For the best possible display, this portrait should be professionally framed.
A frame is not included with this artwork!
54cm x 39cm ≈ 21¼" x 15¼"
This depicts some "good luck gold fish" swimming though the lotus. The title is a play on words that means "In the lotus year have surplus (in your life)" but is pronounced the same as "Every year, have fish". You can also read it as "Every year, have surplus (more than enough).
Chinese artists often use titles with homophones like these - for fun. In fact, there is a type of Chinese comedy routine and story-telling called "cross talk" that uses such homophones with a humorous effect and many double meanings.
The creator of this artwork,
Pan Xiao-Ling, in her home.
This painting is by a woman named (Pan Xiao Ling).
She is from an area known as "Huxian" in the Shaanxi Province of China. Born in 1958, she began painting in 1974.
Her paintings were the first Chinese folk art ever accepted for a series of postcards officially issued by the state-run "China Post" (Chinese Postal Service).
Exhibitions of her work have been seen in America, Japan, and Singapore.
Pan Xiao-Ling's work is a combination of folk and modern art. Her inspiration comes from growing up in a small farming village in the middle of China. This influence really shows in her paintings which usually depict the simple village life in the countryside of China.
The artist used "shui fen" (paint powder and water - similar to gouache), on thick paper to create this painting.
If you get a piece of mat board cut for you, this Chinese painting will fit nicely in a standard 18" x 24" frame. If you want really wide matting, you could even use a 22" x 28" standard picture frame. You should probably get the matting cut professionally, but you can probably handle the rest yourself. Please see our step by step guide to framing Asian art if you want some tips.
This style of folk art was born in the 1950's just after the Revolution (when Chairman Mao took power). The art developed independently in Huxian (Hu County) in the Shaanxi Province for many years (the same Province where you will find the Terracotta Soldiers).
Things changed drastically when the Cultural Revolution came to pass in China. Within a few years, art was only acceptable if it portrayed some form of socialist propaganda, or showed some form of working together in pursuit of Mao's Communist ideals. This propaganda art seldom provided any pay for the artist who were instead forced into hard labor on communal farms to survive.
As the last of the Cultural Revolution sputtered to a stop with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, freedom began to slowly ring again when Deng Xiao-Ping took power. Deng Xiao-Ping brought China out of the dark ages, and away from "Maoism" and Communism (one of the greatest leaders in Chinese history in my humble opinion). By the 1980's, freedom to once again practice 3000 years of artistic tradition emerged. Chinese folk art was finally allowed to be what it was meant to be, a way to freely express various scenes of daily life and snapshots of Chinese village culture.
According to Chinese Government statistics, there are now more than 2000 folk artists in Southern China. Sixteen of these artists have been recognized as the "Famous Masters" of Chinese folk art by the Chinese Cultural Arts Bureau. These sixteen artists were recently honored by China Post with the issuing of a set of commemorative postage stamps. Of these sixteen masters, we represent three of them: Pan Xiao-Ling, Cao Quan-Tang, and Zhang Qing-Yi.
A lot has changed in the folk art community of China since I first started selling these paintings about 4 years ago.
Chinese folk artists have become rather famous, and sought after for exhibitions around the world. Recently these artists formed a labor union of sorts, to ensure that they receive a handsome sum for all of their paintings. Most of them have been able to improve their station in life through the sale of their artwork. One of these artists once said, "We've become good little capitalists, just like President Nixon dreamed of".
This item was listed or modified
Mar 7th, 2009
Gary's random little things about China:
If you are from my generation, you may remember the video game called "Frogger". It involved crossing a busy road while narrowly dodging cars and truck, often both in front of and behind you at the same time.
Well you can play real live Frogger every time you cross the street in China. It is perfectly normal to cross a four or six-lane road, one lane at a time. You stand motionless on the white, dashed line between lanes as cars and trucks whiz by you on both sides with only inches to spare. When the next lane is clear, you advance (there is no retreat in this game, that could get you killed, since drivers in China would never expect that).
If you did this in America, drivers would come to a screeching halt and think you were crazy (they might even tell you so, using colorful words and hand gestures). It is simply a different culture, or rather a different way of doing things in modern Chinese culture.