Two Chinese artists demonstrated the art of ink painting to Filipino students today, in an exhibit aimed at bringing contemporary Chinese art to the Philippine audience.

About 20 students participated in the workshop by Chinese painters Chen Lyusheng and Sun Jiangtao who specialize in Southern School painting, a style typically seen in southern China which focuses on landscape and nature.

Students were taught the basics of calligraphy and Chinese art, focusing on proper brush strokes and various techniques of putting ink on paper, along with a lecture on how ink painting has developed.

Chen said the workshop aims to bring the people of both countries closer.

"Chinese arts and culture make up an important part of world culture. I think everyone in the world can appreciate the results of Chinese creativity. Of course, China and the Philippines have a long-standing relationship, there are a lot of Chinese people here in the Philippines, a lot of Chinese descendants," he said.

Promote culture, ease political tensions

The workshop was part of a painting exhibit initiated by the Philippine and Chinese Culture ministries, with the aim to promote a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and promote ties between the two countries amid political tension in the region.

"Politics may be the troublemaker, but art and culture is the peacemaker,"said Mary Anne Luis, director of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts.

chinese philippine art Chen Lyusheng

'We're spreading Chinese arts and culture ... to bring the two countries' people together,' says artist Chen Lyusheng. (Reuters)

"So we hope that through this activity we would be able to strengthen our relationship with China and give this message that we are still friends in spite of all these political differences that we have."

The relationship between the Philippines and China has soured in recent months due to the rising tensions over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China claims 90 per cent of the South China Sea, believed to have huge oil and gas deposits and which is rich in fishery resources.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims over some of the territory, where about $5 trillion of ship-borne trade passes every year.