Friday, April 12, 2013

April 2013 Featured Artist at WiseDesignz

Lily Chang

The Art of Chinese Painting Scroll

works in pigment on rice paper, pigment on silk, 
Chinese paper cut and hand made silk covered boxes

Originally from Taipei, R.O.C., I (Lily Chang) have been devoted to painting since 2001. Being a leisure part time artist for 10 years, I switched my position to become a full time working artist in 2010. Since then I have been working in a variety mediums of such as Japanese pigment mixed with glue on silk or rice paper, acrylic on silk, Chinese calligraphy, paper cut, water color, drawing and print making.   Last fall I traveled back to Taiwan and acquired the traditional skill of Chinese mounting scrolls and hand making authentic Chinese boxes with a master, who after 25 years of doing restoration work on Taiwan’s national treasures is retired from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.

The first few years of being a part time artist, I worked on traditional Chinese Buddha portrait painting and Chinese elaborate-style painting. After receiving an education of Western art, I blended the concept of West art, Chinese elaborate-style painting and Tibetan Buddhism art into a new form to create my own style artworks.  With having several art exhibition experiences in 2012, I passionately want my works to express the beauty, majesty and the culture of Chinese antique style art to Western audiences.  Using the mounted scroll method instead of a wood frame gives my works an authentic look and feel of the true classic Chinese painting style that you would see in antique Chinese paintings displayed at the National Palace Museum.

My own art studio was completed in 2012.  Now, I am focusing on teaching and doing Chinese elaborate painting on silk to make them become Chinese mounted painting scrolls and will build the hand making authentic Chinese boxes to collect them. My dream is introducing some Taipei National Palace Museum style’s artworks to American audiences in the future.

The Art of Mounting Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
The mounting of painting or calligraphy is a unique Chinese craft that has a long history of over a thousand years. Known by a variety of terms in Chinese, the mounting includes the baking of the artwork itself and often incorporates silk borders and various other portions and accessories. An un-mounted work of Chinese painting and calligraphy is much more difficult to appreciate and to preserve for posterity. Works must not only be suitably mounted but also done so in an aesthetically pleasing manner to complement the contents of the art. In fact, back in the Ming dynasty, Chou Chia-chou (1582-ca – 1661) in The Book of Mounting wrote, “a mounter is in charge of a painting or calligraphy’s fate” and “one cannot overlook paying attention to the mountings of treasures painting and calligraphy.” In other words, the art of mounting is a vital part of the tradition of painting and calligraphy.

The formats of portable Chinese painting and calligraphy can be divided into four general categories – hanging scrolls, hand-scrolls, album leaves, and fans – with considerable variety in each group. Hanging scrolls, for example, include large hall, narrow side, paired couplet, and continuous scenery types. Hand scrolls may feature thin, covered, or wrapping borders. Album leaves come in a wide range of folding (page), butterfly (horizontal) folded, push-awning (top-bottom page), and sutra-fold (accordion) mountings, while fans appear in parasol, circular or rounded, and folding varieties. 

In many exhibitions of painting and calligraphy, most descriptions of the works focus on the artist or their contents. However, for this exhibition, I hope that visitors will not only appreciate these artworks but also overlook at the various mounting formats and learn more about the unique “behind-the-scenes” art of mounting and some of its technical aspects.

Why using Scroll for Chinese painting, calligraphy and Sumi?  The first benefit, the Chinese painting scroll is easy for portable and storage. The other reason, most of Chinese paintings are on rice paper, but the rice paper is easy to grow molds in the humid environment.  Especially, when rice paper is put inside a frame between glass and wood board, the weather change will keep the humid air inside the frame and make the rice paper grow molds. It is the reason I suggest using scrolls to instead of framing to mounting Chinese painting, calligraphy and Sumi.   

Finally, I appreciate that WiseDesigns gallery offer this opportunity to present my unique skills of mounting painting scroll and hand-making Chinese collection box by the show.  In order to show the beauty of Chinese mounting painting scrolls, I use the medium of Japanese pigment with glue on silk, on rice paper and cutting paper to make my artworks.  I hope all visitors would love my unique artworks and collect the one they like.     

Lilys work will be at WiseDesignz for the month of April, 2013
with an artists reception during the Everett Art Walk
Saturday April 20th

Framing & Gallery
2908 Wetmore Ave
Everett WA, 98201



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