Pulling a Tooth - Life in Old Beijing - Folk Art Painting

Approximate Measurements

Artwork Panel: 31.9cm x 31.9cm  ≈  12½" x 12½"

Silk/Brocade Border: 41.9cm x 41.9cm  ≈  16½" x 16½"


Pulling a Tooth

This painting features the closest thing you could get to a dentist in old Beijing. Even these days in remote parts of China, dentistry is done on the streets. In the scene of this painting, the donkey in the background with supplies on its back, suggests that this dentist is mobile. He likely sets up shop in different places each day, looking for people with troubled teeth.

The procedure was to rub ash pepper into the gums of the patient and pull the offending tooth. It's not a painless endeavor, and the ash pepper only slightly numbs the gums.

This painting might be a nice conversation piece for a modern dental office.

This painting comes from a series by the artist that depict life in old Beijing (old Peking). While Beijing has left a lot of the past behind with its new skyscrapers and demolition of the old alleyways and quadrangle houses, if you know where to look, you can still find many of these scenes in real life, even today.

This painting is titled, as noted above, signed by the artist, and authenticated with his red signature seal.

About the artist...

The artist's name is 伯陽 (Bo Yang). He was born in 1957, Hebei Province (the province that surrounds Beijing). He moved to Beijing city many years ago, and has a small studio there.

He has become a famous Chinese folk art painter. Much of his artwork is exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. You'll also find his work in galleries and museums in China.

Bo Yang started his "Scenes of Old Beijing Life" paintings as a means of survival. Decades ago, he was just a street artist. After a few years, his paintings became so popular, and many people claimed to "discover" him, that he now has a huge international following.

About the art...

Bo Yang uses traditional black Chinese ink and various brush widths to create his work. The medium is handmade xuan paper (often called rice paper, though there's no rice in it). When I took these painting to my workshop, they were mounted with a copper-colored silk brocade border. This border can be used in lieu of matting when you frame this artwork.