Li Min, a painter living in the United States: Looking at nostalgia from the seaside in Los Angeles

  Those old hometowns that were once prosperous, but are now declining day by day, are being brutally attacked by modern civilization, and are about to fade out of people’s sight, causing the memory to be forgotten.
  For the continuation of nostalgia, Li Min used a brush to freeze the youthful appearance of an old house in Shanxi on the beach in Los Angeles, trying to stop the most beautiful time in his memory.
  Nostalgia, a gentle and hazy mood, a strong and heavy feeling.
  In the eyes of the poet, nostalgia is a small stamp, a narrow ticket, a flute in the moonlit night, and a vague melancholy like waving away in the fog. In the paintings of painter Li Min, nostalgia is a mottled blue brick, a solemn screen wall, a deep old alley, and a throbbing heart under the setting sun on the horizon.
  ”In those days, I was idle, wandering aimlessly in the old alley, touching the blue bricks on the wall with my hands, and looking up at the towering eaves passing over my shoulders. After turning a corner at the alley, it was West Street. There are all kinds of shops. I often follow the adults in and out, all the way to the east, the dazzling sunlight hits the cheeks through the door of the ancient building. The children run from the front door to the back door in the yard like a breeze, or hide next to the wall , enjoying the mansion left by his ancestors.” This is what Li Min’s hometown looked like in his childhood memories.
  Li Min was born in Taigu County, Shanxi Province. This small town located in the Jinzhong Basin was built in the Western Han Dynasty and has a long history and cultural tradition. Together with Qixian and Pingyao, it has become the famous hometown of Shanxi merchants. There are many Shanxi merchants’ courtyards left here, including the Cao Family Courtyard founded in the mid-17th century and completed in the late 19th century, and Kong Xiangxi’s residence built in the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty.
  In the early 1990s, Li Min left his homeland and crossed the ocean to the United States to create his own artistic dream. He graduated from the Art Department of Shanxi University majoring in oil painting. With his superb painting skills, he quickly settled in a foreign country and established his own painting studio in Southern California. After that, he held art exhibitions, won awards, served as a judge, and taught his profession.
  The time of more than 20 years seems to be only in the blink of an eye. The young man who left home and set foot in a foreign country in high spirits is now in his sixtieth year. And nostalgia, like a seed that fell into the ground in autumn, is silent in the silence, accumulating water and oxygen. One day, it will germinate quietly, break out of the ground, and grow as much as you like!
  For Li Min, although he returns to his hometown every year to visit his mother, the distant memories that slumber in his heart seem to suddenly wake up overnight, causing him to stop and turn his head uncontrollably, returning to those vague but vivid memories. In the years, I pushed open the door of childhood childishness one by one, and I couldn’t sleep all night!
  In the autumn of 2014, Li Min once again set foot on the road back to his hometown, this time in a different mood. In those days in his hometown, he shuttled through the old streets and alleys almost all day long, and fixed the buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasties that had undergone centuries of trials and hardships. In this harvest season, what Li Min has harvested is more than just the carved beams and painted buildings in the camera – it is the backbone of history, the soul of the nation, and it is the place where the soul returns and rests, no matter how time flies or years change, where Always a place called “home”.
  With a sense of reverence and a sense of mission, Li Min returned to his home by the sea in Los Angeles, USA, and painted the hometown thousands of miles away with the brush in his hand. He did not intend to use oil paintings to interpret this theme. He visited the hometown of Andrew Wise, a famous painter known for his watercolor paintings. With the spirit of exploration and development, he hoped to express the ancient style of Chinese Ming and Qing architecture with pure Western watercolors.
  ”Chinese painting pays attention to the agility of brush and ink, writing its meaning, and legendary gods. Western painting pursues realism, and light and shadow, light and shade, and color are indispensable. After repeated deliberation, the buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasties with blue bricks, glazed tiles, carved dragons and painted columns have a distinct relationship with palaces and palaces. In contrast, its light and elegant style is not suitable for heavy colors. To express Chinese classical architecture, watercolor can use the fluidity of Chinese painting ink and the contrast between virtual and real, combined with the transparent effect of watercolor techniques and warm color rendering to achieve a tacit understanding.” Li Min said.
  These watercolor works depicting old houses in Shanxi have touched many viewers. Under Li Min’s brush, every scene and object in his hometown reveals a kind of clear and distant beauty. The clean and succinct picture looks like the misty and rainy Jiangnan. It seems that there will be a lilac holding an oil-paper umbrella. The girl came out from the depths of the alley on the bluestone road.
  ”Amazing” – Xu Weixin, the former executive dean of the School of Art of Renmin University of China, used these two words to describe the feeling that Li Min’s works brought him. In Xu Weixin’s view, these paintings are steep in composition and full of poetry on paper. The painter uses watercolor materials to paint a Chinese style, “hazy and melancholy, but still solid and heavy”, just like the painter’s nostalgia for his hometown and the traditional culture of the motherland. with nostalgia.
  Art critic Cao Xiwa wrote, “Li Min deliberately depicts his hometown so beautifully and passionately in his paintings, as if he could see the tears in the painter’s eyes”, “The nostalgia in the paintings is definitely not a It is a kind of sadness, but a fresh and clear heart; it is definitely not the general sustenance of the old trees in the homeland, but a sense of home and country that exudes a bookish atmosphere.”
  Jia Tingfeng, a senior art curator, also has deep feelings for these paintings. He has known the painter for a long time. From the works of this old friend, he read the heavy love of the dream homeland: “Those who used to be prosperous, but are now becoming more and more popular. The decadent old house in his hometown is being attacked by modern civilization and is about to fade out of people’s sight, so that the memory will be forgotten. In order to continue the nostalgia, Li Min used a brush to fix the young appearance of the old house in Shanxi, trying to stop at the beach in Los Angeles. The most beautiful time in memory.
  Indeed, the so-called hometown, the so-called hometown, although it is called “old” and “old”, it is really the face that I love the most in memory. Hometown is the tree that blooms in my heart. The fleeting years are like water, but they have not withered. So Xi Murong said that after parting, homesickness is a tree without annual rings that will never grow old.

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