Chinese painting is the art of brush and ink. The basic tools are those of calligraphy, which influenced painting in both technique and theory. Brush line, which often varies in thickness and tone, is the important feature of a Chinese painting. Shading is regarded as a foreign technique. It is said to have been introduced to China via Buddhist art from central Asia between the 3rd and 6th centuries). Color plays only a minor symbolic and decorative role.
Chinese Painting is to be ranked with major famous artistic expression throughout the world. It is permeated by a sense of the wholeness of things. Separate detail is important insofar as it affirms more universal characteristics. Portraits to western eyes often appear generalized; for while they may record the nature of an individual. They seek at the same time to assess that individuality as an ideal-of , for example, the Confucian scholar. Small objects, such as a bird, a flower, a fish, bamboo-are seldom depicted without stressing their growing, moving life and hence the implications of their involvement with all living things. The perfection of shape and proportion is necessary to depict a Buddha is the artist's way of defining a god like university. It is no accident that the Chinese artist has so often turned to the art of painting landscape.
When the Communists came to power, much of the country's artistic talent was turned to glorifying the revolution and bombarding the masses with political slogans. Since the late 1970s, the Chinese art scene has gradually recovered. The work of traditionally influenced painters can be seen for sale in shops and galleries all over China, while in the major cities, a flourishing avant-garde scene has emerged. The work of Chinese painters have been arguably more innovative and dissident than that of writers, possibly because the political implication are harder to interpret by the authorities. Anyway, Chinese painting is still alive in China. Art collecting has become a fashionable hobby among China's new rich, and many of China's young artists have exhibited work overseas to the critically acclaim.