as he stands beside his work. At night he works at completing the school’s walls. Once the murals at the school are complete, Lu wants to have a personal exhibition of his work and he’s considering opening up a studio and museum right here in Beijing.
ISB’s new head of school, Tarek Razik, knew Lu from the Shanghai American School, where his artwork graced that school’s walls. The artist is also well known by the art instructors of ISB and other schools, so connections were made well ahead of time when this project idea came up. Tarek brought with him a real sense to revitalize entry areas of the school; each mural has been selected based on the overall look and how it might bring more color and warmth to ISB.