Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
Contemporary Asian Artists Interpret Traditional Theme for the Digital/Multimedia Age:
“MEDITATION IN CONTEMPORARY CHINESE LANDSCAPE”
AT GODWIN-TERNBACH MUSEUM, QUEENS COLLEGE, 10/15 - 12/6/08
Exhibition Opening including Asian dance performance and reception:
Wednesday, October 15, 6 – 7:30 pm
FLUSHING, NY, September 9, 2008 -- “Meditation in Contemporary Chinese Landscape,”a special exhibition organized by the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College and curated by Luchia Meihua Lee, features the work of 12 Chinese artists from Taiwan, China, Malaysia, and the United States. Working in the media of painting, installation, digital, video and photography, these artists capture the spirit of Chinese landscape in contemporary context, using today’s visual language and idioms. Included is work by Queens resident Zhang Hongtu, whose politically charged painting was seized by Chinese customs
officials and banned from Beijing exhibition during the recent Olympics. Other artists represented in the exhibition are Arnold Chang (Zhang Hong), Lin Shih Pao, Chin Chih Yang, Huang Guorui, YoYo Xiao(Wei Xiao), Cui Fei, Hai Zhang, Marlene Tseng Yu, Chee Wang Ng, Lin Pey Chwen and Yin Mei Critchell.
|Yang Chin Chih |
2050 Queens, 2008
Multimedia/video projection and
Maxi-media Moving installation
video projection: 10 minutes
Installation: Dimension variable
Courtesy of the Artist .
“This exhibition, at a time of China’s rising global influence, has multifaceted objectives,” says Godwin-Ternbach Director Amy Winter. “It will dynamically expose our community to contemporary Chinese art, a vital force in world art. It will educate diverse audiences about traditional Chinese culture and its transformation by contemporary artists, giving insight into their fundamental reverence for nature and ecological harmony, which is so crucial for global survival. Additionally, the exhibition parallels Queens College’s newly launched Asian Initiative, which has been designed, in part, to develop and solidify our relationship with the Asian community in Queens—the second largest in the U.S.—and pave the way for future collaboration.”
Just as Chinese landscapes are meant to be true to nature but not pictorial, “Meditation” invites the viewer to explore the art in detail, using imagination to supplement the work itself. In so doing, the viewer experiences a kind of journey through the represented scene. Updating this practice for the current exhibition, the gallery space has been designed as an interactive environment, with four stations or zones that simulate the journey that viewers undergo by contemplating traditional Chinese landscapes.
Looking backward as well as forward, “Meditation” connects Chinese landscape painting to its deepest roots. “Traditional Chinese landscape painting’s most important cultural referent is to ancient Chinese Taoism, not to Confucianism,” explains curator Luchia Meihua Lee. “Taoism teaches that the void—the unknowable that cannot be named or described—is the source of life and the deepest understanding. The core of Tao lies in a philosophic and religious conviction that emptiness and non-action are the key tools to reach an explanation of the origin of the universe, the structure of the universe, and the best path for human life.” The
works on view simultaneously embrace and renew these tenets, using new visual and technological forms.
|Cui Fei |
Read by Touch, 2005-2006
Thorns on rice paper
9 1/4” x 10 3/4” each page, total 11 pages
Courtesy of the Artist
Public programs will be offered in conjunction with the exhibition. The opening reception on October 15 will feature a special performance by internationally acclaimed choreographer Yin Mei Critchell, head of the Queens College dance department, with music composed by Richard Marriott (music funded by Life Music for Dance). Yin Mei will also perform her recent work, “Empty Tradition: City of Peonies/City of Paper – Excerpts,” at the Asia Society on October 1 and November 1 and at Queens College on December 9.
Additional public events include a curator’s tour; a roundtable discussion by three artists featured in the exhibition; lectures by Tao master James Tu and Queens scholar and painter Arnold Chang on the significance of Taoist philosophy in Chinese landscape art; a lecture by QC art history professor Xiaoping Lin on contemporary Asian art; and a Family Day workshop in calligraphy led by QC artist-educators.
Exhibition and program support has been provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the Wann Family Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan and the Taipei Cultural Center, TECO in New York; Crystal Windows & Door Systems, Ltd., Flushing; Amax Printing, Brooklyn, NY; China Construction and Design International (CCDI), New York; and the Friends of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
Museum hours are Monday–Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm. The museum is open on Sundays during related exhibition events. Please call the museum at 718-997-4747 for further information on the exhibition and public programs or visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/godwin_ternbach. Admission is free.
By car, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum is 40 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Directions are at http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php.
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is the only comprehensive collection of art and artifacts in the borough of Queens, housing over 3,700 objects that date from ancient to modern times. The mission of the GTM has grown over time from serving as a teaching museum for the benefit of art and art history students to embracing all disciplines and an increasingly diverse and engaged community. All exhibitions are free, as are their related lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours.