Chapter 279 – Theme of the Art Exhibition
The New Year had passed, and once again, the matter of Chen Li’s art exhibition was brought to the forefront of the agenda. Zhuge Yu, for this reason, came to F country shortly after the New Year. Sylvester also joined him, and the three titans of the art world gathered together once more.
However, just like last time, the three individuals expressed their own opinions and couldn’t reach an agreement no matter how much they discussed. Amidst arguments and disputes, not a single agenda was decided throughout the day.
“Well, let’s ask Xiao Li what he thinks, and we’ll follow his opinion.” Chen Yunlan knew that continuing like this was not a solution. With each of them having their own ideas and none conceding to the others, it was better to let Chen Li set the direction himself. They would follow the path suggested by Chen Li rather than engaging in endless arguments without reaching a decision.
Zhuge Yu and Sylvester agreed with Chen Yunlan’s proposal.
So, one noon, as Chen Li had just woken up from a nap, he saw the three titans of the art world standing in front of him, their eyes gleaming.
If these three were not familiar faces to Chen Li, he might have been frightened and ran away.
“Xiao Li, do you have any thoughts on this art exhibition?” Chen Yunlan realized the distance between himself and Chen Li, making Chen Li somewhat uncomfortable. He took a step back and asked.
Chen Li glanced at the three elders in front of him. “Thoughts?”
“Yes, after all, this is your first art exhibition, and we will respect your thoughts,” Zhuge Yu said, his eyes filled with encouragement, hoping Chen Li would boldly express his ideas rather than just going along with whatever they suggested.
Sylvester also encouraged Chen Li, saying, “We respect your thoughts.”
“Okay, let me think about it.” Chen Li’s expression became serious as he began to contemplate how to approach the exhibition.
“Xiao Li, take your time to think, and let us know when you’re ready,” Chen Yunlan said in a softened tone, not wanting Chen Li to feel pressured.
“Okay.” Chen Li nodded.
After receiving Chen Li’s temporary answer, the three left. Outside, they started arguing again, this time about issues related to the venue.
Wei Chen, carrying a stack of books, calmly walked past the three arguing individuals. It had become a common sight in the past few days.
When Wei Chen returned to the bedroom, Chen Li was propping up his head, his eyes empty, lost in thought. Without disturbing Chen Li’s contemplation, Wei Chen placed the books on the study table and then walked over to Chen Li.
Chen Li felt Wei Chen’s approach and lifted his head to glance at him, his eyes still filled with confusion. Wei Chen reached out and rubbed Chen Li’s head, gently asking, “What are you thinking about?”
“The teachers asked me to provide some direction for the art exhibition, and I’m thinking about what that direction should be.” Chen Li leaned against Wei Chen’s hand, feeling a bit frustrated because he had no clue about the exhibition at the moment.
“Li Li, what kind of exhibition do you hope to have?” Wei Chen changed his approach and asked.
Chen Li shook his head in confusion. He had never organized an art exhibition before, nor had he attended anyone else’s. In this regard, he was a complete novice, and the question of what kind of exhibition he wanted left him stumped.
Seeing Chen Li’s confused expression, Wei Chen didn’t press further and changed the topic. “Li Li, the books you wanted, I’ve brought them back. Do you want to see them now?”
Chen Li’s confused eyes suddenly lit up, and he nodded eagerly.
Wei Chen held Chen Li’s hand and led him into the study, bringing him to the stack of books. “They’re all here. Take a look first, and I’ll buy them for you after you’ve finished.”
“Okay.” Chen Li nodded and then carefully picked up the book at the front, opening it as if uncovering a precious world.
These were all books on the history of China. After the New Year, Chen Li had developed a strong interest in the history of China and had watched some historical TV dramas on the subject.
Wei Chen noticed Chen Li’s newfound interest and decided to get him a proper historical book. Unlike TV dramas, historical books were not only difficult to read but also lacked the entertainment value. Wei Chen wasn’t sure if Chen Li would be able to go through them.
To Wei Chen’s surprise, Chen Li, holding the history book, read it with great interest, completely engrossed. Later on, he even asked Wei Chen to prepare more history books for him.
Wei Chen contacted Wei Hua and asked him to send over several history books, and the books arrived today. Once Chen Li received the new books, he no longer thought about the art exhibition. Finding a sunny spot, he held the books and quickly immersed himself in the tumultuous yet exceptionally vibrant world of China’s past.
