Students and staff of Silk Road School (SRS) were invited to the opening ceremony of Wang Huabei’s painting and calligraphy exhibition at Renmin University of China (RUC), Suzhou Campus, Kaitai building on the 20th October 2019.
Artist Wang Hubei is from Anhui, China. Mr Wang has been engaged in Chinese painting, teaching and creating calligraphy for many years. He currently is serving in RUC. His works have received multiple awards from various competitions at national, provincial and municipal levels, and has been published in the media too. He was also awarded the RUC Suzhou Campus Outstanding Art Teacher Award for Calligraphy and Painting in 2017.
The exhibition has a mixture of calligraphy, landscape, animals and insect paintings. There are artworks that are done in the traditional Chinese style, with ink and cool colour tones. There are also artworks whereby the artist experiments with contemporary and traditional elements, and Eastern elements with aWestern style. For example, a few of the paintings integrate Chinese ink with contemporary style.
According to Mr Wang, the painting shown above was done in an exaggerated manner. With the mountain covered in red-brown hue, he hoped to portray the sunset by reflecting the tone on the painting, also, the red tone compliments the recent celebration of China’s 70th anniversary. Furthermore, he mentioned that the painting itself might not be identical to the actual scenario. This style of painting is more commonly seen in Western art.
Suzhou is famous for its gardens and the painting showcases 3 out of the 69 gardens, which are theHumble Administrator’s Garden（拙政园）,the Master of Nets Garden （网师园）and the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty（环秀山庄）. Although the gardens of Suzhou seem similar, they each have their own uniqueness. Thus, an artist can choose the angle and part of the gardens that suit their intention. Furthermore, Mr Wang said that in his landscape artworks, the colours and styles used to draw the rocks and mountains vary; which in turnresults in a vast array of different experiences received by viewers. Hence, different geographical locations would result in different colours being used.
This is a mimicked painting of Wu Mountain（吴山）in Jiangxi Province and it is the representative work of renowned Wu-style artist Shen Zhou（沈周）. This painting is realistic in style and it is more accurate when compared to the scenery in real-life.
Besides paintings, there are also calligraphy works exhibited. The different writing styles used are mainly standard script style （楷书）and running script style （行书）.
Marfoah expressed that she like the Chinese style paintings and enjoyed herself during this exhibition. She felt that the style of the artist is unique as it a mixture of contemporary with traditional charactistics. She prefers works with vibrant colours as they can capture her attention and she feelsthat they have more life in them. For example, the painting above shows a juxtaposition of contemporary caricature style and traditional Chinese ink painting materials.
Helena said that she loves the calligraphy works. As for the paintings, there are some that are expressive and some that seemingly lacks expression. Her favourite painting was the lotus pond painting. It is very expressive, and she feels that the painting depicts how things are developing for the greater good as the lotus flowers are drawn in an angle facing upwards.
Dean liked the landscape scenery with the mountains which express the artist's feelings and moods with different colours, as well as the different styles of calligraphy. “It was very calming and fascinating to explore the exhibition.”
The exhibition will be open to public in the Kaitai Building from the 20th October 2019 to the 10th November 2019. Head down and check out the artworks during your free time!
Written/Photos by: LIM YIN RU
Edited by:DEAN AADIL VAWDA