CHINA PAVILION PROVIDES RARE GLIMPSE INTO TRADITIONAL CHINESE ARTS AT THE LOS ANGELES FINE ART SHOW: HISTORIC AND TRADITIONAL.
CLASSIC COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST PAINTINGS RETROSPECTIVE OF XIA JINGSHAN AND NEW WORKS BY TONG HONGSHENG ACCOMPANIED BY QING DYNASTY READING HOUSE.
The Los Angeles Fine Art Show: Historic & Traditional welcomes a special exhibition honoring the history and tradition of the arts in China. Classic Collection of Buddhist Paintings, a retrospective of the works of master brush painter Xia Jingshan accompanied by a selection of works from his preeminent student, Tong Hongsheng will be juxtaposed with the installation of a reading room from a Qing Dynasty house. The 7,000 square foot China Pavilion closes the show’s multi-year focus on China, a powerhouse in both traditional and contemporary arts.
The China Pavilion provides a rare opportunity to view traditional Chinese arts in an immersive environment. Much of what has been deemed traditional Chinese art in the West was created centuries ago. Classic Collection of Buddhist Paintings showcases the works of a living master and an art form that, while deeply rooted in tradition, has significantly influenced, and is wholly a part of modern China. These works provide a bridge between China’s historical past at the Los Angeles Fine Art Show: Historic & Traditional and its future at the LA Art Show: Modern & Contemporary.
Qing Dynasty Reading Room: The Gateway to China
Visitors will begin their China Pavilion experience in the Qing Dynasty reading room of Jiang Bin, a well-known imperial physician in Wuyuan City: a city containing the most historic and original buildings in China. The reading room was the place within the home where paintings would have been on display. Paired with the paintings, books and intricate carvings, the reading room takes visitors back in time to experience the traditional atmosphere of Chinese art.
This reading room is an example of Ming & Qing dynasty architecture in Anhui province. Chinese architecture reached its pinnacle of style and technology during this era. Houses during this time period embodied Chinese philosophy, with an emphasis on harmony, symmetry and beauty. Made entirely of wood with interlocking joints, these houses contained many woodcarvings, often representing ideas that were seminal to Chinese philosophy. The carvings may represent the owner’s aspirations, for example, a bat represents prosperity, while the pomegranate represents fertility and the peach symbolizes longevity
Traditional Buddhist Art & Its Impact on Modern Artistic Traditions
The history of Chinese art is tightly linked with the development of Buddhist devotional paintings. The spread of this religion into China catalyzed many new ideas and modes of artistic expression. Classic Collection of Buddhist Paintings is a retrospective of 76 works by Master brush painter Xia Jingshan. Born in 1923 at Weifang, Shandong Province, Jingshan began studying traditional Chinese scroll painting at the age 16. But, it wasn’t until he was 28, under the tutelage of rabbi Nanting that Xia Jingshan began what would become a life-long focus on Buddhist art.
Classic Collection of Buddhist Paintings provides key insights into the traditional views and perspectives of China that form the basis upon which the modern country has emerged. A nearly lost artistic tradition, Xia Jingshan has revived many of the artistic traditions used in both Buddhist and traditional Chinese painting. In 1994, he established Xia Xue, the Academy of Buddhist Painting, in Beijing to ensure these techniques will be passed on for new generations. Each of Xia Jingshan’s works may be viewed as lessons. Some tell a story from ancient folk traditions or the Buddhist canon, others represent his meditations or spiritual ideas. Together his works form a comprehensive view of the traditional Chinese outlook on life, history and core values.
Xia Jingshan primarily works in the gongbi or ‘meticulous’ style often found in the Imperial Palace painting academies of ancient China and in Buddhist devotional painting, where emphasis was placed upon transmission of concepts above artistic style. However a few of the works in Classic Collection of Buddhist Paintings have been executed in the freehand style of ancient Zen painters, who painted as a form of meditation.
Xia Jingshan’s paintings will be juxtaposed against a selection of five large-scale paintings by his preeminent student Tong Hongsheng. While Xia Jingshan’s works represent the traditional threads of Chinese culture stretching back into the past, Tong Hongsheng’s works take these threads of history and weave them into a contemporary context. Hongsheng’s realistic works provide a distinct lens into the daily life of Buddhist monks. Ranging from portraits of holy men to panoramas of religious ceremonies and sacred Tibetan objects, Tong Hongsheng’s paintings depict Buddhism in its current state. Exhibited alongside the works of Xia Jingshan, these works contrast the revival of ancient artistic traditions and illustrate how these old techniques have been imbued in the modern artistic psyche.
Tong Hongsheng is a graduate of the China Academy of Art. He is a recipient of three Excellence Awards for his work titled Young People, at the China Painting Exhibition, the 4th China Art Exhibition, and at a Princeton University Gallery exhibition sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture Exchange Center.
The Los Angeles Fine Art Show takes place on January 19-22, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall B, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. For additional information about the Los Angeles Fine Art Show, to register for a lecture or purchase online tickets, please visit www.LosAngelesFineArtShow.com. General admission to the Los Angeles Fine Art Show is $20 and includes admission to the LA Art Show and the LA IFPDA Fine Print Fair. General Show Dates: Thursday-Sunday, January 19-22, 2012. Opening Night Premiere Party: Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
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About Los Angeles Fine Art Show
The Los Angeles Fine Art Show: Historic & Traditional features galleries that offer significant, quality paintings and sculpture to the discerning collector. From 18th century European to contemporary realism - from California plein air to the Hudson River School, this show presents varied yet complimentary genres and celebrates artists who continue to explore respected regional styles.