From multi-ton stone slabs to delicate scrolls, "Reinventing Tradition in a New World: The Arts of Gu Wenda, Wang Mansheng, Xu Bing, and Zhang Hongtu" will present works on the theme of cross-cultural communication. All four artists were born in China but now live in New York City.
Schmucker Art Gallery is in Schmucker Hall on North Washington Street and is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the gallery.
Xu's "Square Word Calligraphy" scrolls meld the Chinese calligraphic style with the Western alphabet, creating a unique script in which English words become clear only after careful contemplation. Gallery visitors will be able to use a computer to print out their own names in the artist's calligraphy.
Zhang's paintings pay homage to Western masters like Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne by combining their innovations with traditional Chinese compositions.
Gu's intricate hand-carving unites eighth-century Chinese poems and their English translations on stones from a sacred Chinese quarry. Two of the stone "steles" will remain on campus throughout this academic year.
Wang's contemplative ink studies use traditional Chinese scrolls as their point of departure.
The exhibition will explore "four artists' unique viewpoints on the cultural differences between the East and the West and their own search for an ideal artistic language for universal communication," Gettysburg College visual arts Prof. Yan Sun wrote in her introduction to the exhibition's catalog. The colorful 132-page catalog will be available for $15 per copy.
Yan is co-curator of the exhibition with Wang Ying, professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The exhibition is made possible in part by a grant from the Freeman Foundation.
Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With approximately 2,500 students, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park. The college was founded in 1832.
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