Materials are available to assist with the preparation for HSK learning, particular in relation to the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Materials include text, resources and learning implementation guidelines. Content is available under following 7 categories:

    6. The Arts - learning materials

    1. Qi Baishi

    Qi Baishi was one of China's most famous painters, very adept at painting shrimps, insects and small animals. These two stories demonstrate his hard-working approach and disciplined spirit.

    In his youth, a master seal (chop) engraver told Qi: "Carry home a full load of foundation stones and work them all into mud. Then your engraving will be acceptable." So Qi picked a load of foundation stones and polished and engraved around the clock. Day after day, year after year, less and less stone remained, and the stone dust became thick mud on the ground. Thus Qi reached the pinnacle of the art of seal engraving.

    One birthday when master Qi was elderly, guests flocked to his home from morning to night. Next day, Qi got up early and went straight to the studio to paint. His family tried to persuade him to eat breakfast, but he just painted, refusing to take a break. When urged again to rest, Qi said gently: “Yesterday there were too many guests and no painting. Today I need to paint extra to make up for yesterday’s leisure”.

    Qi Baishi is the most influential artist in China's contemporary and modern art history, and one of a handful of Chinese artists whose works sell well at international art markets. Qi's paintings have sold for nearly as much as Western household names, such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. One fairly recent auction saw a Qi Baishi painting sell for US $65 million. Qi Baishi painted many tadpoles and shrimps. “Little Tadpoles Look for Mother”, a short animation film which won several industry recognitions, including awards at Annecy, Cannes, and Locarno, applied Chinese brush painting to animation.

    2. The Story of Xu Beihong

    Xu Beihong learned Chinese painting with his father from a young age. After seeing replicas of paintings from the Louvre, Xu Beihong was captivated and wanted to study them in person. In 1919, Xu arrived in Paris, France, to study. During the day, he attended art school or painted in the museums. In the evenings he worked in his room. Eventually, he became a world-famous painter. Xu Beihong loved painting animals, especially horses and lions. His painting “Galloping Horse” is a masterpiece: people stand in front of the picture looking at the horse as if they can hear the hoof beats. To paint horses so well, Xu not only spent many years learning and perfecting the art techniques but also studying and observing horses. Similarly, he spent three months visiting a zoo daily to observe and paint the lions.

    Xu Beihong sought to reinvent Chinese art. He was open to foreign influences, studying widely overseas, and mastered painting both in oils and in Chinese ink. Much of his work combines traditional brush and ink techniques with modern Western composition and perspective. As an artist and art teacher, he strongly influenced the direction of modern Chinese art. Xu’s art policies, dating from the beginning of the communist era, continue to influence government art policy as well as the overall direction taken in the various art colleges and universities throughout China.

    3. Mei Lanfang learning the Beijing Opera arts

    Born into a Beijing Opera family, Mei began to study opera when he was eight years old. He studied the female roles. Boys learning the female roles had to sing, read and act like girls or women. His teacher spent a long time teaching Mei but he did not learn well, and was nearly rejected for further training. Yet Mei was determined to sing well. He spent time pondering his roles, and practised twenty or thirty times what others practised only a few times. In this way, he finally developed a sweet singing voice. To develop expressive eyes, particularly important for the female roles, Mei kept a few pigeons, following their flight as an eye exercise. He also often watched fish swimming in the water. Gradually his eyes became flexible and expressive; people started to comment that Mei Lanfang’s eyes could speak.

    Mei Lanfang is the most famous Beijing opera artist in modern history, known exclusively for his lifelike portrayal of female qingyi roles. He was the first person to take Peking Opera to the world, staging a world tour in the 1930s.

    4. Young Nie Er

    Nie Er is most famous for composing the March of the Volunteers, the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. He died in his early 20s, but still has a reputation as “the people’s musician”.

    5. Wang Xizhi learning calligraphy

    Wang Xizhi (c.303–361) is the most highly esteemed Chinese calligrapher of all time. He was a master of all forms, but particularly the semi-cursive script. None of his original works survive, though his reputation continues based on copies of his work, some dating back to the 600s.

    6. Just heart and upright brush — Liu Gongquan

    Liu Gongquan advised the emperor that the secret to good calligraphy, as to governing the country, was the integrity of one’s character: “Holding the brush is based on the heart. If the heart is proper then the brush will be proper and the calligraphy will be right.” Liu Gongquan (c.778–865) is one of the masters of calligraphy from the late Tang dynasty.

    7. Wang Mian’s study of painting

    Wang Mian (ca.1287-1359) was a Chinese painter of plums during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368). Wang Mian was born in Zhuji, Zhejiang province. His style name was Yuanzhang and his sobriquets were Zhushi Shannong, Fangniu Weng and Meihua Wuzhu. Wang Mian developed his own distinct style of painting plum blossoms that was very bold and vigorous. A few of his plum paintings have survived, which are now in the collections of the National Palace Museum in Taipei and Shanghai Museum.

    8. The artist and the buffalo boy

    Tang has a famous painter named Dai Dai Song Song. Once his paintings hung out, there are many people watching. When people are looking at the paintings, none of them would not praise, wealthy people are paying fortune to buy. Legend has it that a friend asked him to do painting. What should I paint? Dai Song thought for a moment, decided to draw a "Bull". A moment later, he finished the painting and all the people were showing thumb up.

