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Sulfur Studios opens three-day exhibit featuring work by two Chinese artist

  • “To Be Official,” a Chinese painting on rice paper is part of the a new oil exhibit by Hanting Zhang. (Photo Courtesy of Hanting Zhang)
  • “To Be Official,” a Chinese painting on rice paper is part of the a new oil exhibit by Hanting Zhang. (Photo Courtesy of Hanting Zhang)
  • “Life - 1,” Mixed Media, 16x16 by Siqiao Liu is part of the “A Creative Mixture of Art,” curated by Siyi Qian, which opens at Sulfur Studios this week.
  • “A Bird,” Mixed Media, 16x16 by Siqiao Lio is part of the “A Creative Mixture of Art,” curated by Siyi Qian, which opens at Sulfur Studios this week.
 

Sulfur Studios opens three-day exhibit featuring work by two Chinese artist

02 Aug 2017

Sulfur Studios has been killing it with the diversity and quality of their art exhibits recently, and the show opening Aug. 4 is no exception.

“The Creative Mixture of Art” includes 30 striking pieces of work from two SCAD graduate painting students, Hanting Zhang and Siqiao Liu. Both artists are from Beijing, China, and both combine Eastern and Western artistic traditions to create a fresh blend of illustrative pop art and fine art.

Curator Siyi Qian says that the show exemplifies our current mashup culture with its mixture of styles, techniques and subject matter. The bold combination of Eastern and Western cultures with traditional and contemporary sensibilities gives this show appeal on multiple levels.

“Through this exhibition I am eager to provide a platform for young artists to exhibit their mixed arts and express their creative ideas and inspiration to local young artists,” says Qian. “I believe my exhibition will attract more potential audiences to understand art and culture through creative paintings. Although the theme of the exhibition and event is ongoing, my exhibition will be a novel one because the artists use creative ways to mix different cultures to reflect some social phenomenon. More importantly, the audiences will see and understand a deeper meaning through the paintings.”

Zhang’s father is a famous Chinese painter, so he grew up with art in his life. His paintings of comic book superheroes are infused with the traditional form of Ming Dynasty portraits and are meant to be a comment on corruption and the abuse of power. He says that a sense of justice is a strong theme in his work, but he doesn’t want to portray this simply in black or white terms.

“If you want to know the meaning behind my paintings, you need to know the political issue in China now, which is that the Chinese government is determined to fight corruption,” explains Zhang. “The corruption and the abuse of power in the Chinese government was wild for a long time, which made people live with a hard time. So I thought if there was anyone like a superhero, then our government could be rescued. However, the human being is a complex creature. We could not say someone is absolute good or bad. So I drew superheroes and super villains at the same time, which let the audience tell who is good or bad. This is the same situation in China, whether the government is good or bad, people have the right to judge.”

Liu also grew up around art. Her aunt was her first art teacher who taught her fundamental techniques at 14 which she has built on in her own way over the years.

“Chinese painting is a traditional culture in my country,” explains Liu. “I think I have a responsibility to inherit it and develop it. At the same time, I believe traditional Chinese painting needs to absorb new elements and mix into it. Abstract art influenced me a lot, especially color field painting and expressionism painting.”

She says that her paintings always revolve around themes of charm, confidence and the beauty of women’s bodies. She wants to add a “spice of life” and promote a more positive attitude through what she calls a mischievous postmodern style.

“I’m interested in this subject because I found many modern females are losing their fantastic dreams and individual personalities because of stressful lives which come from their families, work and society. Therefore, personal space and quality time seems to be a precious gift for females to breathe, relax, enjoy, and to do whatever they want. In addition, I wish I could arouse resonance among female viewers, encourage them [to have] a positive attitude in their life through my paintings.”

“The Creative Mixture of Art” is only up for three days this weekend, so catch it while you can.

IF YOU GO

What: The Creative Mixture of Art

When: 6-9 p.m. Aug. 4, opening reception; exhibit is up Aug. 4-6.

Where: Sulfur Studios, 2301 Bull St.

Cost: Free

Info: sulfurstudios.org

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