NTD Figure Painting Competition Judge Explains Importance of Tradition

The fifth NTD International Figure Painting Competition is now calling for entries.

The competition requires the use of authentic academic-realism painting techniques. One of the judges, professor Zhang Kunlun, explains the various skills involved behind the strokes.

“An artist should be equipped with a strong sense of color, experienced with various aspects of painting, including the use colors, oil paints, and brushes. One must be creative when composing a piece, with good use of composition techniques, as well as having an excellent overall presentation. The great masters of fine arts have left us with many valuable techniques and methods,” Zhang said.

Zhang Kunlun, a judge of the NTD 5th International Figure Painting Competition
Zhang Kunlun, a judge of the NTD 5th International Figure Painting Competition (NTD)

He also emphasizes the importance of foundation.

“Without a strong technical foundation, no matter how great your content or ideas are, it’s pointless.”

Submissions must be a work of figure painting only. Zhang explained the reasons.

“People are always at the center of activities in society. Painting the human figure is the hardest, it can best test one’s ability,” Zhang said.

There is also a spiritual perspective.

“[Various faiths say that] divine beings created man in their own image. Therefore, using authentic academic realism painting techniques is a way to show respect to humanity ourselves,” Zhang said.

The competition also requires submitted works to convey positive ideals such as righteousness, compassion, and beauty.

“Art can hasten either the elevation or degeneration of people’s moral standards. [Good artwork] can broaden people’s mind and making them a nobler person,” Zhang said.

An artwork reflects an artist’ inner world. Zhang stresses the importance of self-improvement for artists.

“If an artist wants to produce good artwork, the artist must first be a good person, a person with a higher moral standard than others. When one creates art, one must continuously purify oneself,” Zhang said.

The competition is part of a series of competitions with the mission of promoting traditional culture. Other such competitions include music, dance, and martial arts. Zhang said that realism artists today shoulder an important responsibility.

“The NTD competition is leading art to go back to traditional ways. A contestant of the competition acts as a bridge to the revival of traditional art, and a revival of going back to tradition, restoring the glory of fine art. Persisting with traditional fine art in today’s society, is itself something remarkable,” Zhang said.

Zhang said this is a great platform for artists across the globe to showcase their talents.

“By participating in this competition, accomplished oil painters from all over the world can share and learn from each other, so it’s a great opportunity to improve,” Zhang said.

Zhang hopes to bring back traditional culture via the competition.

“People’s art will prosperously reappear and take a righteous path—this is for sure. These artists, I hope they can all create brilliance in [the] fine art of men,” Zhang said.

Registration for the fifth NTD International Figure Painting Competition closes on July 15. An exhibition and auction will be held at the Salmagundi Club in New York in late November. Though the focus of the competition is artistic excellence and inner beauty, there is also an award. The Gold Prize of the competition is $10,000.

For more information about the competition, please visit https://oilpainting.ntdtv.com/index-en.html

Academic realism painting techniques paired with traditional values and positive ideals

Pure truth, pure kindness, pure beauty – revive the traditional art of realistic oil painting. https://competitions.ntdtv.com/oilpainting

Posted by NTD Television International Figure Painting Competition on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Epoch Times reporter Shiping contributed to this report.