Paint a Home 2020

Paint a Home is a nonprofit art project started in 2018, under the invitation extended by Li Yixu – a member of the social organization providing aid for the Cuiyang village – to Wen Fang, an artist based in Beijing. Since then, Wen Fang, together with her artist friends, has visited the Cuiyang Village in Tianshui, Gansu Province, three times, and completed a series of mud wall paintings. During the National Day break in 2020, with the support from Beijing Muyun Art and Culture Foundation, 12 artists from all over the country gathered again in Cuiyang to create art they tailored for the village. Paint a Home aims to improve diversity of rural culture by using art as a medium, to develop ecological tourism with environment protection as the premise, to utilize the advantages of the local resources, to assist the local government and villagers in exploring new means of livelihood, to bring back the men and women who went outside as migrant workers to their children and aged parents, to reunite the families, and to build a happy life together in a beautiful new village.
The 14 artists spent a month designing, discussing, and voting via the internet, while 12 of them worked for 9 days painting in the village. The Paint a Home 2020 project successfully concluded in Cuiyang Village, Tianshui, Gansu Province, with 10 paintings.
2The weather was unusual this year. During the National Day break, Tianshui was unexpectedly gloomy and cold. The temperature dropped below zero during the night in Cuiyang. There was no sunny day while the artists were working in the village. The entire process was hard so that in order to finish the paintings in the short break we had to wear raincoats and paint in rain several times. It also increased the workload for Li Yixu and Yang Jun, the coordinators of the social organization, so that they needed to do extra work to take care of the artists and keep them from catching cold. Because of overwork – driving several times to the nearby town for insulating gear and heating supplies and preparing for a bonfire party for thirty people in the evening on Oct 6 – Li Yixu had a heart attack at 4 AM in the morning on Oct 7 and was sent to the hospital. Although many unexpected things happened, no one complained, nor did anybody leave before the paintings were completed.
The 14 artists are: Wen Fang, Huo Qipeng, Wan Chunhua, Cui Rui, Huang Lili, Liu Bao, Tan Yujia, Gao Yan, Wang Liang, Wang He, Guo Yunwen (Wugeng), Gao Wenxiu, Du Tianxing, and Wang Xiaoting. 

Cuiyang Village is located in Longdongzhen of Qingshui County, Tianshui, Gansu Province. It sits on the east of Longshan Mountain and by the north of Wei River.
Below are the works completed by us:
1. The Beautiful Cuiyang


Contributors: Du Tianxing, Cui Rui, Huang Lili, and Gao Wenxiu.

2. Reading in the Woods


Contributors: Wang Xiaoting, Liu Bao, Huo Qipeng, Tan Yujia, and Wang Liang.

3. The Flowers, the Youth


Contributors: Liu Bao, Wang Liang, Tan Yujia, and Huo Qipeng.

4. 2020 We Are Left Behind


Contributors: Wan Chunhua, Gao Yan, and Wen Fang.

5. Home in a Foreign Land

Contributors: Guo Yunwen (Wugeng) and Wang He

6. Cuiyang’s Nursery Rhyme


Contributor: Wen Fang

7. Dear You


Contributors: Wang He and Wen Fang

8. The Abundant Cuiyang


Contributors: Cui Rui, Huang Lili, and Gao Wenxiu

9. Pomelo Falls in Love with the Cloud in Fall


Contributor: Wang He

10. Cuiyang Bouncing



Contributors: Wan Chunhua, Gao Yan, and Wen Fang

Among the 14 artists, there is one special contributor, Wan Chunhua (Wendy), who suffered polio and for whom walking is something difficult. Not only did she finish the painting 2020 We Are Left Behind, which received the largest number of votes in the planning stage, she also volunteered, and spent several days to make a 20-minute video for the project.
It is now the fourth year of the Paint a Home project. In the beginning, what we wanted to do was to help the left behind children and elderly. As the project progressed, we feel more and more strongly that it is a project of mutual healing. Although our effort is not sufficient enough to help the migrant adult to return to the village immediately and earn a stable income locally, during the working process, the artists brought beauty and companionship to the elderly and young. The villagers reciprocated with innocent smile and local ingredients. The children took every gathering as a festival. Before we left, the children painted on the road, using our leftover paints, “Cuiyang is my home. I like every tree and stone in the village. I like the artists who came here.”
The year 2020 was a difficult one. Yet, because of the Paint a Home project, we gained a lot of new family members. It will give us warmth in the coming winter. Special thanks to Muyun Art and Culture foundation for the sponsorship and support, which makes it possible to create a family for strangers.