Chinese Painting

“Now that the landscape is born of me and I of the landscape, it asked me to speak for him. I searched relentlessly to draw extraordinary peaks. The spirit of the landscape and my spirit are met and thereby transformed so that the landscape is in me. “— Shitao (1642-1707)

When one observes the paintings of Chinese landscapes, one is lost, one cannot distinguish mountains, houses and men. Everything is tiny, almost imperceptible, melted away in the immense nature…


The history of Chinese painting dates back almost 2000 years before our era. The ancient Chinese workers painted on silk, then on paper, and also on porcelain. Chinese painters who are often poets too, search to recreate the beauty of a flower, of a woman, and the splendors of a landscape.

The Chinese word for landscape is 风 景 (the site where it is windy / puff of wind). The painting of a Chinese landscape is also called “⼭ ⽔ 画” – the painting of the mountain – water, which embodies these two cosmological units: water which corresponds to the principle of 阴 -Yin, and the mountain the principle of 阳 -yang. Chinese art is nourished deeply by the Taoist thought (Tao, the natural and spontaneous course of things). When you apply the inks on silk or rice paper, you are creating only half the work, it is the movement of the water and coincidence that does all the rest. Chinese painting is not strictly aesthetic or the simple idea of decoration, but rather a harmonious union with the outside world, a true representation.

During the classes, our teacher Xiaobo, will introduce you to the basic techniques of Chinese painting (the Xieyi style 写 意, which is usually applied to landscapes) – knowledge of the material (paper, ink, brushes), the different postures needed and the different brush strokes. She will then guide you and help you draw various items such as fish, water, rocks, flowers, mountains, until you feel comfortable enough to progress towards the realisation of a painting.



Every Tuesday afternoon from 13:00 – 15:00

CHF65 per person/per class – all your equipment is supplied.


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