Apple celebrates New Year with Chinese art

Updated 2017-01-24 11:00:34 China Daily
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Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists. Photos provided to China Daily

Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists. Photos provided to China Daily

Apple gets Chinese artists to present traditional themes in a modern way for Spring Festival.

As every Spring Festival approaches, Chinese households follow the custom of hanging paintings-usually colored woodblock prints-on their doors and walls to welcome the new year.

However, the tradition has changed a little in the digital age.

One such painting now appears on gadgets' screens, with the swords of door gods replaced by karaoke microphones. In addition, a door god holds a camera and a bird's cage, and behind him are skyscrapers and fancy cars.

The peace-themed Chinese Lunar New Year painting created by Beijing-based artist Ye Hongxing was first designed on a computer and then turned into a physical artwork-a mosaic of tens of thousands of stickers.

"I combined modern and traditional elements to make it interesting. They can be downloaded as wallpapers on phones and computers," says Ye.

She is one of the five artists invited by US tech giant Apple Inc to make paintings focusing on reunion, fortune, peace and harvest-traditional themes of Chinese woodblock prints for Spring Festival paintings that date back hundreds of years.

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Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists.

Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists.

Unlike Ye, whose paintings have both electronic and printed versions, the other four artists' works are only online. But pictures by all five artists are shown on screens at subway stops and on skyscrapers, and mostly on phone screens to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.

"New Year pictures are used to convey people's good wishes for the coming year. They often feature fish to herald good fortune and door gods to signal peace and safety," says Ye.

The 45-year-old was born in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Her family would hang pictures of door gods and New Year paintings of various themes on walls when she was a child. Apart from those heralding good fortune, some traditional works were created based on stories from Peking Opera, literature and folk legends.

"You can learn about people's lives in different periods of time through these pictures, such as how they dressed or what they ate. The pictures are different in different places in China," Ye says.

Ye's work has motifs that make the door gods look modern. In addition, the karaoke microphone, camera, bird's cage, high buildings, wheels, cars and a flying astronaut all reflect different aspects of our society, she explains.

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Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists.

Chinese New Year pictures take on a modern look in the creations by Chinese young artists.

Parts of the massive image are made up of stickers that are small in size and feature popular motifs like Hello Kitty and Angry Birds.

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