Chapter 300 - Imitation
Ning Li had not expected to run into Pei Song at the art exhibition center. After all, Jingcheng was a large city.
Similarly, Pei Song was also surprised.
Today, Ning Li was wearing a white turtleneck sweater under a short down jacket that had been paired with a pair of black, slim fit jeans that complemented her long, slender legs. Her hair had been casually tied into a simple bun.
Her appearance was quite different from her usual look at school.
He looked at the painting that she was looking at.
“Are you here for the exhibition as well?”
Ning Li hesitated for a moment before she reluctantly nodded.
As far as she knew, Pei Song had not shown any interest in artsy stuff before. She had never heard him mention anything about it.
“My cousin is a teacher in Xijing Art School. He’s one of the teachers in charge of the exhibition this time,” he said.
“I’m just here because he invited me.”
Pei Song had been living abroad before high school, and had only returned recently.
Due to the nature of his parents’ work, they only came back for a handful of days a year.
Pei Song spent most of his time in Yunzhou, only returning to Jincheng during festive seasons or special occasions.
He was considered both an outsider and a local to Jincheng, due to his unusual situation.
Because of his introverted and quiet nature, Pei Zhang, his cousin, was worried that he might be bored. Thus,he had invited him to the exhibition.
Little did he know he would run into Ning Li here.
“Do you like this painting as well?” Pei Song asked.
All the artworks on display here were the work of the graduates of the Xijing Art School. Even though it was a graduation exhibition, any of the visitors could make an offer to purchase it if they had any interest in any of the artworks.
“It’s okay. The composition is a little off,” Ning Li said.
Pei Song took a second look at the painting after Ning Li had pointed out the problem.
He had limited knowledge in this field. However, since his cousin was an art teacher, he did have a little knowledge about it.
In his opinion, whether for the meaning behind it or in its use of color, this painting could be considered as above average. It was safe to say that this painting was definitely one of the best artworks in this entire exhibition.
He had not expected Ning Li to be so critical of it.
“Excuse me, are you talking about my painting?” A voice came from the side.
Ning Li turned to the side and saw a tall and slim young man in his early 20s. He was fair with mid-length hair.
Other than that, he had the look and bearing of an artist.
When he pointed at the painting, Ning Li understood.
It looked like he was the painter who was responsible for the painting.
It was common for students to stand beside their painting, waiting for comments from the visitors.
She nodded, but the young man frowned slightly.
“It’s fine if you criticize the colors or the strokes, but the composition is perfect. What makes you think that something is wrong with the composition?”
He seemed unhappy about her critique, but that was normal. No one would be happy about criticism of their hard work.
Ning Li said, “Indeed, it is slightly problematic. The focus here is somewhat scattered, due to the painter wanting to express too many things at once. That makes it a little confusing and difficult for the viewer to understand it at first glance.”
The young man was stunned. He had not expected Ning Li to be so frank with her criticism.
Ning Li pointed at the painting. “Besides that, the hue difference is too strong. It would be better if you could brighten this part.”
Pei Song looked at the part that Ning Li pointed at and re-evaluated the painting with her comments in mind. He then realized that there was indeed something wrong with the painting.
The young man had been silenced by Ning Li’s comments and his brows furrowed even more tightly.
Unhappily, he said, “Miss, I don’t think you get the point of this painting. Do you know who the original painter is? It’s ‘Tree’s Shadow’!”
Ning Li remained quiet.
A look of admiration appeared on the young man’s face as he mentioned the name.
“This is the first artwork that he put out for open bidding and it managed to secure 600,000!”
No other famous painter in the past had been able to get such a high price on their first painting, so it was considered an astronomical figure.
When the painting had first been revealed, it had caught a lot of attention.
The audience had taken notice, appreciating the spirit and talent of the painter behind the painting.
The young man had accidentally seen the painting online and it had caught his attention. That little encounter had been able to turn the young man into a fan.
After that, more artworks from Tree’s Shadow had been released but before he could even get a glimpse, all the paintings had been bought by rich private collectors at high prices.
It was regrettable, but there was nothing he could do about it.
“I tried to recreate the painting myself. Maybe I’m not as skillful, but there is nothing wrong with the composition.”
The young man was obviously a fervent fan of Tree’s Shadow and could not bear to hear someone criticize his idol.
Ning Li stayed silent.
Pei Song looked at the young man coldly and said in a detached and indifferent voice, “When a painting is drawn, it is bound to receive compliments as well as criticism. If you can’t take the criticism, then there’s no point for you to put it out on display.”
The young man was quite obstinate.
“I can take criticism, but you cannot criticize this painting!”
Ning Li paused for a moment before she said, “This should be an early work of Tree’s Shadow, so it’s normal for the painting to have some flaws…”
“Do you know him?!” The young man reacted strongly.
“If you know him, why would you criticize it?”
Ning Li realized that it would be impossible to communicate with this young man.
She shook her head before taking another look at the painting again.
The young man stepped forward and blocked her view.
Ning Li rubbed her temples helplessly.
“Fine, just forget it…” She turned and left.
Pei Song followed her as she walked away. He tried to walk side by side with her, but intentionally stayed one step behind.
After a little pause, he said, “I think what you said made sense. You don’t need to care about what that man said.”
Ning Li smiled. “It’s okay.”
She had not meant to point out the flaw. She had unintentionally spotted it and had stayed a little longer to try and figure out if it was merely a coincidence. She had not expected the painter to…
Pei Song noticed her calm demeanor. It did not look as if the young man’s words had affected her at all.
Lin Yaohui came down and called her.
“Mr. Yu is almost done. We can leave soon.”
It was then that he noticed Pei Song beside Ning Li, which startled him.
“My classmate, Pei Song.”
Lin Yaohui knew that she had just completed the winter camp and the boy had to be one of her classmates who had attended the same camp.
He smiled and nodded at Pei Song.
“Mr. Yu, are you sure you don’t want to stay?”
Further away, Pei Zhang was accompanying Yu Pingchuan as he walked over.
“Sir, you are a rare guest at this school. The students want to learn from you, but they’ve never gotten the opportunity to do so. This is a rare opportunity for the students. Are you sure you don’t want to offer them some guidance?”
Yu Pingchuan had other things to attend to, but now that Pei Zhang had mentioned it…
From his peripheral vision, he noticed Ning Li and the painting that she had just walked away from.
He pointed at the painting and said, “That painting, it’s an imitation. Who was the student who painted it?”
The boy had not expected Yu Pingchuan to call him out. He stepped forward excitedly and said, “Mr. Yu, it was me!”
Yu Pingchuan sighed. “There’s something wrong with the composition of this painting. You should copy another one.”