Tianjin faculty demonstrate Chinese brush painting

Faculty-artists from the School of the Arts at Tianjin University of Commerce visited MMC Feb. 10 to share the art of Chinese brush painting

FIU art lovers were schooled in Chinese brush painting Feb. 10. A delegation from the School of the Arts at Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC) in China visited Modesto A. Maidique Campus to present a painting class and share works by 30 of their faculty-artists in an exhibit, “Tianjin Arts in Miami: Sharing the Essence of Chinese Culture,” at the Frost Art Museum. The pieces were on display Feb. 10 through Feb. 16.

TUC Chairman Xueqi Chen speaks at the "Tianjin Arts in Miami" reception. TUC faculty-artists spend a year creating the exhibit paintings behind him.

Prior to a reception at the Frost, Wang Qihua, dean of the TUC School of the Arts, taught a class on Chinese painting at the Rafael Diaz-Balart Auditorium. He said to enjoy Chinese painting you need to learn about it.

Qihua, a renown painter and member of the Chinese Artists Association, discussed the rich history of Chinese painting – one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. “Traditional Chinese paintings represent thousands of years of our culture. They are a sediment to our culture,” said Qihua.

Chinese painting has established itself as a unique system in the art world. Similar to Chinese calligraphy, the fundamental component of Chinese painting is the line. The artist has maximum freedom of expression. He depicts everything he sees, instead of drawing a scene in perspective as viewed from one particular point. Paintings consists of three categories: figure painting, landscape painting and flower-bird painting.

“Chinese ink is the best in the world,” said the dean. The ink exists for thousands of years without fading.

As Qihua reviewed techniques and materials, TUC  professors Yin Canghai, Yu Jianshi and Liu Chunshui demonstrated the techniques on a canvas placed flat on a table at the front of the room. It is not uncommon to have more than one artist work on a painting, said Qihua. It helps build teamwork and oftentimes the painters won’t say a word to each other during the process.

In one hour, TUC faculty-artists painted "Tranquil Lotus Pond" to give to the FIU community.

By the end of the lecture, the painters had created a traditional Chinese painting, “Tranquil Lotus Pond,” which they gave to FIU as a gift.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to learn from our esteemed colleagues at Tianjin University,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzock.”

Art student Maya Castro was impressed. “The painting turned out beautifully, especially when you consider it was a collaboration. I really like the contrast of the black ink and the colorful birds.”

Castro knew very little about Chinese art before the lecture. “It was nice to be exposed to non-western art,” she said.