CIC brings Chinese master painter to CPS students

CIC introduces traditional Chinese painting to CPS students by inviting Kuai Huizhong, a master painter from China, to 20 elementary and high schools in November. The demonstration and teaching will last for two weeks. 

“This is the fifth year of our cultural exchange program,” said Jane Lu, Director of CIC. “Each year, we invite a Chinese artist to come and introduce a different form of art to CPS students.”     
Previous program includes introduction of Chinese New Year painting, woodblock painting, papercutting, and kite-making. 
“The program is very well received,” said Z. J. Tong, president of the Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute (CCCI). “The students are all happy to see a real master from China.” 
CCCI is involved in organizing some of the programs. Tong said that this time, in addition to observe the live demonstration, CPS students also have the opportunity to draw paintings on their own. 
“To most of them, this is the first time that they do Chinese painting with soft brush and rice paper,” Tong added. “It generates a lot of curiosity and interests.” 
Kuai is a well-known, award-winning artist in China. He grew up by Su Zhou’s Tai Lake, Zhejiang Province and learned to paint at a very young age. CCTV has featured him in a special program, and his works have been collected in national museums and used for stamps. He is president of the Taihu Painting Academy, Vice Chairman of the Fine Arts Association in Wuzhong District, and a member of the Association of Chinese Artists. 
“Nine out of ten children enjoy painting,” said Kuai. 
He demonstrates to students the art of using ink and brush and introduces to them China’s “four treasures of calligraphy,” namely brush, ink stick, ink slab, and paper. The traditional Chinese painting uses the same tools. 
Many of the students eagerly proved him right. Each of the participating school enjoys two hour-long sessions with Kuai. With the common language of arts and the assistance of an interpreter, the students have quickly learned the basic techniques and concept of Chinese ink and brush painting and demonstrated their understanding and newly acquired skills with the result of their artwork (see select photos in our photo galleries.) 
CPS students who have the opportunity of learning from Kuai and other Chinese artists are all learning Chinese language. The exposure to various arts not only enhances their language learning experience and interest, but also expands their understanding of the Chinese culture. 
This year’s program, which runs from November 13 to 26, is made possible by the joint efforts of CIC, CCCI, and the Consulate General of China in Chicago.