Song Fusheng (Lao Deng)
Song Fusheng (Lao Deng) is a known artist of contemporary traditional Chinese brush painting. He is specialised in bird-and-flower works and best known for his watercolour paintings of the grey herons, lotus and eagles.
Born in Baoding, Hebei province in 1958 in north China, Song has shown great interest in painting since he was little. After graduating from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Song furthered his study from a number of great contemporary masters of Chinese brush painting, including Li Kuchan and Qi Liangchi (son of Qi Baishi).
Today Song is most recognised for his bird-and-flower paintings in the free and spontaneous “xieyi” style that captures the spirit and life of the subjects through combining western techniques especially in regards to the use of colour with traditional Chinese painting styles and techniques. His paintings of the grey herons and lotus stand out the most.
The grey heron is a common bird across China. Baiyang Lake is one of their many natural habitats. Also known as Lake Baiyangdian, it is the largest freshwater lake in northern China. It is home to a variety of fish, wild birds and a vast number of lotus. For decades, Song has spent hours and hours by the lake, observing the wild life and practicing his painting. The lotus and herons have always been a favourite subject for Chinese artists throughout the history. However Song's depiction conveys the spirit and life of the creatures in a way that is rather unique and elegant.
In fact, “Lao Deng” is a common name in mandarin for the little egret (a species of small heron) and was given to Lao Deng by his teacher Qi Liangchi as a recognition of his achievements.