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Art221: The Art of Chinese Brush Painting

May 21, 2016 to May 27, 2016
Moghadam Gallery, McMurtry Building, 355 Roth Way


Featuring the work of: 

Sonal Agarwal, Jennifer Ann Alexander, Adele Chi, Pauline Chu, Bernadette Delgado, Diane Janet Herrick, Tomoe Kalnay, Linda M Papanicolaou, Vidya Prakash, Alzbeta Rydlova, Kim Saxe, Leslie Evans Strong, Ramanan Subramanian, Virgina Sung, Lisa Lan Willoner, and Tianyu Xie

The Chinese civilization is one of the oldest existing civilizations in the world today, dating back to as far as 5,000 thousand years. The Chinese culture is already a history in itself and its richness could be felt through the magnificence of the paintings.  Chinese brush painting has been acclaimed as one of the most fascinating and unique form of arts. It is rooted in a rich tradition of over thousands of years, yet its execution could be exceedingly contemporary.  Chinese painting is simple in spirit, concept and execution.  It is this classic simple elegance that is the true heart and soul of Chinese painting.

The mastery of Chinese brush painting involves many years of commitment, dedication, patience and self-discipline, thus it is considered as one of the most demanding art forms. The virtues practiced during the mastery of the art leads to the enrichment of one’s life and the enhancement of the highest principles and ideals of the Chinese culture. It is generally believed that devoting one’s life to the mastery of Chinese brush painting is a very noble pursuit for the mind and the spirit. 

One of the most amazing facts about Chinese brush painting is that a single brush stroke is a defining move that produces a part of the painting.  Each brush stroke is already a fixed component of the painting that can neither be improved nor corrected.  Chinese brush painting demands that from the very first until the final stroke, the artist must always “get each stroke right”, or risk throwing away the whole painting.  No initial sketches are prepared and no models are used.  The artist has to compose and visualize the painting in his mind, then proceed to paint with rapid, constructed and definitive strokes – in effect transferring the mind’s mental image unto the paper.

Chinese brush painting is meant to be more than just a mere depiction of an object.  The subjects in Chinese painting are figurative expressions of reality.  For example:  plants and trees are never painted in its entirety.  Only a few blossoms or branches are drawn to represent the whole. This is also an offshoot of the Tao philosophy – parts or symbols depicting life in its completeness.  Chinese artists bring forth their paintings from the mind, heart and soul, rather than looking at the subject as they paint.

We invite you to enjoy our Art!

Department of Art & Art History
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