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He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better

Enjune Zhang



He learns to play chess and music instrument just to draw better



It was Sunday, trapped in house by the rainy morning, that I read the story about him. I was not knowing what to do then since the rain put an end to my plan going out for a walk and doing the recording along the way. I was thinking about doing the recording at home only to find that the goddamn cellphone was unavailable for clear record without blending some noise of electric current into my voice. What the hell is going on? What a big joke!



We have planned to do a lot in the leisure future when we are busy, making a to do list and awaiting them to be finished when we have the time. But the things don't see any accomplishment when that time comes, since a lot of other things unexpected do come along with the time available.



Somebody may go around the obstacle and find another way to his goal set, while the others stand still wondering why, cursing damn, or moving to another direction when they see no possibility to go through the barrier. 



The story I read about Mr Bingshan Shen is a well reflection of the somebody mentioned above.



What if what you do could always have something to do with what you are going to do next? It may be a perfect form of efficiency in life, because nothing you've ever done has been wasted.



Mr Shen enjoyed drawing when he was young, and that's his lifelong love of labor too. Sight means almost everything to a painter, but illness got him blind when he was right 26 years old. He had to quit drawing unless he could draw without seeing, which means he should draw with the guidance of memory, judging the position of next stroke based on the last one, and having his own rhythm in mind to move along.



That's difficult for even normal people, let alone for someone disable. But one has no idea of what difference he is capable of making until fate gets him cornered. He put drawing aside,  starting to learn to play chess and a kind of traditional Chinese music instrument named Yangqin. It took him 27 years. 



He led the way back to drawing when he had mastered both chess and Yangqin well, which brought him fame nationwide. He wouldn't rest on that glory, since he knew what he had learned these for.



I was shocked when I saw how he connected drawing with the way he played chess and the Yangqin. Playing chess gave him a great improvement in memory, so he's good at visualizing the chessboard in mind, systemizing every move based on the lines crossing each other on it. He made it planning what to do next playing without watching the layout. 



The layout's in his heart. And when this game saw its transformation on the paper and color, he could manage drawing well by memorizing what he had done and designing the coming steps based on what's formed in his mind, so blindness was no longer in the way. He took the paper his chessboard and every time he put a brush on it, it's like moving a piece of chess thereon.



His experience in Yangqin sharpened his sense in rhythm and alteration of details. Different pitches arranged in various rhythm make the melody. And he was specialized in  making ever-changing melody possible without seeing. He saw drawing as the flow of music where colors and lines got changing to make what's in his mind vivid onto the paper. That's how playing the Yangqin helped him with his drawing. It's all about control of rhythm when you polish the details.



Barrier brings him patience, and he makes it a legend.







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