Realistic with fluid, bold expressions; elegant and dynamic – the brushstrokes of Teacher Caesar Cheng echoes the essence of the Lingnan School Tradition of Chinese Painting.
A Lingnan School painting is more realistic than traditional Chinese painting, which sometimes looks flat and two-dimensional, non living, not true to nature, cartoonish, too simplified and even awkward. The opposing diagonal lines in animal drawings highly suggest life, strength and movement. Birds appear alert, shifty, moving, about to fly. With their open beaks, you can almost hear them.
Lingnan style dramatically depicts silence, serenity and stillness—in a lotus pond, in moonlit scenes, early spring mornings and misty mountains.
Teacher/Laoshi Caesar started painting in the late 1960s, when he was in high school. He enrolled in Chinese painting classes at the Liberty Hall in Chinatown during summer breaks for four consecutive years. His teachers were all from Taiwan, Masters Liang Chung Ming, Liang Siu Chung and Wen Bi Ing who taught him traditional Chinese painting.
In the early 1970s, he studied the Lingnan tradition of Chinese painting under Master Hau Chiok. His painting started as a hobby and did not know that he would end up being an art teacher. Painting was his passion, but he ended up taking Commerce at the University of Santo Tomas.
In the early 1990s, before he started to teach Chinese painting, Teacher Caesar had a pet store business and also worked at a pet-related company as a senior aquarist from mid 2003 to 2005. It is, therefore, no cause of wonder why his animal and fish paintings look so real.
Teacher Caesar is a founding member of the International Studies for Chinese Art, Inc. He is currently teaching Chinese Painting at the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University and he conducts workshops at Fully Booked in Fort Bonifacio.
For more information, call Chef Jessie Rockwell Club at 890-6543 or 890-7630.
*** Jenn ***