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.”

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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.

For our Spring Festival Activities > > >

 

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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 – > > >

水墨時刻:顛覆傳統
筆墨在手,奇奇∙史密斯與7位當代藝術家在舊金山中華文化基金會的群展,揭示當代水墨傳統藝術之問

2013年2月23日 5
月18日
【舊金山訊:2013年1月16日】——一個穿了牛仔褲、運動衫與阿迪達斯球鞋的十幾歲女孩,在一張看不見的
蹦床上蹦跳;在明暗對比的中東街道上、士兵舉著突擊步槍巡邏;巨大的女性面孔橫掃著一堵牆,輪廓如漫畫
人物般的粗獷;以及,出自著名雕塑家奇奇∙史密斯之手、在一堆滿是皺摺的蒼白紙張所拼湊出的大塊背景上
繪有三張實物大小的空椅子。
這些狂放而多樣化的圖像卻擁有一個共同元素——那就是都以“墨”作為創作材料。
遠遠超出傳統水墨畫的線條著色,8位背景各異的當代藝術家將於2月23日在舊金山中華文化中心的《水墨時
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
化中心向來以推出創新藝術家的作品見長。(本展覽也與一場更大型的展覽同名,是為共同合作的一部分,其
他組織包括:美國舊金山州立大學,亞洲藝術博物館以及硅谷亞洲藝術中心作為承辦單位。此聯展也將在今年
起轉至中國,在杭州浙江美術館和北京今日美術館巡迴。)
巧合的是,2月23日也是唐人街著名的農曆新年花車遊行的日子。在灣區默默耕耘的瑰寶、位於舊金山金融區
希爾頓酒店三樓的中華文化中心畫廊恰巧正對著遊行路線。雖然,迎接蛇年的舞獅隊離肯尼街不遠,在文化中
心畫廊內的正統中國水墨畫將不再如以往那樣隨處可見。相反地,將會見到年輕的奧克蘭藝術家陳曼玲(
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
及婦女在廣告中被扭曲的圖像。
在這個過程中,如果不去理會畫廊大門上的名字,這些作品所提供的證明共同是——“墨”並不只是華人(甚至
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
的藝術總監陳暢表示:“那麼,當這種無處不在的材料作為一種藝術媒介時,何以就會立刻讓人聯想到中國傳
統藝術的圖像呢?”
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:
“在以水墨畫為重的華人圈子裡知名度卻非常之小。”而另一個狹窄的角度,則是人們普遍都會認為水墨畫僅限
於華人專有。“可以理解,這樣的角度限制了華人水墨藝術家的創作在國際上的傳播,也掩蓋了非華裔藝術家
們在這一領域中所作出的重要貢獻,”她補充道。
考慮到這一點,陳暢便透過《水墨時刻》的策展來選擇這類與傳統出格的藝術家,諸如斯坦福大學教授謝曉澤
的作品,便是透過使用濃密的黑墨,根據報紙上的新聞版照片描繪出充滿政治色彩的圖像,如汽車炸彈爆炸事
件以及士兵巡邏時的景象,其效果與中國古典繪畫中的空靈山水幾乎沒有任何共同之處;而Wallraven的作品
,則是描繪了赤裸裸的、漫畫風格鮮明的女性臉孔,然後再將漫畫中常見的對話眶用影像投射的方式打到牆
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
覽中包括了研究中國與西藏村民的水墨畫家鍾躍英,把他在美國馬林縣以及在中國就讀魯迅美術學院之間的作
品作了對比;另有已故畫家張大千的一副仕女圖,綜合了中國繪畫歷史中的印象主義以及抽象表現主義風格;
以及,在中國出生,現居堪薩斯州的張春紅,用黑木炭“滾”出大於真人尺寸的“黑髮”、一整幅卷軸從牆面頂端
流瀉到地板上。雖然,張的作品與展覽主題背離,不使用油墨,卻為傳統的東亞創作風格提供了一個明顯的、
現代與隱喻性的轉折。
“這些極具天賦的藝術家們都是個完美實例,說明了我們若不將“墨”置於一個非族裔媒體的立場上開放對話,那
麼我們將會遺漏這些精彩的創作。”陳暢表示:“我們必須打破這個循環。如果我們希望藝術能保持真正的創
新、真正的當代的話,那麼,我們得不斷引進那種不一定是中國文化傳統的影響,並且予以培養。”

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Openings:
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, www.c-c-c.org

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, creativestate.sfsu.edu/node/4616

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, www.artshu.com

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, www.asianart.org

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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