Chapter 121 – This Painting is Named “Light”

The president of the Calligraphy and Painting Association observed the crowd’s reaction and continued, “This painting is the only one among all the gold prize-winning works since the inception of the Dream Cup that received unanimous votes from all ten judges. It can be said that this painting has created history for the Dream Cup. Now, I will unveil the mysterious veil of this painting. I believe that it will meet your expectations and even exceed them.”

As the president’s words fell, his hand rested on the golden silk cloth, drawing everyone’s gaze to his hand.

The cloth was slowly lifted, revealing the long-awaited painting underneath.

The audience held their breath, their eyes firmly fixed on the painting.

If this news about the painting was merely a publicity stunt, even the most experienced media personnel would have to give it a thumbs up. This marketing strategy, shrouded in mystery, had successfully piqued everyone’s curiosity. Every person interested in this painting would not rest until they saw its true appearance.

Time seemed to slow down at this moment. Uncovering the silk cloth should have taken only a few seconds, but it felt as if a century had passed.

However, when the true face of the painting was fully revealed before everyone, in that instant, those who could see the painting felt that the world around them had changed. A sense of immense pressure overwhelmed them, and darkness enveloped their vision. Yet, in this extreme darkness and overwhelming oppression, something within them broke free and reached out with a positive purpose, extending upwards.

At this moment, everyone felt a bright light before their eyes, and stars seemed to twinkle above their heads. In that fleeting moment of twinkling light, an endless desire surged within them, a desire that made their hearts grow positively against the darkness, unafraid of oppression, and striving to branch outward.

At this moment, no one wanted their life to stop here. Everyone yearned to break through the heavy darkness, even though the darkness seemed boundless and suffocating. They knew that at the end of this darkness, a beam of light was waiting for them.

In this moment, in the exhibition hall with hundreds of people, silence prevailed. All eyes were on the central painting, filled with reverence and cherishment for life.

Born with light, born to pursue light.

“This painting is named ‘Light,’ the light of hope, the light of life, the light that those in darkness yearn for,” said the president of the Calligraphy and Painting Association. His voice choked with emotion, as this was not his first time seeing this painting. However, the impact it brought still resonated with him at this moment.

As the president finished speaking, someone in the audience started clapping, and soon, applause erupted throughout the exhibition hall. At the same time, countless live broadcast cameras focused on the painting, allowing it to be presented to millions of people who couldn’t be there in person.

Even though separated by screens, the magic of this painting spread through the screens. When applause erupted in the exhibition hall, those watching the live broadcast couldn’t help but join in. At this moment, nobody doubted that it was just a publicity stunt for the Dream Cup. This painting truly had the value and qualifications to be considered a masterpiece.

Sylvester knew who the artist behind this painting was. He had praised the artist just yesterday and was eagerly looking forward to the unveiling of this artwork. He was filled with expectations, wondering if he had set his hopes too high. After all, he had seen other works by Chen Li and had some understanding of his skills.

However, when the canvas was unveiled, Sylvester felt that this artwork exceeded his expectations. From the moment he laid eyes on it, he felt an overwhelming sense of heaviness followed by a surge of desire in his heart, telling him that this painting would be a masterpiece that would astonish the world.

Zhuge Yu hadn’t exaggerated; it was indeed the right decision for the Dream Cup to keep this painting hidden until the end. The applause in the exhibition hall lasted for a long time before finally subsiding, but everyone’s gaze remained fixed on the painting.

Perhaps the artist possessed some kind of magical power, as the colors in the painting were not very vivid. Under the deep black, there was a dull yellow. A withered seed was deeply buried in cracked soil, a seed that had lost its vitality, without water or light, unable to survive, and impossible to grow.

However, at the place where the seed cracked open, a tender sprout seemed to quietly extend, attempting to break free from the confines of the hard soil and seeking a glimmer of life.

This painting’s entire composition appeared simple, but the strong desire that collided with the soul firmly held their gazes.

Life is fragile, but life is also resilient. As long as there is hope in one’s heart, even in endless darkness, it cannot deprive you of your yearning for life.

The exhibition hall was quiet, and some people started to sob, while others couldn’t help but weep openly.

