Discovering the Forbidden City

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In the course of creating the Forbidden City series of works. Jiang Guofang derived inspira-tion from the luxurious rooms and traditional Chinese decorations and received even moreinspiration from the people who lived in them princesses, empresses and imperial concu-bines. But the painter did not want to recreate "true history" in the traditional sense, nor didhe want to put rigidly on the canvas the scenes of that time and the way the specific peopleexpressed their thought. The painter has no intention to explain the past timel The aspect ofthe pictures as records of actual events was covered up. by the non-historic method ofcreation. Jiang Guofang has actually imparted a new content to historical themes and used itas a way of expressing his personal concept of art. The painter himself said. "1 look upon allthe pictures as cultural products. Like all other cultural products, they must be inspired bycertain things. But I am not writing a history book. nor do I want to explain history. Not a singleone of my pictures involves a specific person or event. The history of the Qing dynastyprovided me with only the raw material so that I can pursue my way of art."
  —— Roberto Del Signore, a well-known Italian art critic
We should say that Jiang Guofang's courage in art comes from his confidence in the powerof his art. A powerful art is often heavy. Looking at Jiang Guofang's works, one cannot feelcheerful, but can feel their heaviness and even the heaviness of his drawing board dyes andpainting brush. He painted not only the Forbidden City and the people in it. but also hisfeelings and thought. His feelings and thought are heavy, so are the pictures He has paintedthe heaviness of the history of Chinese imperial dynasties of several thousand years, theheaviness of the last imperial dynasty, and also the shadowy heaviness of something that isstill there.Choosing the Forbidden City means choosing its heaviness and that it cannot be replaced.When the pctures are forceful and heavy, they cannot be replaced. They belong to JiangGuofang's distinctive artistic creations.
  —— Li Wenru. Vice-President of the Palace Museum
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Sample pages of Discovering the Forbidden City (ISBN:9787119058276)
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Discovering the Forbidden City