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The symphony of mountain and water: performance on Yandang Mountain

cgtn| Updated: January 31, 2023 L M S

The Vibe

As one of the most famous mountains in China, Yandang Mountain in east China's Zhejiang Province is renowned for its natural beauty and seaside location. Dubbed "Famous Mountain by the Sea," Yandang Mountain has been attracting artists to discover, portray and disseminate its beauty, resulting in countless masterpieces. These include the painting "Yandang Mountain" by Ye Cheng from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In this masterpiece, Ye used vigorous brushstrokes to depict his artistic vision. The juxtaposition of the grandeur and tranquility of the mountain enhances the aesthetics of the painting, in which sea and sky, water and mountain blend together. Produced by China Media Group, the cultural program "China in Poetry and Painting" invited famous pipa performer Fang Jinlong and dancer Zhu Han to perform among Yandang Mountain, showing the magnificence of landscape in the eyes of modern artists.

"Yandang Mountain" is a traditional Chinese landscape painting by Ye Cheng that is now housed in the Palace Museum in Beijing. It portrays the spectacle of the Yandang Mountain. As viewers admire the painting from right to left, the ink-colored spectacle is gradually revealed, and changes with the sight of the viewers. The wild flowers, masses of weeds and clustered rocks are carefully painted in precise brushwork, while the boulders stand firm and strong in straight lines. The painter annotated each landscape with the name, making the painting a valuable material for tourism. Layers of ravines of mountains are arranged in an irregular way, excellently conveying the beauty and magnificence of Yandang Mountain.


"Yandang Mountain" by Ye Cheng /CGTN

Tourism thrived during the Ming Dynasty over 650 years ago. At that time, the painting "Yandang Mountain" served as a tool for tourists to know the spot. According to Wu Weishan, the curator of the National Art Museum of China, if viewers have a close look at it, even the unique rock texture can be noticed, which was formed as a result of ancient volcanic activities. No doubt, Ye's vivid brush is the catalyst for the integration and development of culture and tourism, which shows the charm of scenic spots. As one of the surviving works of Ye Cheng, "Yandang Mountain" is very precious and is acclaimed as a classic.


Details of "Yandang Mountain" by Ye Cheng /CGTN

Yandang Mountain has stirred many emotions over the years. Today, on the cultural program "China in Poetry and Painting," modern artists offer a new performance inspired by Yandang Mountain. Pipa performer Fang Jinlong sits on a rock besides a waterfall among the lofty mountains, looking on towards the emerald green trees. He plays the pipa in this remote and quiet place, where the clouds and mist drift by like a fairyland.


Musician Fang Jinlong plays the pipa. /CGTN

Accompanied by the graceful pipa music, dancer Zhu Han and his partner dance at the bottom of a ravine, mimicking the scene of wild geese flying. Through their gentle and slender postures, the beauty of life in nature is fully exhibited.


Zhu Han and his partner dance at the bottom of a ravine. /CGTN

An old Chinese saying goes: "The wise man takes pleasure in water, and the benevolent man takes pleasure in a mountain." Since ancient times, Chinese artists have been maturing themselves with the virtues learned from mountains and rivers, and have created immortal poems and ink artworks. To portray a magnificent mountain like Yandang Mountain, it is only when you climb to the top of the mountain and witness the wonders with your own eyes that you can paint such a masterpiece as vivid as that by Ye Cheng. What's more important is that you should always have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, try what you want to try, go where you want to go, and become who you truly want to become.