Lives in the Paintings – Exhibition of Guilin folk culture
“The river is like a silk ribbon and mountains like jade hairpins.” refers to the long noted beautiful landscape of Guilin since the ancient times. On this magical land, all ethnic groups have created unique material and spiritual cultures, depicting the rich and colorful folk cultures of Guilin.
Holidays and customs congregate the yearning for better lives of all people; songs and voices bear the pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy of people; villages and towns witness the development and change of these places. Shops and workshops on high streets and back lanes, and the street peddlers and business people are all indispensable roles in the stories happening in Guilin.
Every bit and part of this society will be or have been the memories of Guilin, and will be of vitality regardless of the passing times. They are old but persistent, grass-root but pure. They instill the previous values into the endlessly growing newborn culture.
With its beautiful mountains and clear waters, Guilin has a pleasant weather. People of all ethnic groups have adjusted to local conditions, conformed to the nature and created a pleasant producing and living environment with simple concept, extraordinary wisdom, and dexterous hands. They are skillful at plowing, diligent in fishing, well at building, and create today’s beautiful homelands. The blue waters and green mountains, the fields and gardens, the Li River and fishing boats on it unfold before us one painting scroll after another, creating a fairyland on earth where human and nature live harmoniously.
Bordering Hunan in the North and adjacent to Guangdong in the South, Guilin converges the Xiang River and the Li River water systems and owns convenient land and water transportation conditions. Ever since Song and Yuan Dynasties, Guilin has been named “the state government of southwest” as the center of politics, economy and culture in Guangxi. Blending the essences of massive foreign culture, the ancestors had gradually formed rich, colorful and unique Guilin cultural customs in various aspects such as cuisines, drinking, entertainment, clothing, accommodation and transportation, which sketched out a vivid picture scroll of common people life.
On the fantastic land of Guilin, people of all ethnic groups have been planting mulberry and picking up cotton, producing gorgeous clothing one after another. They share varying living environment and distinguishing living styles. Some of them reside by the river while others on the mountains. Therefore, the diversity of nature has driven them to seek for the living and developing paths catering to their own. A large number of minorities living in the south of our country,whose dressing styles are quite different from those of the same ethnic groups in Guangxi. Today we will display the collection of costumes from minority groups in southern China so that the different aesthetic concepts and creativity of them could be appreciated.