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China Daily Global / 2021-05 / 21 / Page016

Artistic flourishes bring out beauty

By WANG JINHUI | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-05-21 00:00

An adult crested ibis soars over a shining field of rapeseed flowers, with its white feathered wings gleaming in the noonday sun.

The slim and graceful silhouette of the crested ibis was recorded by Hua Ying, a photographer from Yangxian county in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province.

"I took the photo in 2010 and it is one of my favorite works," said Hua, who has photographed the birds since 2005, when a family of crested ibises nested in a tree in his garden. "They were so beautiful so I shot a video and put it on my blog. I started to take photos of crested ibises in 2008 and it has become a habit now," Hua said.

"Sometimes, I have to wait under a nest tree or in cold temperatures for days to get a perfect photo. The process is difficult but the result is worthwhile. I feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness when I see what I want."

Hua said he usually goes out to mountains, rivers and rice paddies nearby to watch the birds and helps tourists, photographers and birdwatchers from around the world to find crested ibises in the wild.

People from 39 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Belgium have visited Hua's agritainment-themed home with birds and nature.

"For me, it is a dilemma now as I am always worried about the birds' safety and don't want to disturb them. We must obey the rules: keep a safe distance of at least 50 meters and be quiet," he added.

Hua is also the head of the Yangxian Wild Bird Association established in 2006, which aims at raising people's awareness of bird protection.

"Bird watching can help people attain a deeper understanding of the lives of birds and the laws of nature. Through contact with nature, you can not only appreciate nature, but also respect the life of nature," he said.

Hua said it is a responsibility to participate in public activities and give lectures on birds and environmental protection.

Located at the southern foot of the Qinling Mountains, Yangxian is home to more than 500 species of birds, including about 260 species of resident birds.

In the county's Huayang nature reserve, at the hinterland of the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains, Wang Weiguo, another photographer, painter and artist, is combining colors and brushing techniques to trace and recreate mountains, waters, plants, rare birds and exotic animals.

Wang, dean of the Hanzhong Huayang Painting and Calligraphy Academy and a member of the Shaanxi Artists Association, said the first time he saw a crested ibis was on a stamp issued in 1982. The beautiful appearance of the crested ibis became engraved in his heart.

In the early spring of 2009, he visited Huayang ancient town and saw the endangered crested ibis in the flesh for the first time.

"Chinese paintings of flowers and birds have beautiful meanings, like red-crowned cranes for longevity, golden pheasants for a beautiful future, little egrets for prosperity, eagles for Kunpeng's ambitions, and crested ibises with red heads and vermilion wings as being auspicious and beautiful," he said.

"Seeing the crested ibis makes people feel good, and it will inspire people to care for and love nature."

Wang said that the art of painting can vividly portray his love for the beautiful crested ibis.

He added he will use all his energy to create more works of the crested ibis, dedicated to people who love the natural environment and protect the green waters and mountains.

"Art has played an incalculable role in making Huayang's famous mountains and rivers a cultural brand," he said.


A traditional Chinese painting by Wang Weiguo.



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