These rural paintings are a wonderful example of folk art in the Jiangnan region. This form of folk art was innovated by farmers in Jinshan, a district in Shanghai. Thus, the name “Jinshan Peasant Paintings” was born. This art is now included in the list of Shanghai intangible cultural heritage.
The rural paintings date back to the late 1970s, when art teachers from Jinshan visited a village within their district where traditional folk art was well preserved. They were impressed by colorful embroidery, paper-cutting, wood and brick carvings, clay sculptures and so on. Newly inspired, they used this influence for the creation of peasant paintings. Through exaggerated styles, colors and shapes, these works of narrative painting reflect the traditional customs and life of farmers in the Jiangnan region.
In 1980, the first Jinshan Peasant Paintings exhibition was held at the National Art Museum of China. Its artistic style and rich content earned the praise of the Ministry of Culture. Jinshan Peasant Paintings became a new trend in the arts, leaving a lasting impact on China’s cultural heritage and modern folk arts.