Friday, June 17, 2016

'Boundaries of the Spirit' at Nanhai Arts

Nanhai Art, a gallery specializing in Chinese art, will be opening a new show this coming Saturday. "Boundaries of the Spirit" features the work of three women artists: Lin Yan, Zhang Yanzi, and Zhou He.

From different perspectives, and with different aesthetic vocabularies, the artists probe the workings of the human spirit. They share a sensitivity to materials that enables each of them to break with conventions of Chinese painting and art.

This exhibition is curated by Julia F. Andrews, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University and a specialist in Chinese art.

Zhou He (b. 1956, Chongqing, China) has worked in the press as an art editor and illustrator for 25 years and used to be the president of preschool education press of East China Normal University before becoming the director of Shanghai children's art education research center. On the merits of her award-winning children's book designs, she was recommended by the cultural and education center of German Embassy to hold a solo exhibition in Frankfurt in 2009.

Zhang Yanzi was born in the Zhenjiang, a town of many islands in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Zhang refers to the river mists and evening breezes in her childhood as an inspiration for her paintings. She explores ideas of femininity and aesthetic grace based in a chant in a poem by Li Zhong of the Tang Dynasty: “the sun and moon in the kettle seem to deliberately draw the distance between hearts closer, the mist and clouds in the twilight off the island appear clearly in dreams.”

Lin Yan creates architectural installations and sculpture paintings in xuan paper. In her hands, xuan paper is not merely the submissive medium of painting; rather, it can be shaped to possess weight and layers of its own. Black and white, firmness and softness are harmoniously juxtaposed; each quality implicates the other, like the constant negotiation of void and fullness in tai chi, or the yin-yang balance in traditional Chinese philosophy. Interested in spatial and architectural forms, Lin has created many large site-specific installations. These works sustain the subtle contrast between their massive appearance and light weight.

NanHai Art exhibition hall located at:
520 Broadway
Millbrae, CA 94030

NanHai Art is a 5 min. walk from the Millbrae BART and Caltrain stations, for drivers take the Millbrae Ave. exit on US-101.

Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. and by appointment. Opens June 18 through July 23.

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