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Made in the mountains

'Work Song' was Wang Wenbin’s graduate work for his oil painting major, made based on sketches he had done in the Yimeng Mountains.

A realist classic

In 1962, this work was shown at the New Buds Art Exhibition, where it received widespread recognition and became a classic of Chinese realist painting.

Infectious happiness

Viewers are naturally infected with the happiness of the five girls working in the center of the painting. Their long hair and garments fly in the wind.

Working together

The girl in the red shirt in the middle pulls up the stone with both hands, while the four girls around her each pull on a rope. With the rhythm of the work song, they pull back with all their strength, lifting the stone together.

Sun in the sky

The clear sky is dotted with clouds, with the strong sunlight shining through.

Look a little closer

Several other work teams can be seen in the distance. The red flags of the building site flutter in the wind, drawing the viewer’s eye into the distance.

Work Song, Wang Wenbin, 1962

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