Alex Fong Galleria Exhibition
Kunlun Zhang (organizer), Kathleen Gillis, Yuan Li, Zhenping Chen, Michelle Chen, Xiqiang Dong, Weixing Wang, Zhiping Wang, Chongqi Yao, Cuiying Zhang, Wei Jane Chir, Ruizhen Gu, Yi Shiou Jou, Zhuli Chen, Yanying Wang, Amy Fan, Daci Shen, De Zhong.
Media: Oil on canvas, watercolor, pastel on paper, silk paints on silk, fiberglass, and mixed media.
The Art of Truth Compassion Tolerance brings together the work of eighteen artists from around the world who share in common the practice of Falun Dafa. All have emigrated from China with the exception of one, Kathleen Gillis, who is Canadian.
Some of the artists have experienced stark deprivations of their rights while living in China, simply on account of their identity. Much of what is portrayed in the exhibit is inspired by the artist’s own, first-hand experiences to this effect. Several pieces are inspired by the artist’s inner experience. While the market for contemporary Chinese art is thriving, these artists paint not for the market but for a greater vision.
The exhibit’s pieces give poignant, visual treatment to important events in China while simultaneously depicting the inner life of the artist. The combination provides an intimate, and altogether unique, window into one important (and often untold) part of the Chinese experience at the beginning of the 21st century; as of 1999, over 70 million Chinese had made Falun Dafa, a meditation discipline, a part of their lives. The themes of their work are at once particular and universal.
The exhibit should appeal to a wide range of persons, including first and foremost those who appreciate new explorations in the fine arts; those interested in the relation of art to the social world; and those interested in the human experience more broadly, and the human capacity to overcome adversity. Those concerned with the contemporary world, in particular China, will find special importance in the issues engaged therein. Much of what the art depicts is currently unfolding there, and indeed, drawn from real events. The exhibit is timely and relevant.
The painting technique and style is mostly classical, as the artists apply classical oil painting techniques used by the old masters. They thus refer to their art-form as “Neo-Renaissance.” Several other works involve classical Chinese motifs, and are painted on silk or paper.