The Charms of the Five Soils
A Virtual Exhibition of Chinese Farmer Paintings
East, west, south, north, central; wood, metal, fire, water, earth. These five spatial positions have correlated with the five elements in harmony for millennia.The five soils: Blue soil of the coastal shores, white soil of the desert sands, red soil south of the Nanling Mountains, black soil of the northern frontiers, yellow soil of the Central Plains. These five soils nurture all things, which in turn nurture humankind. Humankind creates culture, which in turn lives on in perpetuity.
China is a traditional agricultural nation that has every agricultural trade. For millennia, Chinese peasants who have lived and worked on these five soils have respected and adapted to nature. Harmony between man and nature has allowed the thriving population to lead lives of abundance.
They have remained deeply attached to these five soils, which have nurtured their ancestors for generations after generations. In their spare time, they use paintbrushes to colorfully depict their hopes, folk customs, hunting and gathering, farming and husbandry, lush mountains and rivers, and their beautiful homeland…
This gave birth to Chinese farmer paintings, a free form of art rich in content and imagination. These are paintings by farmers for farmers, rich in local charms, the crystallization of the lives and hopes of the laboring people. These individual portraits of the charms of the five soils have enriched the art of Chinese folk painting.