The Moment for Ink: Shaking off tradition

Nancy Chan, Kady, 2006, sumi ink on cotton rag paper, 16 x 36.5. Image courtesy the Chinese Culture Foundation and the artist.

Eventbrite - The Moment for Ink: Shaking off Tradition Opening Reception

February 23 – May 18, 2013
Opening: Saturday, February 23, 1 PM

Brush and ink in hand, Kiki Smith and seven other contemporary artists shed light on today’s issues in a group exhibition at San Francisco’s Chinese Culture Foundation

Moment for Ink at Zhejiang Art Museum: On View Now
Moment for Ink, originally debuted at the Chinese Culture Center. CCF President Gin Ho traveled to Hangzhou for the opening ceremony.

“These works of art demonstrate to the Chinese public that ink isn’t just for  Chinese artists and
that the medium has been internationalized and modernized.”
– Ma Fenghui, Zhejiang Art Museum Director

“This exhibition represents a new and innovative way of showing art, and… gives us a fresh way of connecting art to life
– – the life of our community.”
– Jay Xu, Director of Asian Art Museum

San Francisco, January 24, 2013 — Coloring far outside the lines of  traditional ink-wash painting, works by eight equally diverse contemporary artists explode the once-staid genre in The Moment for Ink, an exhibition opening on February 23 at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco.

The featured works at the Chinese Culture Center prove that—despite the name on the gallery’s door—ink isn’t just for Chinese (or even East Asian) artists. “Ink can be found throughout the world,” says exhibition co-curator and CCF artistic director Abby Chen. “Why is it, then, that this ubiquitous material, when used as an artistic medium, immediately conjures up images of traditional Chinese art? These talented artists are a perfect example of what we stand to lose,” Chen says, “if we do not open up the dialogue on ink as a non-ethnic medium. We must break the cycle. It’s imperative that we continue to introduce and cultivate ink painting that isn’t necessarily influenced by Chinese culture or tradition if we wish this art to remain truly innovative, and truly contemporary.”


Not coincidentally, February 23 is also the day of Chinatown’s famous Lunar New Year parade. One of the Bay Area’s unsung treasures, the Culture Center gallery is located on the third floor of the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, which faces the parade route. While lion dancers make their way down Kearny Street, ringing in the Year of the Snake, inside the gallery the standard fare of Chinese ink-wash paintings will be nowhere in sight. Instead, the likes of up- and-coming Oakland-based artist Nancy Chan, whose bouncing Kady can be seen on banners for the show, and recent California College of the Arts grad Jonathan Wallraven have used this centuries-old medium to explore themes as timeless as the relationship of the individual to the space one occupies and as timely as the contorted image of women in advertising.

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Toyin Odutola, Whenever the
occasion arises, 2012, Pen ink
and marker on paper, 9 x 12 in.
Image Courtesy of the artist and
Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

The Moment for Ink is a group exhibition co-presented and co-organized by CCCArts of the Chinese Culture Foundation and San Francisco State University, curated by Abby Chen and Mark Johnson, collaborating and associating with the Asian Art Museum, Zhejiang Museum of China, and the Silicon Valley Asian Art Center. This project is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Terra Foundation for American Art, as well as support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Zellerbach Family Fund.

Exhibition curators are: Chinese Culture Foundation Artistic Director Abby Chen, SF State Fine Arts Gallery Director Mark Johnson, Asian Art Museum Senior Research Fellow Joseph Z. Chang, Silicon Valley Asian Art Center Curator Jianhua Shu.

For Full Press Release and additional Programming > > >

Additional Programming:
Michael Sullivan Lecture > > >>

Full Chinese Press Release – > > >


2013年2月23日 5
刻》(The Moment for Ink)開幕儀式中爆炸性地顛覆水墨畫一直以來賦予人們的穩重印象。舊金山中華文
Nancy Chan )的彈跳“卡迪”(Kady)在展覽中以3張豎幅拉開,還有加州大學藝術系研究生 Jonathan
Wallraven 也用了這種百年歷史的媒介,來探索永恆乃至應時的主題,像是:個人與空間相互佔據的關係,以
亞洲)藝術家專有的創作媒介。 “墨在世界各地到處可見,”《水墨時刻》的總策展人兼舊金山中華文化基金會
以著名藝術家奇奇∙史密斯(Kiki Smith)為例。雖然史密斯已透過用墨創作出最具挑釁性的作品,陳暢說:
壁、盒子以及底座上頭,從而出現一種更加扭曲的效果;尼日利亞的出生的肖像畫家Toyin Odutola使用圓珠筆
墨創作出引人注目的、“黑暗與光明”黑人婦女(紐約時報知名評論家 Holland Cotter 稱)。此外,陳暢還在展

Chinese Culture Foundation
Saturday, Feb. 23 – Saturday, May 18
750 Kearny St. (at Washington St.), Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108
Admission: Free
Gallery hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening: Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 – 4 p.m.
Information: (415) 986-1822,

San Francisco State, University, Fine Arts Gallery
Saturday, Feb. 23 – Saturday, March 23
1600 Holloway Ave. (at 19th Ave.), San Francisco, CA 94132
Admission: Free
Gallery hours: Wednesdays – Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening: Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 – 3 p.m.
Information: (415) 338-6535,

Silicon Valley Asian Art Center
Sunday, Feb. 24 – Wednesday, March 20
3777 Stevens Creek Blvd. (at Saratoga Ave.), Santa Clara, CA 95051
Admission: Free
Gallery hours: Wednesdays – Fridays, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Opening: Sunday, Feb. 24
Information: (408) 248-2698,

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Thursday, Feb. 28 – Sunday, Oct. 27
200 Larkin St. (between Fulton and McAllister streets), San Francisco, CA 94102
Admission: Free to $12
Museum hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Thursdays open until 9 p.m.)
Information: (415) 581-3500,

Click to read Press:

” What I like about this show is that I felt free. . . I’m celebrating the ink and what it can do and transforming what i can be.” – Toyin Odutola

“(The works) pop in their intensity, richness and blackness” – Kimberly Chun


Moment for Ink breathe(s) new, contemporary and even non-Chinese life into a traditional medium…Don’t miss this show – Alex Bigman


This is one of the best shows I’ve been to . . . and shows vast differentiation, even though each piece is essentially made in the same medium…this is not to be missed – Rachel Ralph




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