Every person experiences despair and adversity. The appearance of this painting touched their souls and planted a seed of longing within them.

This seed yearned for light, yearned to grow, but what moved people’s souls even more was that this seed revered life.

At this moment, time seemed to stand still. Everyone was infected by this unyielding seed. Some were in tears, some were joyous, some were silent, and some were filled with excitement.

Night fell, and the first day of the exhibition came to an end. When people walked out of the exhibition hall, most of them remained silent. Today, the impact of “Light” was too profound. Even though they had left the exhibition hall, their minds were still immersed in thoughts of “Light,” taking a long time to snap back to reality.

The critic who had once harshly criticized the Dream Cup walked among the crowd, feeling a burning sensation on his face.

Today, this painting had not only brought him shock but also slapped him hard, telling him that the Dream Cup had not forgotten its original intention. They had only chosen a different form to convey their principles.

Once back home, the critic felt an uneasy void in his heart. He immediately turned on his computer and tapped on the keyboard with lightning speed. The words in his article were all from the depths of his heart.

He began by apologizing to the Dream Cup committee and then used all the vocabulary he had learned in his lifetime to praise the painting titled “Light.” However, the critic, who usually had no problem expressing himself in his articles, now felt his words were utterly inadequate. No matter what words he used, he felt they couldn’t fully express what he wanted to convey.

Usually, he could finish a critical article in half an hour or an hour, but this time, he spent the entire evening struggling to write it. As he clicked “send,” he held his breath, hoping that his recent skepticism towards the Dream Cup would be forgiven. He also hoped that his article, written with great difficulty, would reach more people, allowing them to experience the feeling of revering life through this painting and inspiring them to stand up once again.

The critic had many followers on Weibo, most of whom appreciated him for his objective critiques of every painting without telling lies. When the Dream Cup’s capital division competition started, this critic was the first to criticize it, and many of his followers agreed with his views.

Of course, many fans couldn’t directly visit the exhibition in the capital, so they relied on the critic’s reviews. They eagerly wanted the Dream Cup to be proven wrong, so when the critic posted his review, the clicks immediately skyrocketed.

A few minutes later, when the critic refreshed the page again, he finally saw a sincere comment:

【I totally agree. I was there at the time, and the impact that painting had on me still lingers. It’s as if the painting possesses magic. Just thinking about it now makes me tremble. I was feeling very down these past few days, but after seeing that painting, all my melancholy disappeared. The difficulties in front of me seem like nothing now.】

【The person above and the blogger are exaggerating. It’s just a painting, after all.】

【Blogger, you’re not letting money speak for you now, are you? We follow you because you speak the truth. If you’ve also become corrupted, I’ll immediately unfollow you.】

The critic didn’t reply; he just sat quietly, reading more and more comments. Then, one comment caught his attention:

【I was just pulled back from the edge of death by someone, but the truth is, I didn’t want to come back. I wanted to d*e, really, really wanted to d*e. But in the hospital, I saw the painting that the blogger talked about. At the moment I looked at “Light,” I felt like I came back to life. I emerged from boundless gloom.

“Life is to pursue light.” I believe that one day, as long as I persevere, I’ll encounter my light. Tomorrow, I plan to go to the capital and see this painting with my own eyes, to feel that power that struck my heart. PS: I am a severe depression patient.】

The critic clicked on this person’s profile and found that this individual truly had a negative outlook on life. Every update was filled with negativity and determination to leave this world. But the latest post warmed the critic’s heart: 【Only by chance can lead me to my light.】

The critic left no comment but silently gave it a thumbs-up.

Later, the critic returned to his own profile and posted a new update:

【I believe truly outstanding works must have the power to strike people’s hearts, to uplift them and fill them with hope.】

It was a sleepless night for many professional critics, who struggled to write their own review articles. They used all the words of praise they could think of but still felt their vocabulary was lacking.

Those who had seen the painting left similar comments on their articles. They cried and laughed for the painting, and it evoked awe and hope within them.

No pictures of “Light” were leaked to the media, but through live broadcasts, the whole world witnessed the painting, and social media discussions about “Light” continued non-stop, full of awe and excitement.

However, amidst all the praises, a post appeared in everyone’s view, catching the attention of many and eventually causing a big stir.

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