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The Renaissance Man


  Feng Qiyong is a renowned cultural figure inChina. At age 90, he still relishes his studiesof the novel A Dream of Red Mansions aswell as painting, calligraphy and photography.

  It is difficult to identify him with a single occupation.He is humble too: when referred to as a “Masterof Chinese Classics,” he politely dismissed such a title.A talented man with profound wisdom and a broadperspective, Feng is noted for his considerable accomplishmentsin calligraphy, painting and photography.

  When practicing calligraphy, Feng follows the styleof “Two Wangs” — Wang Xizhi (303-361), reputed as“Calligraphy Sage,” and his son Wang Xianzhi. In additionto the decorative script, Feng also strokes standardscripts elegantly. His handwriting is refreshingand poignant. It’s natural, yet restrained by rules; itstrictly follows certain techniques. His calligraphy wasdisplayed along with other great contemporary Chinesecalligraphers at the Ten Senior Beijing Calligraphers’Work Show sponsored by the China Federationof Literary and Art Circles and China CalligraphersAssociation.

  He learned to paint when he was young underthe guidance of master painter Zhu Jianqiu (1891-1965). When Feng reached middle-age, he was alsogreatly influenced by a dozen other renowned contemporaryChinese painters. He started painting flowersand plants, of which his favorites are calabash, purpleivy, peonies and grapes. Flowers and plants under hisbrush come off natural and simple, but elegant, forminga singular painting style. Later, Feng turned tolandscapes. One of his masterpieces is a large landscape(1.5m x 4m), Ranges upon Ranges, painted withfine strokes. He developed the genre of “heavy-coloredwestern landscape” featuring rich colors. His westernlandscapes have been praised as “surprising, colorful,gorgeous and excellent,” and critics even credit himwith creating a completely new school of landscapepainting: the northwestern school, which starkly contrastsboth historical southern and northern schools.

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