This is... A man painting a peony on a hanging scroll using traditional Chinese technique.
At the time I took this ChinaSnap! I was... on Liulichang (琉璃厂) Street, which houses a large market for Chinese arts and Antiques in Beijing. The street is southwest of Tian’anmen Square.
I remember... wandering the streets of Liulichang to find just the perfect piece to remind me of Beijing once I moved back to the U.S. I found one scroll with yellow flowers that I liked in this littlel shop. I liked it because it mixed an ancient art form with a new perspective: unlike most scrolls where the painting is only in the center on the paper, this artist's flowers stretched on to the silk. The mix of old and new, and the artist's inclination to balk convention ever-so-slightly, really spoke to me. The artist asked if I would like for him to paint me one on the spot, and I had to agree. For my piece, I requested blue flowers. (Of course, I remember I had to bargain a bit on price as well!)
This qualifies as a ChinaSnap! because... It portrays a Chinese traditional art form with a modern twist, one instance of many in China where old ways are tweaked by new ideas.
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