Vol. 2, No. 1 (Fall
By Elaine Polvinen
During the Buffalo State Delegation’s visit to China in the Summer of 2000, A collaboration was initiated (with a wealth of assistance and encouragement from Dr. Zhang Jie) by myself and Professor Shen Li (Capital Normal University, China) to work together on a cross continent digital design project. Professor Shen Li from Beijing, China who is an accomplished fine artist, had previously completed comprehensive historical research of traditional garments and decorative embellishment of the cultural minorities in China. She had developed an extensive slide collection from this research as well as acquiring actual samples of some of the traditional garments. During the Buffalo State delegation’s visit to Capital Normal University, Professor Shen Li shared her slide research collection with me. From this initial meeting a joint professional collaboration was initiated based on common professional interests and educational backgrounds.
Professor Shen Li selected a variety of traditional Chinese designs from her research which were sent via e-mail and CD-ROM (ground mail). These were then used as joint resources by both of us to inspire new aesthetic interpretations for this collaborative project. During the development period I set up a private design development web page so collaborative design development could also take place visually in addition to e-mail. Continual assistance was provided by Dr. Zhang Jie Director of the Center for China Studies at Buffalo State College.
A long distance collaborative design development process took place over the course of the last sixteen months which resulted in the creation of digitally designed fabric posters, scarves, wide-scale fabric yardage and a digital gallery. From these resources, two original art collections were developed: east and west interpretations. Professor Shen Li and I each developed our collection of designs derived from historical Chinese decorative work. Each of us created twenty-four to thirty-six pieces for this upcoming exhibit.
my designs using a combination of an engineered representational
graphic technique and a deconstructed abstract style. Professor
Shen Li has developed a series of designs using a free flowing non-representational
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop were used for all design development. My scarves and posters are printed on Jacquard specially treated silk habotai fabric using acid dyes and an Epson printer. Professor Li Shen’s digital designs and all the wide-scale fabric yardage are printed (in China) on to fabric using a heat transfer method.
This exhibition will open at Capital Normal Univesity in Beijing, China, January 4th, 2002. http://facstaff.buffalostate.edu/polvinem/china/
Out to the Local Business Community
By Jean Gounard
For almost a year now, the Office of International Student Affairs and the Center for China Studies have worked diligently to identify businesses in the Western New York area interested in establishing ties with China. So far, more than sixty businesses have been located and a letter has gone out to them, with a copy of the Center’s recent newsletter, inviting them to contact us to develop collaborative programs in China. This small step taken by the Center will undoubtedly have far-reaching positive results in the not so distant future.
Scholar Added to China Studies on Campus
By Zhang Jie
By Lee Ann Grace
The Center for China Studies has established an account with the Buffalo State College Foundation to receive donations that will provide scholarships to students from our three exchange universities in China who wish to study at Buffalo State. As you may know, without financial support from the host institution it is nearly impossible for Chinese students to secure visas to come to the United States. Thus, an end-of-the-year contribution will assist in assuring the inward flow of exchangees from China. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, please make your check payable to the Buffalo State College Foundation, write “Center for China Studies” in the note section of the check, and forward it to Cleveland Hall 319.
IV. The CCS
Fall 2001 Seminar
By Viktoriya Magid
planned, the CCS conducts a seminar each semester. This time, Dr.
Wang Xiaoyan will present “The 2008 Beijing Olympics: Environmental
Issues.” It is going to be 12:15pm-1:30pm, Thursday, November 15,
2001, in Classroom Building A209. Refreshments will be provided. Visitors
from off campus can obtain parking permissions by emailing to ChinaCenter@bscmail.buffalostate.edu
or calling the Center at 878-6328, at least two days before the event.
Dr. Wang graduated from Peking University in 1994 with a Ph.D. degree
in environmental geochemistry. Since then she has been teaching at
the Capital Normal University in Beijing and now is a visiting scholar
at Buffalo State.
X. Lecture Presented: Chinese Contemporary Fine Arts
Professor Yuan Guang and Professor Lin Xia Jiang
at the at the CCS Seminar.
Professor Yuan Guang with Professor Peter Sowiski
at the Fine Art Faculty SHow.
The CCS Fall 2001 Seminar included a presentation on November 8th, titled: "Chinese Contemporary Fine Arts", presented by Professor Yuan Guang from the Department of Fine Arts at Capital Normal University, Beijing, China. The seminar was sponsored by the Center for China Studies and the Department of Fine Arts.
Professor Yuan was introduced by Professor Peter Sowiski, (Fine Art Department Chair), to a very large overflowing crowd. Professor Jiang Lin Xia from the Fine Arts faculty translated for Professor Yuan. He began the seminar by explaining to the crowd that before he came to America, he prepared two large slide collections for this visit to Buffalo State College, one was on Traditional Chinese art and the other on Contemporary Chinese Art.
The slide presentation started with several traditional examples to provide an understanding of the evolution from traditional to contemporary art. Traditional Chinese art has three main categories: flowers, birds and people. There is no still life. What we in the west call landscape painting in Chinese art is called mountains and water. It was very important that all paintings had to be signed. Without a signature the painting was not complete.
The very first slide was a 1000 year-old painting. He explained how lines are very important and are widely used in traditional Chinese art to describe the parts and form of an object. Chinese art does not pay much attention to lights and darks and different value gradations. Each section in a traditional painting stands as an independent piece and is created in multi-point perspective.
The fine arts period from 1949 to 1960 was a good period when many changes took place and Chinese art flourished. Many Chinese artists traveled to Europe and brought new ideas back to China. Then the great Cultural Revolution took place from 1965 to 1975. Around 1978 when the higher educational system was re-established Chinese art started to revive. He explained that many Chinese artists do not like to have their work described as Chinese art, only as an ink or brush painting.
In professor Yuan's own work, he likes to mix traditional elements with contemporary elements. His spaces are depicted in overlapping layers and he has an interest in the interaction between 2D and 3D. He stated that he looks for a balance and relationships between moving and still things.
Faculty in his department at Capital Normal University in Beijing work in both traditional, contemporary and a mixture of both. He went on to display an abundance of contemporary Chinese art slides in a variety of styles from photography, performance art, photo-realistic, abstract, expressionism, to political pop and poster art.
The seminar lasted two hours and was followed by an opening reception of the Fine Art Faculty show in Upton Gallery. Professor Yuan has a painting of the mountains of China in the show (see photo above). The Faculty show will be on view November 5-November 30.
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