From March 3rd through 30th the Canessa Gallery in San Francisco will be presenting Preserved, a solo painting exhibition by artist and thinker Anita Yan Wong. An opening reception for the public will be held Friday, March 3rd from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, more information follows this post.
Professor Anita Yan Wong— international artist, educator, and thinker —combines the traditional Chinese art of Lingan Guo with Impressionism in a unique style that honors the natural world. A style the artist identifies as Impressionist Lingnan Guo Hua. Anita is a long time pupil of 辛鵬九— a World-renowned Lingnan style master (嶺南畫派) and first pupils of Chao Shao An. Anita is the 4th generation of Lingnan leading painter, mastering both traditional and modern, western and eastern Arts.
Anita’s studied at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University’s art and design program and later at the University of the Arts London. She earned her MA and MFA degrees in Digital Photography and Digital Arts through the Maryland Institute College of Art where she also served as a professor for ten years, before returning to a sole focus on her art.
Using bamboo brushes, Anita applies Chinese natural pigment and ink to rice paper. Anita’s painting style is traditional xie yi (寫意), with expressive yet delicate and precise brush strokes. The nature of painting with rice paper requires careful planning and confidence. Anita’s creative process therefore begins with careful research of her subject that allows her to form a precise image of the piece she wishes to create.
Anita’s current works have been dealing with preservation of nature and the ancient form that honors it —Guo hua, along with patterns in nature and the roles of traditional Art forms in the digital art age. Anita is interested in how traditional Art forms can be pushed to reflect the social and scientific realities of the present. The Yale University China Hands Magazine has described Anita’s paintings as a “traditional art form that questions the modern mind.”
In Preserved, Anita has preserved strange finds from nature under glass with backgrounds of Guo hua –both fragile but beautiful. They are given a second life and are frozen in time with new meanings under glass. Through the pieces, they tell stories of their existence and lives.
A broken butterfly wing, a bunch of fallen leaves on the path way, a cicadas shell on a tree, some strangely grown twigs and pressed flower bookmarks from my childhood friend: I find these preserved objects beautiful and precious. I have preserved these strange finds from nature under glass with backgrounds of Guo hua, rice paper paintings, one of the oldest art form that honors Nature. They are given a second life and are frozen in time with new meanings under the glass, they tell stories of their existence and lives. Rice paper painting along with Calligraphy was once a common practice among all Chinese is seen by some as a dying art form. As a Chinese American artist, I want to preserve it, cherish it and bring it to life with new ideas and creative thinkings. The title Preserved contains the meaning of preserving Nature as well as the traditional art form of Guo hua, both fragile but beautiful, both need to be protected and preserved.
You can learn more about Anita’s work here. If you are in the Bay Area, the opening reception for Preserved will be held March 3rd from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Canessa Gallery.