Art study fever sweeps Chinese provinces

The lure of college entrance is enticing many Chinese youngsters to paint and sketch
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A student practices drawing, 2013. Photo courtesy of The People's Daily.
A student practices drawing, 2013. Photo courtesy of The People's Daily.

As students across the globe begin their first term at college, it might be timely to consider the scramble for higher education places across the world.  The People's Daily (owned and published by the Chinese Communist Party, and so perhaps not an unalloyed source of truth) reports that prospective students are turning to arts tuition in high numbers, not only in the country's highly cultured big cities, but also in the less culturally cultivated provinces.

The paper explains, that, if a student is sufficiently talented, "he will be admitted by an art college with relatively lower academic scores. Many students who have never studied fine arts, performances or broadcasting are able to obtain [a] good result only through an intensive training in a short period. So art study becomes a shortcut for the students to pass the college entrance examinations."

 

Ten students practice sketching in the dormitory of an art training centre, Neihuang county, Henan province. Image courtesy of The People's Daily
Ten students practice sketching in the dormitory of an art training centre, Neihuang county, Henan province. Image courtesy of The People's Daily

Nevertheless, an arts education is not an easy option. The People's Daily also states that during so-called "devil training" sessions, "except for the sleep time of four to five hours a day, [prospective students] will spend almost all the day painting." That's an awful lot of brush strokes, wherever you're learning.

Read the full story here. And, whatever your work load, may we recommend our great new text, The Chinese Art Book, which presents a definitive selection of 300 works, from the earliest dynasties to the new generation of contemporary artists enlivening the global art world today. Order it here, now.


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