|Traditional Chinese Paintings
Colour Pottery with pattern of dancing, Neolithic Period
Chinese traditional painting dates back to the Neolithic Period about eight thousand year ago. The coloured pottery with painted animals, fish, deer, and frogs excavated in the l920's indicates that during the Neolithic Period the Chinese had already started to use brushes to paint.
Chinese traditonal painting is highly regarded throughout the world for its theory, expression, and techniques. Different from Western paintings, a Chinese painting is not restricted by the focal point in its perspective. The artist may paint on a long and narrow piece of paper or silk all the scenes along the Yangtze River. The picture Mulen Retures Home provides an example. It is based on an old story in which Mulan, disguised as a boy, joined the any in her father's stead and returned home after the war was won. In the picture one can see what people are doing both outside and inside the courtyard and the house. It can be said that the adoption of shifting perspective is one of the charcteristics of Chinese Painting. Why do the Chinese artists emphasize the shifting perspective? They want to break away from the restriction of time and space and include in their pictures both things which are far and things which are near. Also, the artists find that in life people view their surroundings from a mobile focal point. The shifting perspective enables the artists to express freely what he wants.