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Farmer Paintings: Naïve Art of China



GINA Gallery’s new exhibition highlights – in the upper gallery – 60 newly-acquired naïve artworks from China and Taiwan, while – in the lower gallery – 60 new artworks by about 30 artists from more than 20 countries worldwide.


Chinese Naïve Art, also known as “farmer paintings” or “peasant paintings”, came to the fore in mid-twentieth century, following the establishment in 1949 of the People’s Republic of China.   The new government sought to encourage farmers with artistic talent to leave the fieldwork to others and to develop an indigenous art movement that would celebrate the cultural heritage, local narrative and rural life familiar to them – farming, fishing and festivals as well as herding and hunting.

Local governmental subsidies and support have resulted in the concentration of China’s farmer painters in five communities – Huxian (Shaanxi Province), Jinshan (Shanghai Province), Qijiang (Chongqing Province), Dongfeng (Jilin Province) and Huangzhong ((Qinghai Province). The current exhibition at GINA Gallery highlights the artworks of more than 20 of the leading farmer painters of the two most important of these communities – Huxian and Jinshan.

The Huxian naives portray in heartwarming colors and detail seasonal changes, abundant harvests, overflowing markets, vegetable oil workshops and local festivals as well as their province’s spectacular surroundings – breathtaking mountains, valleys and forests.  In 1973, the National Art Museum of China hosted a special exhibition of the

Huxian farmers’ artworks, which was followed by sensational “roving shows” in eight cities throughout the country and a series of seminars in 1975 provided by several of the leading Huxian naïve artists.  

These “roving shows” and seminars inspired the founding in the mid-1970’s of a community of farmer painters in Jinshan, nearby Shanghai, in southern China. The founders of this community had already evidenced artistic talents but were now provided with an infrastructure – dwellings, art materials and an exhibition hall -- to develop and display their remarkable abilities. As Jinshan’s topography is flat and the region is richly endowed with rivers and lakes, it is not surprising that the artworks of the local naives have concentrated on the local fishing and boating industries, water buffalos, geese and lotus ponds as well as village life and ports along the rivers and other waterways.

GINA Gallery’s current exhibition also includes several naïve artworks from Taiwan.   As the naives of Taiwan grew up in an urban environment, the subjects depicted in their artworks are far removed from those of the Chinese “farmer painters.” The naïve art of Taiwan highlights the daily life of Taipei and other local cities, busy markets and streets teeming with people, and the interplay of generations within the home. Clearly, the artists are celebrating a personal narrative that draws upon the culture, traditions and history of an industrial country seeking to expand its interaction with the West.

In the lower gallery, we will be displaying many (mostly new) naïve artworks from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador as well as from Italy, Germany and Finland.

GINA Gallery of International Art

Dizengoff 255, Tel-Aviv

Tel: 035444150

Fax: 035444160

Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 9pm

Friday and Holiday Eve: 10am – 2pm

Bathing Women ( Luo, Zhijan / China )

Returning to Mother’s Home ( Tong Yan Kui / China )

Bringing my Wife Home ( Zhang Xuanzhang / China )

The Bridal Boat ( Chen Wei Xiong / China )

Herding Buffalos in the Lotus Pond ( Yan Jinjie / China )

GINA Gallery of International Naive Art, 255 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv 63117, Israel  |  Monday-Thursday 12:00-21:00, Friday & holiday eves 10:00-14:00  |  Phone: 972-3-544-4150