Achieving My China Dream through My Gourd Dream
【本报讯】 记者/ 金相律 摄影报道
This is the United Nations Headquarters, a place which many people have visited, including him. It was December. He looked for an angle, adjusted the lens and pressed the shutter in the biting wind. Looking at himself in the picture, the Chinese national flag fluttering in the wind and the United Nations Headquarters building in the background of the pictures, he totally forgot the shivering cold.
For the first time, the honest gentleman who have always been keeping a low profile, took a picture of himself so seriously.
"It has been my dream to come here." He pointed to the United Nations Headquarters, and his nose was a red with cold.
He was referring to the hope that one day "Glamour of the Gourd -- Gourd Culture Tour along the Silk Road" would enter the United Nations and display the unique Chinese culture there. Standing here at that moment, he felt an impulse to swear to the world, "Carry on the gourd culture to the end!"
The man who vowed to devote his life to gourd culture immediately became excited and talkative when it came to the gourd.
Hu Lu at the United Nations Headquarters
He is Hu Lu, whose real name is Hu Qingxue, a professor and postgraduate supervisor of Qufu Normal University. He is the founder of the modern Gourd Painting School, President of Gourd Painting Studio, a famous painter and renowned scholar of gourd culture research. He was born at the foot of the "Gourd Cliff" of the Yimeng mountainous area, where the precious bottle gourd of a mythical figure Tieguaili in the Chinese folklore was picked. Since the gourd was called hulu in Chinese, he made Hu Lu his pseudonym to show his surname "Hu" and his identity as a native of Shandong (commonly known as Lu in short).
This time he made a special visit to the United States with his gourd paintings to spread the treasures of traditional Chinese culture. It was another show of the "Glamour of the Gourd -- Gourd Culture Tour along the Silk Road" after it entered Beijing, Shanghai, Liaoning Province, Yunnan Province, Shandong Province and Henan Province in China, as well as countries like Russia, Belarus, Canada, Japan and Maldives.
The Chinese pronunciation of gourd sounds like the Chinese word fu lu (happiness and wealth). It could be said that gourds bless him, and he also treasures gourds.
Building the dream: "gourd is the totem of his life"
The first time he saw the gourds, he was attracted by their elegant and balanced shape and the charm it exuded. The gourds hanging from the ceiling hide behind the leaves, and their hard shells gradually turn from green to dark brown. It seems that a mysterious internal force gives him infinite yearning and imagination all the time. The natural round outline of gourds looks like a perfect embodiment of happiness, wealth, auspiciousness, and a harmonious and perfect life. As long as he is with gourds, he feels safe, simple and reposeful. "My first sketch in the elementary school was about the gourd in front of my house." He said that from then on, he had the dream of becoming a painter, and the gourd became his first "bosom friend", and since then their friendship had begun.
In 1983, Hu Lu was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts of Qufu Normal University with outstanding exam results, and learnt from Yang Xiangxian, Gao Tianxiang, Yang Shuo and other professors. In order to create gourd-themed flower-and-bird paintings, Hu Lu studied the gourd-themed paintings by renowned painters in history like Wu Changshuo, Qi Baishi and Pan Tianshou, and devoted himself to the study. What is more commendable is that he has a sharp artistic perception and is good at capturing gourds' subtle charm. The gourds in his paintings have distinctive features and charm, which gradually constitute a unique school that absorbs the advantages of schools of modern paintings.