Expressing Emotion through Rivers and Lakes
□ 李莹 (Li Ying)
The formation of rivers, lakes and seas is determined by natural and geographical factors. Under influences and functions of climatic change, crustal movement, glacial action, fluvial outwash, etc., the areas that rivers, lakes and seas flow through form different regional style and features. Human reproduce relying on the source of life. With the change of dynasties and national fusion, people gave different titles to rivers, lakes and seas. Form a depression with water, people on the central plains call it as “湖”；people in Jin Dynasty called it as “潭”;Mongolians call it as “海”. For another example, southerners get used toname rivers as “江”, such as “长江”, “珠江”, “漓江”, “丽江”,etc. While northerners prefer to name rivers as “河”, such as “黄河”, “淮河”, “渭河”, etc. The unique features of a local environment always give special characteristics to its inhabitants. So people in different regions have their own characters influenced by the river around them.
Xiang River is a branch of Yangtze River and also the largest river in Hunan Province. It originated from Haiyang River in Guangxi Province and poured into Dongting Lake in Xiangyin County, Hunan Province. Tuan Lake is also called as Lian Lake and it was a branching stream of Dongting Lake, which is located in over 20 kilometers away from Yueyang City, Hunan Province with an area of about 200 hectares. As a native of Hunan Province, I have deep feelings to Xiang River and Dongting lake, just like most people in Hunan Province. I grew up at the lakeside of Dongting lake and studied in the universityalong the coast of Xiang River, where I went through pure and ignorant teenager years as well as high-spirited and vigorous university years for studying knowledge. As the time goes on and life experience increases, I become calm and reserved and began to retrospect the old times. Sometimes I look back the path I took and miss the scenery in the hometown.
After seeing Mr. Peng’s landscape sketch works that take river and lake as the theme, such as “晌午洞庭 (Dongting Lake at Noon)”, “团湖清晨 (Tuan Lake in the Early Morning)”, “杨梅州夏日(Summer Days in Yangmeizhou)”, I was deeply attracted. These works are created with easy and unlabored brushwork, or generous or vague, subtle and abundant color gradation. The composition of his works is ingenious, or taking the trees on the bank as the subject and showing water surface faintly; or using the outline of oasis and embankment to foil the magnificence of river and lake to highlight the spirit. It is not easy to draw the scenery in the south China, for the sky lacks gay colors and the spreading green is short of gradation. Mr. Peng mentioned this point when I talked with him and I also felt it with my own experience. However, austral landscape is still attractive to artists. Probably,the empty and moist, fresh and beautiful, mild and delicate temperament is inborn and irreplaceable. The local artists in Hunan Province get together with the friends across the country to draw the scenery with mountains and rivers in the south and experience the local customs and practices at the same time. Moreover, the footprint of the artists extends toBeijiang River in Guangdong Province and West Lake in Hangzhou City as well as their surrounding areas. To the viewers, the works that are created by artists demonstrate the spirit of the scenery in the south. To the descendants, the artists leave precious research document which records and reserves the local environment characteristics as well as the customs and practices. To the artists, they experienced living feelings mixed with the actualstate of affairs, which is the perfect coincidence of artistic creation and life apperception.