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Shenyang Feather Drawings: Beauty and Practicality

Using the feathers of various birds as the raw material, feather drawing is a kind of handmade artwork adapted from traditional Chinese painting, sculpting, woodcarving and decorative art. Feather drawing is renowned for its special, unadorned flavor, and deeply loved by the masses.

With a wide variety of themes, contents and styles, feather drawing is a very precious type of artwork with high artistic achievements and an appreciative value. Its forms can be flat, in scrolls, frescoes, book volumes and three-dimensional figures. Among them the classic figure and bird and flower paintings contain the strongest folk flavor and nature scenes, such as the figure painting of Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu from The Dream of the Red Mansion, Cui Ying in Romance of West Chamber, mythological legends about goddesses strewing flowers from heaven, and the historical figure of Zhao Jun. The feather drawings with bird and flower themes are also featured for its colorfulness, such as the magnificent peony, plum blossoms in the snow, sprouting peaches, orchids and bamboo in the autumn frost. Flowers matched with all kinds of birds, like peacocks, orioles, mandarin ducks, eagles and white cranes are pleasing to both the eye and the mind.

The rich expressions and artistic styles of feather drawings also have their own strong, unique charm. With the advantage of extensive art forms, the drawings have a combination of artistic, practical and collective values, featured with its strong local and folk characteristics. The scroll painting was adapted from the art form of traditional Chinese wash painting. Mounted with damask and thin silk, the form is suitable for hanging on the wall. Taking the form of a tapestry, the hanging feather painting is not only ornamental but also very functional for noise proofing, heat preservation and damp proofing. The layers of feathers clinging to a piece of silk hanging in a room are not only beautiful, but also practical.

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