Museum of Art & History
@ the McPherson Center
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Museum Wide Exhibition: *Ying: Inspired by the Art and History of China,
February 23 – June 29, 2008
Just returned from opening / reception and dinner-banquet at Italian restaurant with local and visiting artists from China, including Yao Chong-wei, Standing Deputy-director of Chengde Art Academy, and Huo Weing Ging / Liuaimin, Member of China’s National Photographer’s Association. They’re the ones I spoke with–through an interpreter.
Images above include 1) “Man Smoking Pipe (Ancestral painting), Qing Dynasty, official poster for the exhibit, 2) Gloria Alford’s “The Jaded Princess,” and 3) Yao Chong-wei with photographer and “Successful calligraphy and painting person ” Huo Weing Ging / Liuaimin… the opening for the show draws hundreds of people…
Museum’s Executive Director, Paul Figueroa, speaks of the “breath-taking impact” of Gloria’s “Jaded Princess,” which, “as a replica of an historical artifact transferred to the contemporary immediately sets the ‘tone’ for the gallery.”
According to the museum’s website, “the third-floor features Santa Cruz artists inspired by the art and history of China. The featured artists include Gloria Alford, Wallace Boss, Dana Eaton, Sara Friedlander, Coeleen Kiebert, Mattie Leeds, Joel Magen, Victoria May and Gary Snider.” Find myself particularly struck (anew!) by G’s “Jaded Princess,” Sara Friedlander’s photographs, Coeleen Kiebert’s sculptural pieces and Mattie Leeds, a potter whose work has to be seen to be believed. Trying to find a link to Mattie’s work.
One work in the show sets forth the Six Principles of Chinese painting
The Six principles of Chinese painting were established by Xie He (also known as Hsieh Ho), a writer, art historian and critic in 6th century China. He is most famous for his “Six points to consider when judging a painting” (绘画六法, Pinyin:Huìhuà Liùfǎ), taken from the preface to hsRecord of the Classification of Old Painters (古画品录; Pinyin: Gǔhuà Pǐnlù). Keep in mind that this was written circa 550 A.D. and refers to “old” and “ancient” practices.
The six elements that define a painting are:
1) “Spirit Resonance,” or vitality, and seems to translate to the nervous energy transmitted from the artist into the work. The overall energy of a work of art. Xie He said that without Spirit Resonance, there was no need to look further.
2) “Bone Method,” or the way of using the brush. This refers not only to texture and brush stroke, but to the close link between handwriting and personality. In his day, the art of calligraphy was inseparable from painting.
3) “Correspondence to the Object,” or the depicting of form, which would include shape and line.
4) “Suitability to Type,” or the application of color, including layers, value and tone.
5) “Division and Planning,” or placing and arrangement, corresponding to composition, space and depth.
6) “Transmission by Copying,” or the copying of models, not only from life but also the works of antiquity.
*In 2006, Susan Hillhouse, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, was invited to China to lecture and curate exhibitions in both Qufu and Chengde. While in Chengde, she visited the studios of a group of artists. The concept of this exhibition resulted from her insightful visit and blends with our goal to intersect art and history. The influence of China on California’s historical landscape is an integral part of this region’s history. This museum wide presentation opens a new path of discovery through contemporary artists from China, the Bay area and Santa Cruz deepening our understanding of Santa Cruz County’s many cultural heritages.”