Galleries at CSU highlight Chinese art, past and present

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At first glance, the image above could pass for a traditional Chinese ink painting.

Look closer. Factories, highways and skyscrapers disrupt the majestic landscape.

The image itself is actually a still from “Rising Mist,” a video by artist Yang Yongliang. See it for yourself at The Galleries at CSU, where two exciting new exhibitions – “A Spirit Resonates: Chinese Art from the Degenfelder Collection” and “A Tradition Re-Interpreted: New Work by Contemporary Chinese Artists” – open Thursday, October 22.

“It’s a great pairing,” said Robert Thurmer, director of the Galleries at CSU.

“A Spirit Resonates” features historical works dating from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) to the 20th century, from the collection of Pauline and Joseph Degenfelder.

“A Tradition Re-Interpreted” showcases latter-day Chinese artists working in a variety of media, including painting, photography and digital animation.

“In Eastern art, the implication rather than the representation has always been important,” Thurmer said.

“You let the ink run, and it forms an image in your mind. The viewer fills in the blank. ‘A Spirit Resonates’ is steeped in this history, while ‘A Tradition Re-Interpreted’ features artists who use traditional techniques in fresh ways – ink paintings on rice paper depicting iPhone images, for example.”

Curators Diana Chou (who assembled “A Spirit Resonates”) and Zhijian Qian (who put together “A Tradition Re-Interpreted” with CSU Professor Qian Li) will host a gallery conversation at 4 p.m. October 22 in the Galleries at CSU. A reception will follow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“A Tradition Re-Interpreted” includes a pair of unique installations – a sand painting as well as a cut-paper piece – created by artists Cui Fei and Xin Song, respectively.

The exhibitions, on view through Saturday, December 5, are presented with the support of CSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Ohio Arts Council. “A Tradition Re-Interpreted” is also made possible with the generous support of the Confucius Institute at CSU.

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