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“The Majesty of Tibet: A Solo Exhibition of Chinese Art by Yu Hanyu” Opening Reception / Feb 9 th, 2019

Director Lynda Moran Announces the Official Opening of Exhibition

Suffolk County Legislator announces and presents the County Proclamation to Yu Hanyu

Yu Hanyu’s Speech and Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration

Gallery Visit and Music & Dance Performance

Gallery I: Calligraphies

The ancient art of Chinese calligraphy is presented in large banners suspended in the gallery. Similarly to Chinese fine art, the techniques of calligraphy and poetry writing are passed down through generations, and are closely related. Curator Dr. Gan Yu Explains “In the Chinese tradition, often times, poetry shall always be written or expressed by calligraphy. So we can see a close relationship between poetry and calligraphy, and these have become an important part of a famous Chinese art style, “the Literati-painting ” in the history of Chinese art and literature.”

In order to appreciate these works it is important to understand that the act of writing Chinese characters provides more of an opportunity for creative freedom and style than Western fonts and alphabets. The significance of Yu Hanyu’s text in particular is the uniqueness of his handwriting. Similar to his illustrations, Hanyu ’s illustrative characters are representative of the turbulent yet pristine environs of the Himalayas. The characters he writes are examples of his personal emotions and artistic mood, as well as an interpretation of natural force and energy. It is possible to see similarities in the artist ’s expressive handwriting as well as his unique mark making in his sketches and illustrations. Yu Hanyu describes the importance of Calligraphy as such: “Calligraphy is the most basic form of Chinese painting; the main skill is to use line. Once the painter masters line, they can master other skills, such as the use of color. But if your basic skill is not strong, you cannot go very far. Real Artists - where Chinese painting is concerned - start as highly skilled Calligraphers.”

Due to the abstract nature of this contemporary form of calligraphy, it is impossible to translate. Yu Hanyu explains “contemporary people read Chinese calligraphy only for its artistic shape not the meaning. In modern China, you can hardly find the ordinary people who can read the contents of Chinese calligraphy ” Therefore, similar to a painting, the title of each of these provides context from the artist, and the contents of these pieces is left to interpretation by the viewer.

As a foundational skill, these Calligraphy paintings act as sketches which inform Yu Hanyu ’s final pieces, Hanyu explains; “The quality of the calligraphy lines directly influences the way lines are painted in the picture. So the skill of your calligraphy greatly affects the whole painting. Moreover, the line in calligraphy can spread from one to several areas, while the white space of my calligraphy work can define the white space of my paintings. ”

Gallery II: Paintings and Sketches from the Himalayas

Presented here are sketches made by yu Hanyu while on his exploratory trips to Tibet. These sketches are special because they happened in situ, these are the marks that are direct translations of what the artist saw, the most direct, intuitive, and creative artistic experience. In these pieces, we are able to see Yu Hanyu ’s purest expressions. Sitting in a sea of mountains, the artist takes in and interprets his experience and surroundings. To understand the significance of these works, it is imperative to know the journey it took to get to the locations depicted in them.

Yu Hanyu explains “I wanted to explore and paint territories no artist has ever painted before, and do so in my own style ... the natural views chosen are very,important. ”

Gallery III: Travel Journal, Photographs and Video

Through film and photography we are able to understand the arduous treks the artist has taken, the film, created by Yu Hanyu ’s team in China, shows us a behind the scenes take of Hanyu ’s trips to Tibet.

We are able to better understand the effort taken to get to these locations. In addition to this are examples of Hanyu ’s works found in this exhibition and elsewhere.

The light box photography provides the viewer the opportunity to witness the artist ’s inspiration. In a darkened room one is able to imagine themselves in this environment, and better understand the vastness, ferocity, and extremes of this mythic place, and perhaps imagine what their own interpretation of this experience would be.

Ballroom and Hallway: Paintings, Calligraphies, Ceramics, Opening Reception & Live Demonstration by the Artist Yu Hanyu

In the Museum ’s Ballroom and Hallway, we have the opportunity to witness the completion of Yu Hanyu ’s creative efforts. The initial experience of the viewer is inevitably dictated by the vast size of these pieces, truly evoking the scale of the environment from which they have spawn. Immediately recognizable is the traditional Chinese format Yu Hanyu works within, but it is impossible to ignore the newness of the imagery.

Yu Hanyu ’s extremely personal and masterful use of line is foundational in giving these works their unique voice. His paintings are a beautiful fusion of traditional and contemporary language. The artist describes this relationship; “Certainly my paintings build upon the foundational methods of traditional Chinese ink painting, but also incorporate influences from other styles, such as the bold use of color associated with painting in the West, combining all of these styles in my own way, I can create a new way of painting. That ’s my goal. These new skills are actually basic, traditional skills given new life. ”

Some of the paintings are in black and white, and some in color, decisions which are based upon the artist ’s mood, further reinforcing the influence of Western abstract expressionists, impressionists, and romanticism. In addition, the titles of each piece describe the scenery depicted, but also convey emotions found within the artistic interpretations of the landscapes, highlighting the artist ’s emotional relationship with the inspiring scenery. Yu Hanyu ’s impressionistic voice gives his work a raw emotional depth. This added layer to the paintings ’ literal depictions is what makes these pieces so contemporary and unique coming from a Contemporary Chinese artist.

Though there are cultural, geographical, and language barriers between the audience of the Islip Art Museum and Yu Hanyu, understanding the respect for tradition as well as the evidence of the personal emotion imbued in these works creates the pathway for communication and understanding between the visitors to this exhibition, and the artist.

In the context of the Islip Art Museum ’s Ballroom and Hallway, we have the opportunity to compare and contrast the stark differences in the landscapes of Tibet versus Long Island. Similar to the recent history of the U.S., China is experiencing a time of rapid growth, and an inevitable repercussion of this is the encroachment of industry onto natural spaces. By Yu Hanyu venturing into the vast wilderness of the Himalayas, and depicting in his work vignettes which have never been seen or interpreted, he grants us the opportunity to compare these raw, natural places and the industrialised and developed landscape of Long Island. And through the artist ’s emotional interpretations of these landscapes, we are able to have this experience with him, and reflect on our own experiences with nature, gaining a respect for the spaces which came before us, and understanding the similarities in our human experiences.

Academic Symposium: "Untouched Landscapes"

Suturday / March 9, 2019 from 1 -4 PM / Islip Art Museum

"Untouched Landscapes" - A symposium discussing the aesthetics of the Hudson River School and the landscape paintings of Yu Hanyu and some influential art styles and skills to his painting. The Artist Yu Hanyu demonstrated a full piece of Landscape painting during the symposium.

Chairman of the Symposium: Lynda Moran

Moderator: Christine O'Malley
Speaker: Yu Hanyu
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Gan Yu
Speaker: Mary O'Malley

Speaker: Prof. Neddi Heller

Speakers, Moderator and Chairman of the Symposium "Untouched Landscapes"

Speakers and Audiences at the Symposium

Speakers and Audiences at the Symposium

The County Legislator and Commissioner Present a Proclamation to Artist Yu Hanyu

Artist Yu Hanyu's Ink Landscape Demonstration Step I

Artist Yu Hanyu's Ink Landscape Demonstration Step II

Artist Yu Hanyu's Ink Landscape Demonstration Step III

The Final Piece of Artist Yu Hanyu's Ink Landscape Demonstration

 

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