More than 160 small-sized oil paintings by contemporary artists in Guangdong Province are on exhibition at the Guan Shanyue Art Museum through Sunday.
Incorporating a wide variety of topics ranging from natural landscapes to human figures and social lives, the exhibition examines artistic development in recent years in Guangdong, a hotbed for Chinese oil painting.
Chen Xiangbing, curator of the exhibition, said the limited size could challenge artists to use more refined expressions and demand a direct expression of their artist talent.
He said that in comparison with large paintings that are usually favored by art dealers, small-sized works are more suitable for individual art lovers or private collections. Through small pieces, art can become more easily accessible to ordinary households.
Chen said some artists have explored creation with half-finished works while retaining the integrity of the whole picture.
“You can see that some works have large empty spaces on the canvas, making an impression that the paintings are unfinished, but actually the space allows endless imagination from viewers,” Chen said.
A painting by Shenzhen-based female artist Xue Yang strikes a chord with many visitors for its thematic concern of the human mental state. The painting depicts a person, with no clear identity of age or gender, in a virtual space that is floating in the air. Xue said she created the piece from her feelings of forlornness and uncertainty about the future.
A painting called “Pear Flower Garden” by artist Lin Yongkang gives a sketchy view of a blooming garden by using a technique that is common in the genre of traditional Chinese painting. The artist, who is adept at using the color of grey, said he felt oil painting should have its own imagery that is different from other mediums of expression.
Lin, vice chairperson of the Guangdong Artists Association, opined that oil paintings by Chinese artists should excel in expressing emotions, aesthetic appreciation from the perspective of a Chinese, rather than follow suit of what is embraced in Western standards.
Lin said Guangdong has a big population of young artists whose talents are burgeoning in recent years and many artists are pursuing art for love, so it’s necessary for such exhibitions to be held to promote the group’s process.
Dates: Through June 14
Venue: Guan Shanyue Art Museum, 6026 Hongli Road, Futian District (福田区红荔路6026号关山月美术馆)
Metro: Longgang or Longhua Line, Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit B
(Source: SZ Daily)
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