    9. My stage

    This is a personal account of her childhood by Wu Shuang, a famous Chinese coloratura soprano, playwright, painter and writer

    10. A memorable painting

    This scene is painted on a piece of paper: below the wide sky, there is a river and a boat, an old man sitting on board comfortably. The painting has got very simple lines, color is not bright. The old man’s look seems special, looked similar and also strange. He is staring at nothing, holding the pipe, mouth slightly opens. Such a neat painting, it was placed on the cover of my textbook, because it has unusual origins. Once, my mother took me to a beautiful place to paint.

    "Mom, you behold, here's a beautiful river, and the boat!" I looked at the hills far away, in the clear water, a small wooden boat was dancing with the waves, and I was too excited to start painting.

    11. Qin terracotta warriors and horses

    Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an unearthed at Lintong, it is unique in the world, is a world-renowned precious historical relics and it is massive. The three caveated pit, with a total area of nearly 20,000 square meters, almost as big as fifty basketball court, there are nearly eight thousand terracotta warriors in these pits. Among the pits, the largest is 230 meters long and 62 meters wide, with the total area of 14,260 square meters; it has the largest number of terracotta warriors, more than six thousand. Above the pit, it has now built a huge vaulted hall. From the bird's-eye view, looking Into the hall, , the Terracotta Warriors are standing line by line, very neat, formed up a huge military array, I really like the Terracotta Warriors, I felt like the Emperor Qin Dynasty was still commanding this invincible army.

    12. Dunhuang murals

    Dunhuang, being the border and node between Eastern and Western civilizations, created a collision point and initiated a dialogue between the two by way of religion and arts at the dawn of human civilization, and through continuous selections and explorations, resulted in a communion over Dunhuang murals. The rich and exotic characteristics in early Dunhuang murals are the fruit of this collision between civilizations.

    13. Riverside scene at Qingming Festival

    This panoramic scroll painting captures the daily life of people of all ranks in the Northern Song Dynasty's capital city of Bianjing (today's Kaifeng, Henan Province) during Qingming Festival. It gives a snapshot of the economic activities in urban and rural areas at the time. Over 500 people are shown in the painting, with a great variety of natural scenery, architectural features, market places and stores, boats and bridges. Painted by Zhang Zeduan, an artist in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), “Riverside scene at Qingming Festival” is a national treasure at the Palace Museum in Beijing. It is 528 cm long and 24.8 cm wide.

    14. The moon’s reflection on the twin spring lakes

    The inspiration for Hua Yanjun, better known as “Blind Ah Bing”, a wandering erhu player who created one of the most popular musical works in China.

    15. Roar the Yellow River

    This article is about how the “Yellow River Cantata” came into being in early 1939, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The lyrics, written by poet Guang Weiran, so inspired composer Xian Xinghai that he set them to music in six days. Two weeks later, on 13 April, the “Yellow River Cantata” premiered in the Shanbei Gongxue Hall of Yan'an, and quickly became popular throughout China.

    16. Tibetan opera

    Are there any opera in the world requiring wearing a mask? Are there any opera in the world requiring no stage during a performance? Are there any operas in the world lasting up to 3 to 5 days? Let’s start from theTibetan monks from the east.

    At that time, there was no Yarlung Zangbo River bridge, countless leather boat, was tossed around in the waves, many people tried to cross the river ending up being swallowed by the roaring river. So, the young monk Tangdong Jiebu made a promise of building a bridge, to benefit the people. The poor Tangdong Jiebu, attracted only a burst of laughter.

    17. Ansai waist drum

    The waist drum is a kind of widespread folk drum dance across the North Shaanxi area, especially the Ansai County in Yan'an City. Ansai is the hometown of waist drum in China. With majestic imposing manner and exquisite expression, the Ansai Waist Drum Dance was praised as “the first drum under heaven”. As an intangible cultural heritage, Ansai waist drum has received highly reputation in China. On May 20th, 2006, the Ansai waist drum has been listed in the first national intangible cultural heritage list by the approval of the State Council. On October 1st, 2009, Ansai waist drum has took part in the parade performance of the sixty anniversaries in the Tiananmen Square. The Ansai waist drum dance is one of the three best things in Ansai area.

    18. Grandma’s papercut

    Paper-cut is a kind of Chinese folk art to be found in Yan'an, especially in its Ansai and Luochuan Counties. It is originated from the ornamental cutting of clothing material, depicting the various aspects of the life of Yan'an people, especially the life in cave houses. Scenes such as farming, poultry breeding, harvesting, bazaar trading, and wedding are frequently seen in paper-cut. Its vivid description and artistic style show the wit, penetrating observation and bold imagination of the local people as well as the appealing traditional folk art and culture. Nowadays, being named 'living fossil of culture', Yan'an paper-cut has already become a popular artwork in both home and abroad.

    19. Beijing Opera

    Beijing Opera is the best known of the many regional styles of opera in China. It is a highly refined art form, which developed during the Qing dynasty, and employs symbolism in gestures, make-up, and even language.