New ink debuts in Maryland

Updated: 2015-02-11 11:34

By Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)

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 New ink debuts in Maryland

Visitors view the exhibition Reshuffling the Past: 2015 Contemporary Chinese Ink Art, consisting of works by eight acclaimed contemporary Chinese artists. The exhibition opened at the University of Maryland on Tuesday. Cai Chunying / China Daily

An exhibition of modern Chinese ink painting reborn from its 1,000-year tradition made its New Year debut at the University of Maryland on Tuesday.

The exhibition - Reshuffling the Past: 2015 Contemporary Chinese Ink Art - consists of works by eight contemporary Chinese artists and is co-hosted by the university's gallery and the Confucius Institute of Maryland

"It's a very special exhibition, made possible by the sponsorship of Hanban," said UMD President Wallace Loh, who opened the exhibition, which also served as the president's reception event for Chinese New Year. "We are very proud that our university had the first Confucius Institute in the US."

"It's been my pleasure to open the culture door to a modern twist in honor of the artistic Chinese tradition," Donna Wiseman, dean of UMD's College of Education and director of the Confucius Institute, told a crowd of more than 200 guests, faculty members and students.

"It's an important exhibit to an overall plan of extending cultural learning and to overall China-US relations," she said.

This group installation features 40 works of Chinese artists Huai Yi, Jin Weihong, Li Jin, Liu Qinghe, Qian Zhongping, Shen Qin, Wu Yi and Yi Liao.

"While most collections of Chinese ink painting in major museums in Europe and the US focus on its classic forms, this exhibition highlights modern and contemporary examples," curator Jin Weihong told China Daily.

Jin said Chinese art has its own way of expression and she expects more similar exchanges between East and West.

"Most students here at the UMD are more familiar with the traditional aspects of Chinese calligraphy and painting, but not so much with the contemporary practice," said Taras Matla, the art administration manager of the gallery.

"We hope that the exhibition can express a different version of Chinese art and culture and let American people know more about modern Chinese culture," said Cui Jianxin, organizer and co-director of the Confucius Institute, adding that this was the first time a show of this kind had gone overseas.

James Gao, professor of history at UMD, was impressed by the innovative approach of the artwork exhibited. "The paintings granted various flavors, ranging from everyday life to showcasing artistic expression," said Gao.

Following its University of Maryland debut, the exhibition will travel to the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, New York, and the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College.

Sheng Yang in Washington contributed to this story.