Farmers' paintings on display in lobby of Qingdao SCO summit

By Liu Xinqing, Li Jian| (CGTN)| Updated : 2018-06-13

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Entering the lobby of the SCO summit in Qingdao, guests will be welcomed by a giant mural of peonies specifically designed for the venue.

Standing at 14.5 meters tall and 4.5 meters wide, it is the largest piece of gongbi, or realist Chinese painting, ever created. But it's not only the size that makes this painting special, it's the people that created it – five farmers from Juye county in Shandong province.

All five of the talented farmers said they are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to such an important international event.

The farmers grew up in the villages of Juye county and have been painting for around three decades, mostly on subjects very familiar to people living in rural areas, which is why their paintings are so popular.


The five farmer artists create together. [Photo/CGTN]

Juye county, where these five painters are from, is widely known for being the "hometown of farmer painters." It has more than 15,000 farmers practicing this art form in over 50 villages. The revenue from paintings reached 500 million yuan ($78 million) in 2017 and is growing rapidly in scale and in the number of people coming back to this business.


Juye county was granted the name of “hometown of Gongbi painting" by the China Artists Association. [Photo/CGTN]


Villagers painting at the village cultural center. Most of the farmer painters are left-behind women whose husbands work out of town as migrant workers. [Photo/CGTN]


The draft of each painting needs to be revised several times before being finalized. [Photo/CGTN]


A finished painting of peony flowers, which are the national flower of China. [Photo/CGTN]

The SCO summit held on June 9 and 10 in Qingdao is one of the most important international events hosted by China this year. 

The five artists said they will continue to create paintings using the world around them as a subject, and hope more and more of their fellow villagers can join them to make a better future for their hometown together.