KASHGAR, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The dominant color of dwellings in the ancient city of Kashgar in Xinjiang is deep yellow. But in the works of 26-year-old local painter Mamattursunjian Mamatimen, more colors like orange, white, purple, blue... are used to paint the city. That's his feeling of life, and also a feeling shared by the youths in Kashgar, Mamattursunjian said.
"It takes courage to break through the tradition." Mamattursunjian said, "When I was a child, I also painted the old city in deep yellow. Now, I prefer to use bold colors and paint from the perspectives of youngsters."
Mamattursunjian grew up in the ancient city of Kashgar. Long alleys here carried his memories of childhood. At the age of 10, he started painting. Following those local masters, he walked through streets and alleys, sketching and playing, until he got admitted to Xinjiang Normal University, majoring in art education.
In the past, Mamattursunjian's paintings followed the traditional color and compositions, but changes have never been absent from life in the ancient city of Kashgar. From 2010 to 2015, the Chinese government carried out a renovation project here with an investment of more than 7 billion yuan (1.02 billion U.S. dollars), rendering local buildings earthquake-proof while maintaining their traditional Uygur charm.
Mamattursunjian also embraces new changes in his life. Thanks to the renovation, he said, the living environment has been improved, and the ancient city has become cleaner and more beautiful. More and more youngsters prefer to stay at hometown. After graduation last year, Mamattursunjian returned to Kashgar and opened a studio.
Booming tourism has brought business opportunities to local artists. In the street where Mamattursunjian's studio is located, there are over 40 other studios with different styles. The time-honored Kashgar is being revitalized.