Concordia Shanghai Nov 4 2022

Appreciating Traditional Chinese Culture Through Painting and Poetry

Three art pieces crafted by Concordia students have been selected for the final exhibition of Pudong’s district-wide “Poetic and Picturesque” artworks competition. Our talented painters, under the instruction of the Mandarin department faculty, demonstrated their appreciation of ancient Chinese poetry as well as their refined skills in ink wash painting.    


The three beautiful artistic pieces were created by Yuyang Z. (G5), Bibiana Z. (G8), and Sussi Z. (G10), and were displayed in Concordia’s Hall of Flags last week, along with the other 28 artworks created by students from other schools across Pudong.  

Let’s hear from Yuyang, Bibiana, and Sussi about how they have translated their understanding of Chinese poetry into their paintings: 


《寻隐者不遇For an Absent Recluse》Yuyang Z. 

This poem has a special meaning to me—it was the first poem I learned as a child and is also one of my favorite poems so far. The hermit in the poem lives a life of collecting herbs and saving people. A man of integrity and dignity, his character is represented by the white clouds and lush green pines. The poet’s admiration for the hermit imbues the poem. The scenes in the poem are very natural, with the balanced use of the colors: green and white. Therefore, while painting for the poem, I chose balanced colors to represent the scenes, paying more attention to the artistic conception of the ink wash painting. In terms of techniques, I combined two schools of Chinese painting: Jiangxi School and Songjiang School, so as to render the serene and transcendent environment that the poet wants to express.  


《梅花Mume Blossoms》Bibiana Z. 

“Mume Blossoms” is a five-character quatrain by Wang Anshi of the Northern Song period. Using plum blossom’s strong and noble character to refer to those who, like the poet, still uphold integrity and advocate justice in difficult circumstances. In the poem, as the second solar term Rain Water has passed, the ice and snow in the lake are melting, and people can feel the advent of spring. The plum blossom is the earliest flower to bloom in the spring. With saucer-like petals and slender stalks in the center of the flower, plum blossoms are elegant, in different colors: white, pink, red, and green. The flower’s fragrance is striking, especially those with red stamens. If it happens to have the spring snow, there will be a pleasant scene of the blossom and branches against the white snow, with a refreshing smell. If you like plum blossom, why not take some time to enjoy its beauty and fragrance?  


《都尉山亭Duwei Mountain Pavilion》Sussi Z.  

It was just before the Chinese New Year and spring was approaching when I was creating the painting. My inspiration came from the first half of the poem, as spring is the season when wisteria blooms. Thinking of wisteria, I seem to feel the spring breeze and the scene of birds and flowers. Fish are a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture and affluence. The scene of fish swimming under the wisteria trees represents the revival of life in spring and the vitality in nature, making people feel the joy of life and inspiration. I hope my painting makes people feel the spring and brings everyone good prosperity.   


After the Concordia stop, the artworks exhibition will continue its tour of different schools in Pudong.

The “Poetic and Picturesque” artworks competition, which started last year, was part of the Pudong 2021 Overseas Students Chinese Culture Exhibition. It is a genuine opportunity for our students to showcase their Chinese language capability and artistic talents. Around 111 Concordia students participated and submitted their artworks. Congratulations to each participant for their efforts and commitment to the event and proudly representing the school!  

At Concordia, we offer a rigorous and varied Mandarin curriculum from Preschool to Grade 12 that values the unique features of the Chinese language and culture. We offer multiple course levels to meet students’ needs and language development levels. New students are assessed upon arrival and placed in an appropriate Mandarin class based on their current level of ability. 

Watch the video to find out how our younger students express their appreciation for Chinese poetry.


The Mandarin program at Concordia offers two pathways for students:  

  • Chinese Language & Literature (CLL)  
  • Chinese Language & Culture (CLC)  

In addition to Mandarin courses, co-curricular offerings such as Chinese Club and Chinese Honor Society allow students to develop their knowledge of Chinese culture while enhancing their language and leadership skills. Our heritage Mandarin courses and co-curricular offerings are equally suited for high school students who are coming to Concordia from other top schools.