For the multitalented Lin Dihuan, life is not fully lived if you do only one thing or have just one career. Liu Xiangrui reports.
Though not a professional artist, Lin Dihuan is wildly popular as a painter, thanks to his works such as a series of ink-and-brush paintings dedicated to the Chinese 24 Solar Terms as well as two series of stage settings tailored-made for the phenomenal TV show Rendezvous With Chinese Poetry.
The 43-year-old teaches communication and design at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.
Lin, a Guangdong native, became a celebrity after his 24 Solar Terms work was chosen as the illustration for the UNESCO heritage listing application.
His illustrations play an important role in getting the 24 Solar Terms－a treasure trove of knowledge developed through years of observing the sun's annual movements－added to UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2016.
According to Lin, he spent nearly three months combining traditional Chinese elements with more contemporary aesthetics to produce the 24 Solar Terms series, which were originally created for his book on photography in 2012.
The paintings were based on his observations of rural life, which is closely connected with the solar terms. And he used circular compositions with minimal strokes to depict each solar term's typical traits.
"I had no idea back then that my work would be a part of a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage application," he says.
Later, Lin's popularity soared even more when he was invited to do stage backdrops for Rendezvous With Chinese Poetry, broadcast on China Central Television.
The 10 works, based on lines from 10 ancient poems, wowed many with their impressive illustrations of the poems' content and the painting techniques.
He was asked again last year to paint stage backdrops for the program's latest season.
Lin says his painting is based on traditional calligraphy, on which he spends more than 10 hours a week.
"Unlike many professional artists, I am not too focused on techniques when I paint. I try to look at a painting with an outsider's perspective, and often bear in my mind questions like what the painting can bring to me, to others, and to the world," he says.
According to Lin, his style changes according to the themes, but the principle is that he has sympathy and a soft heart when painting, and tries to deliver that feeling to viewers.
Lin, who grew up in a rural family in the coastal city Zhanjiang, has loved calligraphy and painting since he was a child.
When he was little, the family was too poor to afford regular art education, so he taught himself.
He used to spend his pocket money to buy books and magazines from recycling centers, and copy the paintings from them.