Posted by Eric Mu on Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 4:54 PM
On June 12, the painting Saddened earth. Rebirth (地恸.重生) was exhibited in the Guangdong Gallery. The giant 57.6-meter-long artwork took more than 140 painters 18 days to complete.
The size is by no means the only thing remarkable about it. The painting features two important personalities (the two segments reproduced here are small parts of the whole painting) who are set against a background of earthquake rubble, together with nurses, People's Liberation Army soldiers and quake victims.
The choice of characters has been criticized because that the volunteers who played an important role in the relief work are nowhere to be found in the painting.
The oil painting was based on two news photos, though modifications were made to achieve full artistic effect. If you compare closely you could find that Hu Jintao looks taller, thinner, and younger in the painting than he does in the photo. Behind him, the original concrete building was replaced by chunks of rubble. And Wen Jiabao was surrounded by nurses who do not appear in the original photo.
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