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  • Grace Hu is a graduate student in performing arts and administration at NYU. She started painting Chinese fans months before she moved to New York. “I have always been interested in Chinese painting but I never got the time to learn it because I was so busy with application and internship,” she said.

    She showed me one of her favorite fans--a "warrior bird" on autumn trees--and explained how she painted it. “First the branches, then the leaves, then the bird, last the flowers,” she said. “But drawing bird is absolutely the most difficult part.” When she draws a bird, she uses a tiny Chinese brush to draw the outline first, waits for hours till it dries and then puts on more colors. The last yet the most important step that will bring the entire painting to life is to paint the eyes. The trick, Hu said, is to leave some space at the edge of the pupils.

    Painting Chinese fans carries a lot of meanings for her. “People are so busy these days. We are busy with building relationships with others, study and career, but everything is not for ourselves,” Hu said. “But I really enjoy the period of time to be myself and have the serenity to enjoy it. I think I will always miss this quiet time to do everything that I like.”
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