• Chris McMillan

Artist brushes off disability to inspire with oil on canvas

China Daily


23rd August 2022


Artist brushes off disability to inspire with oil on canvas


July 26 was a special day for Zhang Junli and her family this year.


The day saw the talented 44-year-old-who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, for 34 years-open the first exhibition of her oil paintings in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, with the support of the local disabled persons' federation.


Despite 85 percent of her joints being unable to move, and her condition worsening year by year, Zhang created the 80 works displayed in the exhibition since 2015.


To her, the words "paralyzed", "disabled" or "sick", carry no real value. "An artist's mind is never bound by his or her physical condition," she said.


The days before Zhang became sick have already become vague in her memory.


"At first I always thought the illness could be treated and I could recover soon and then go back to school," she said. But she never returned to school.


Four years of treatment only saw her condition worsen until finally the illness kept her in bed at the age of 10. After realizing her life would not follow a normal track, she became bad-tempered and depressed. Her parents brought her endless books and comics to entertain her. Gradually, she accepted the truth and started reading, writing and painting, just to "kill time".


https://english.news.cn/20220823/3fe941443a72478595e2e802c24b8513/c.html


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