Chinese painting has undergone many changes over the different periods of history. It is sad to note that it did not achieve much improvement after each period of change. And in fact it was at its worst at the final years of Qing Dynasty. As one Mr Shi Tao rightly pointed out that when ancient people did not set any example, the people now do not know what were the methods applied by the ancestors, whereas when the ancient people had set the methods, the methods were then followed strictly by those came after them to the extent that people were not allowed to exceed the standards set by the ancestors. Due to this convention, for tens of hundreds of years, we could not produce people whose standards surpassed the ancestors. The monk-painter Ba Da Shan Ren also observed that artists only followed the methods of painting as passed down from the past and did not know how to be creative and to explore the wider scope and wonders of arts, thereby we were deprived of the privilege of producing outstanding creative works. Mr Shi Tao bravely advocated that the best methods of creativity shou Id be to fol low no set method, that is, just to be freely creative, bound by no style or standard. Certainly this advocation brought much impact on the Chinese arts scene.

We have to endlessly renew ourselves and our creativity, just as every aspect of human life is subjected to constant changes. We should be brave enough to breakthroug hand lift our ink painting to a new height !

Chuang Kim Siew -

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