Chinese culture inspires elegant landscapes on delicate rice paper

Chris Zawacki

The Saddleback College art gallery introduced its most recent exhibit, “A Brush with Nature” Nov. 1.

The reception honored the work of artists Jim Zhenhua Zhang and Xiaoxing Yu.

Zhang displayed a series of tranquil landscapes displaying titles such as “Early Spring,” and “Winter Riverside”.

The works applied different Chinese techniques such as watercolor and Chinese ink on rice paper.

“I try to combine the fine tradition of the landscape painting with my traveling experiences and my imagination, to create my own which are serene and meditative,” Zhang said. “Most of my painted images are an invitation to quiet contemplation and spiritual enlightenment.”

This was Zhang’s first exhibit at Saddleback’s art gallery.

“What impressed me most about Jim’s work is the detail and brushwork, ” said gallery director Bob Rickerson. “He uses good atmospheric perspective and has a very strong effect when it goes light to dark.”

Xiaoxing Yu assembled a bit more variety through her display. Her nature scenes contrasted very well in comparison to Zhang’s. Yu exhibited several images which included Chinese women in order to portray Chinese culture.

“I strive to express my feelings and personal experience through my unique art form called ‘Gong Bi’ or Chinese ‘Fine Brushwork,'” Yu said. “My subjects are often nostalgic to me.”

Audience members all had different feelings provoked by the ethnic pieces. Yu, in particular, uses rich devices to zoom in on her work.

“[Yu] has great figurative detail and really makes her figures come to life,” Rickerson said.

“A Brush with Nature” will be on display until Nov. 21 in the Saddleback art gallery.

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