As Flowers-and-birds were popular categories in paintings in ancient China even until today’s contemporary art, where it is offering kind of unique aesthetic netters The name Of flowers-and-birds over ‘flowers, birds, fish and insects’ (E ; huh, onion, yј, chi¶Eng), with its board term used in a wide range of natural topics which actually including flowers, bamboo, trees(plant), fruit, animal, insects, fish, pets and etc.
Before being an independent school of paintings, flower-and-birds is developed rather late than others subjects paintings (figure and landscapes), which originated in Tang Dynasty and raised its maturity at the end of the Tang and Five Dynasties period. The flow to such genre painting initially regarding as ornamental pattern for daily objects, then become symbolic, metaphoric and allegorical elements in the background outfitter or landscape paintings and finally establish as a independent genre art that flower and bird painting as separated unique theme within main Chinese painting subjects.
To discuss about how birds-and-flower painting becomes a signify category in Chinese Painting, lets analysis its growth within Chinese paintings. From traditional Chinese paintings turns to the date of the Neolithic age which around six thousands years ago, the elements of human face expression, deer, frog and sis indicates that Chinese Start the painting as far as the Neolithic age.
Under the change of time and social conditions from primitive to modern times can reveal the importance Of painting and history in between. The habitations, nature and habits Of the human being in the ancient China gives birth to people to think and live and sharpen the Chinese painters and in turn to promote the development into art. Living with full of animals in the environment of nature, people start to have production with animals and the plants such as hunting grazing animals, agriculture and etc.
What more, people also create he spirit to worship the nature because they start to have religion and faith with the nature and living objects likes the animals of four great Quarters (Sheen, singling, queue, Guam), myths and legend with gaining more fortune to their elite. The strong visual impact emphasize the red cliff paintings which contain scenes of sacrificial rites, production activities, wars, hunting, animal grazing, dancing and daily life recorded on the rock and wall as beginning development towards flower and bird painting later.
At first, the cliff and rock painting before paper was invented, the art of silk minting was developing from the Buddhism to China from India, the carvings and temple produced to ensure the art of painting religious murals gained the possibility of paintings. Flowers and birds in colors and pattern serve as a decoration character on early objects could be seen first in Warring States (7th-4th centuries B. C) period that there are patterns of flowers and birds on pottery and bronze vessels, phoenix paintings on silk.
Therefore, this was the early indication of the Chinches people interest in such themes from recording life and spreading the spirit Of religion, myths and legend for fortune. While the flowers and birds are previously associated chiefly with figure paintings and Buddhist art, came into its own category as a separate branch of painting in the Five Dynasties. From the painting of Chou Fang, named Beauties wearing flowers, Tang Dynasty, proved that the figure painting with flower and bird theme inside and flower and bird only as a foil to the main theme as figure, landscape and Buddhist art.
This is a simple and plain with slowly development for the flower-and-bird painting where serving as symbolic, metaphoric and allegorical elements in the background of other subjects’ painting. Horse painting in Five Dynasties period like Archer on a horse by Lie Chuan, ink and color on silk; Eight Noblemen on a spring excursion by Zoo Yen; Evening view over stream and mountains by Dong Yuan; And in pre-Tang and Tang Dynasty figure painting, Han Can’s painting like Two horse and a Groom, the horse can be able to symbolize the mood of the human fugues depicted, the characters seldom directly look at each other.
Also, the animals and tree they sit beside or with the birds surround the figures or landscape paintings is definitely the essential tags and stepping stone to become once unique theme about flower and bird since their symbolic role can be observed in the context.
Turning to have further development and the crucial era, the five dynasties period is undoubtedly a period for shaping the style and technique Of flower and bird paintings, especially the representative painter, Human Quant, his painting of Rare birds and insects, Five dynasties; Zoo Jig’s painting named Loquat and Wild birds in Song dynasty are able to tell the maturity of flower and bird painting development. Flower and bird painting then becomes important genre Of art With variety Of quinine, unique aesthetic value, schools and well-established theoretical background.
Flowers and birds have close relationship in daily life. Getting along with the social development in different periods, not only the art and drawing technique development, but also the economical and political aspects to expand the possibilities between art and living, The economic prosperity and wealthy environment with open strategy with foreign countries and accepting different cultures, those reasons boost the further development of flower and bird paintings.
At the beginning, life sketching on flower and bird with realistic kills, then adding the emotion and symbolic meaning within the calligraphy, flower and bird and the court painting and more sables appear to express variety of value in flower-and-bird painting. Here comes the tradition of flower and bird painting evolved into two main styles or trends of painting namely the Gonging focused in more details, realism and Xiii in more expressionism, abstractionism.
At the turn of the 20th century, which the Chinese is already opened to the West in 1842 and achieve lots Of innovations in Chinese art. More different styles appeared by the 18th century such as Shanghai regional style, Lillian, etc. And brought the flower and bird paintings into international developments in modern art whose the artists studied and contacted art aboard. The modern paintings incorporated Euro-Japanese or different characteristics and styles regarded as a signing harbinger and continued to thrive and reflect its prosperity.
There are three main stages of modern flower and bird painting. First, from the beginning of 20th century, artists inspired by the advantages to western paintings and treasures of traditional Chinese paintings after the Opium War tortes the western culture instill in Chinese culture. The disharmony in both cultures develops new space for artists to try and create evolution to their style on the paintings.
Second, 20th to 50th century to the mid 70th century, a brand new stage of flower and bird painting and also within other art industries, new Republic of China encourage artists to work more, explore more about the public and peoples own life. Therefore, the flower and bird theme is able to become more suitable for them to represent and express more of their daily life within the period. Third, the Republic Of China and later, as the important stepping stone for artist o have space in order to reflect their creation and culture in art.
More freedom and rooms to create different styles and expression released from the Old traditional rules, the changes develop more variety of painting technique and styles Which practiced by such artist as Zoo Shah Anger Lie Haiku Who brought back the essential contemporary European traditions and movements and etc. The artist, IQ Basis, which mainly inspired by the Mining Dynasty artist, Xx Wee, and the early King Dynasty painter, GHz Dad. He was a major artist in support and reflecting the traditional and self established style in order to create a ewe evolution in flower and bird painting history.
Another major artist, Xx Bending developed his facility in drawing and oils and imitate pencil and chalk with Chinese brush in his artworks, as the establishment of Western-style art instruction in Nanjing, provide European modernist movements in favor to more conservative Parisian academic styles. From the beginning of the painting with flower and bird elements to as the independent theme in Chinese painting, there are achievements and great development with such painting between Chinese culture and art evolution.