Wei Chen didn’t disturb Chen Li and turned on the computer to attend to some work. The warm winter sun poured in through the bay window, and in the study, only the sound of the keyboard could be heard. Chen Li leaned against the window, holding a book, reading attentively. Wei Chen sat at the desk, diligently handling business matters. The sound of the keyboard became the most melodious tune of this noon.
Time unknowingly flowed forward, and in the blink of an eye, the sun was about to set. The evening sky displayed a beautiful sunset, spreading thick and vibrant colors across the sky. The golden-red hue of the setting sun tinted the snow-covered grass outside, creating a picturesque scene that captivated the gaze, making it difficult to look away.
Mary knocked on the door; it was time for dinner. Chen Li finally put down the book, carefully placing it back on the table.
“Achen, I understand now.”
When Wei Chen held Chen Li’s hand, Chen Li looked up at Wei Chen. The golden-red color of the sunset was reflected in his large eyes, making them exceptionally bright.
“Hmm?” Wei Chen was captivated by Chen Li’s appearance, and his gaze fixed on Chen Li’s face, unable to move away.
Chen Li tiptoed and whispered something into Wei Chen’s ear, sharing his thoughts. This idea excited Chen Li, and for the first time, besides matters related to Wei Chen, he had a strong desire.
“If you want to do it, go ahead,” Wei Chen said gently after hearing Chen Li’s explanation. Regardless of what Chen Li wanted to do, he would unconditionally support him.
After dinner, Chen Li shared his idea with the three elders. As he spoke about his thoughts, Chen Li’s eyes sparkled, and everyone could see his determination and love for this idea.
No one interrupted Chen Li’s narrative. They listened seriously and gradually became astonished. After Chen Li finished speaking, the three elders looked at him, initially surprised, and then filled with delight.
Even they hadn’t considered setting such a theme for Chen Li’s art exhibition. It was a significant theme, and for others, they might have advised careful consideration, as it was challenging to handle such a vast theme. Without any experience, it would be difficult to manage.
However, Chen Li was different. His thoughts were pure, and the way he viewed things was beyond their imagination. Moreover, he possessed the rare quality of concentration. As long as he desired, the final product would undoubtedly be a stunning masterpiece that would astonish the world.
The theme received unanimous approval from the three elders. Even though Chen Li had not yet started creating works related to this theme, they were not in a hurry. They advised Chen Li to calm down and create slowly, urging him not to rush, not to make the art exhibition the main focus of his work. Although they knew that Chen Li wouldn’t be easily disturbed while creating, they still didn’t want him to feel any pressure.
With the theme for the art exhibition settled, the three elders, who had previously argued incessantly about the exhibition, immediately united their efforts.
Of course, as Chen Li’s works were not yet created, the art exhibition wouldn’t open anytime soon. The new semester had begun at Q University, and Zhuge Yu took his leave to return home.
Chen Li also didn’t immediately start creating. The time he used to spend painting was now dedicated to reading. With each piece of knowledge gained about China’s history, Chen Li’s love for the country grew.
Chen Yunlan didn’t rush Chen Li either. The exhibition was organized for Chen Li’s benefit, and pressuring him for the sake of the exhibition would be counterproductive. Everything proceeded according to Chen Li’s mindset and pace. Following Wei Chen’s return with a stack of history books, Chen Li quickly finished reading them. However, instead of asking Wei Chen for more books, Chen Li carefully re-read the books and researched additional materials.
One month later, Chen Li finally began creating the first painting for the art exhibition.
While painting, Chen Li stared at the blank canvas, contemplating for a long time before solemnly making the first stroke. When the painting was halfway done, Chen Yunlan came in for a look. The unfinished artwork deeply shocked him. He stood there, staring blankly for a long time. Various emotions surged within him, and eventually, a strong sense of admiration took over.
An unfinished painting could have such an effect. Chen Yunlan couldn’t even imagine what kind of impact the completed artwork would have.
Suddenly, Chen Yunlan felt a sense of anticipation for the exhibition that might open at an uncertain future date.
On the same day, Wei Chen received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. The caller ID indicated it was from Shanghai, China. As Wei Chen answered the call, a voice of an unchanged teenage boy came through, “Brother, it’s Wei Wei. Something happened to Mom!”
“What happened?” Wei Chen’s tone carried an urgency that Wei Chen couldn’t decipher.
“Dad filed for divorce the day before yesterday, and today Mom disappeared! I’m afraid she might do something drastic…”
“Brother, please think of a way. Brother.”
Wei Wei’s voice already had a hint of sobbing. Everything had happened too suddenly, and he could only think of his older brother at a time like this.