Hakka is not only a title of Han ethnic group, but also a cultural concept.

Xu Xinhua, a 65-year-old uncle in Chengdu, spent 10 years studying Chinese painting by himself and studying the local Hakka culture in Luodai in order to promote and inherit traditional Hakka culture. "Picture with Ancient Rhyme" is nearly 4 times longer than "Picture of Shanghe on the Qingming Festival".

It has aroused considerable repercussions in academia, art, and shops, and is hailed as the "Contemporary Hakka Culture Edition "Shanghe on the Qingming Festival".


The 20-meter-long roll contains more than 3,500 people

The pastoral scene in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  Slowly unfolding "Luodai Ancient Rhyme Picture", from Longquan peach blossoms to field scenery, and then to the scene of the ancient town, more than 3,500 different characters and primitive buildings have appeared on paper.

The "Four Great Halls" in the ancient town, juggling, going to markets, diabolo, dragon dance, lion dance, weddings, etc. pass by like a horse lantern. During the Spring Festival of the late Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, the Hakka people have fun and joyous scenes in front of them.

The Sichuan Theater in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

The dragon dance scene in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  Xu Xinhua introduced that although the "Luodai Ancient Rhyme" depicts the entire Hakka town, the most exciting ones are the four parts that he spends the most time on. The Hakka marriage, lion dance, Sichuan opera and dragon dance also represent the four types of China. A more typical form of expression in culture.

"Dragon is a kind of totem culture in China. Hakka people admire dragons very much. Dragon dance means wishing for a good harvest and a good harvest in the coming year. "Liu Jialong" in Luodai Ancient Town has a history of more than 300 years. Bring the ancient town to perform fire dragon performances. In addition, the Hakka people are also very good at integrating with the local culture. Sichuan Opera is one of them."

Befriended Luodai and deeply study Hakka culture

  Xu Xinhua is 65 years old this year from a Hakka from Chongqing. He moved to Chengdu in 1998. He originally studied under Professor Du Yongqiao of Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, and later graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of Sichuan Education College with a major in oil painting. Before retirement, he was an art teacher at Linglong Primary School.

"Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  The prototype of Xu Xinhua's "Luodai Ancient Rhyme" is the ancient town of Luodai in Chengdu.

The ancient town of Luodai is called "the first Hakka town in the west", and more than 85% of the town is Hakka.

Once Xu Xinhua took students to the ancient town of Luodai to sketch, he was attracted by the strong Hakka culture in the ancient town of Luodai, so he came up with the idea of ​​painting the ancient town of Luodai.

"In the beginning, I drew very simple, I drew a 7-meter-long pen drawing, only the buildings in Luodai Ancient Town."

  In 2000, the ancient town of Luodai was one of the core venues of the 20th World Hakka Entrepreneurship Conference. Xu Xinhua was invited to exhibit his 7-meter-long pen drawing of Hakka architecture on site, which aroused the keen interest of many Hakkas. Everyone praised Xu Xinhua's art to promote Hakka culture.

"At that time, Xiong Jie, the deputy curator of the Cultural Center of Longquanyi District, suggested that I use Chinese painting to reflect the face of the ancient town of Luodai. He said it was more comprehensive and more Chinese." Xu Xinhua recalled.

The lion dance scene in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  "I studied oil painting, but oil painting and traditional Chinese painting are like the difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine. It is too difficult for me. The 20-meter long scroll contains many characters, buildings, and folk customs, and I must study it in depth." But In order to inherit the Hakka culture, Xu Xinhua made up his mind to take up this task.

It took 10 years to complete "Contemporary Hakka Culture Edition "Shang He Tu on Qingming Festival""

The 20-meter-long "Luodai Ancient Rhyme Picture".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  At the beginning, I planned to paint Xu Xinhua about 10 meters, but I didn't expect that the painting became longer and longer. In the end, the finished "Luodai Ancient Rhyme Drawing" reached 20 meters.

From the start of preparation in 2000 to completion in 2010, Xu Xinhua spent a total of ten years.

  All beginnings are hard.

In order to "understand" the local customs and folklore, in addition to reading a large number of ancient books and documents, Xu Xinhua went to Luodai Ancient Town thousands of times to sketch and collect materials in a few years, and sketched the key buildings in Luodai Ancient Town. Thousands of sketches.

"Hakka architecture is very characteristic. Look at its sharp tip. It is different from the architecture in Western Sichuan. It has a sharp tip on both sides and a lotus in the middle. The architectural decoration of each lotus is different, so you must carefully observe each. A house is different, and this is its characteristic." When it comes to Hakka culture, Xu Xinhua is full of vigor.

The characters of the ancient town in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  After collecting the information, Xu Xinhua was very distressed about how to combine these elements.

"When I drew the first painting, I used a frontal scene, and the composition was too rigid. Later, my teacher gave me a sketch of a bird's-eye view. The scene was very grand and gave me a new idea."

  So he began to study a lot of the "Dream of Red Mansions" comic strip, and also referred to the "Surfing the River on the Qingming Festival" two or three hundred times to study the essence of traditional culture, and then combined and inserted some modern elements to innovate, such as the shadow elements of sketches. And simple color elements.

"I also added modern deformation elements to deform the originally straight eaves, which are curved like water waves, which makes the originally rigid buildings look more rhythmic and rhythmic."

Traditional folk customs in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  "I didn't want to paint half of the painting at the time. It was really too difficult." Recalling the difficulties at the time, Xu Xinhua shook his head, "Collect information, draw sketches, line-draw, cover silk, re-line, ink, paint ...In fact, this process is very long and boring. And from oil painting to fine brushwork, I have also practiced a lot of lines, and only after years of accumulation have I converted the painting method."

  As the painting time became longer and longer, Xu Xinhua's sense of responsibility in inheriting Hakka culture became stronger and stronger. This motivation prompted him to finally complete this painting.

"It turns out that my eyesight is 1.5. After I painted this picture, it was only 0.8. I can't see clearly with my eyes. It must be impossible for me to paint again."

The Hakka marriage in "Luodai Ancient Rhyme".

Photo by Yao Xinyu

  "Luodai Ancient Rhyme Picture" is known as "Contemporary Hakka Culture Edition "The Riverside Picture on Qingming Festival". Xu Xinhua was very happy to hear that, ""The Picture of Riverside Qingming Festival" is our China's national treasure. In fact, I have also absorbed a lot of essence from it. I am standing on the shoulders of giants for development and innovation."

The heart is inheriting the hope to promote traditional Chinese culture to the world

  In 2018, a Hong Kong real estate company wanted to buy "Luodai Ancient Rhyme" for 6 million yuan, but Xu Xinhua refused.

"I have painted this painting for 10 years. It is like my child. I painted it to inherit the traditional Hakka culture, not to make money. In the future, I plan to leave it to posterity or donate it to a museum."

Exhibition scene.

Photo courtesy of respondents

  In 2018, Xu Xinhua also held a special exhibition on Hakka culture in Luodai Ancient Town. He hopes to pass on Hakka culture in this way.

And now, Xu Xinhua's "Luodai Ancient Rhyme" is also played in an electronic form in the Hakka Tulou in the long-term Luodai Ancient Town.

  "I still want to release this painting when I have the opportunity, so that the world can understand our excellent traditional culture in China and the Hakka culture in China. This is also the original intention of my painting "Luodai Ancient Rhyme"." Xu Xinhua said, "especially now Most of the children in China grew up under the influence of Western cultural works. I hope that in the future, we can educate young people with Chinese excellent traditional culture so that our excellent traditional culture can be passed on."

  Author: Yao Yan Yu