Chinese Artist Exhibits Kites at Kendal
- Chinese Artist Exhibits Kites at Kendal...
Sunday, September 27, 2009 10:07:26 PM
From: Nancy Freed <nfreed@...>
To All Kite Enthusiasts:
Following is information on a most fascinating art exhibit in the Friends Gallery at Kendal at Oberlin, which may be of interest to you because of its nature. We welcome you, or any students or staff who are interested in viewing the exhibit. If you have any questions, or would like to arrange for a group visit, please contact either Robert Taylor at 440-774-3163 or me at the email address or number below.
Community Relations Coordinator
Kendal at Oberlin
CHINESE ARTIST JINGFEI LI EXHIBITS AT KENDAL
Recently opened in the Friends Gallery at Kendal is an exhibit by Chinese artist, Jingfei Li, titled "Beyond the Walls Dian-style Kites and Oil Paintings." Jingfei is particularly aware of what kites have meant in Chinese culture through many centuries.
In traditional Chinese civilization, women were not allowed to travel freely. This, of course, left them with a strong desire to discover what was out there in that large and unknown world. They started creating kites as a way to express this wish to see beyond the walls of their enclosed homes, a way to let their imaginations fly free. On top of the thick walls that surrounded these houses, and therefore blocked the outside world, were earthenware tiles called wa. Each wa's front section included a ceramic representation of an animal. This design is called wadang. Some of the oil paintings you see in this exhibit are Jingfei's interpretations of traditional wadang. Others are views of that world out there beyond the walls.
Born in the town of Kunming , China , as a teenager, Li had the opportunity to study with one of the few remaining Yunnan-style kite makers. Yunnan kites are well known for their unique design. Twenty-five of China 's fifty-six recognized ethnic minority groups reside in Yunnan Province . Using a variety of techniques, the typical Yunnan kite is built up, layer upon layer, and the finished product is seen as representing a unique cultural expression of freedom which contrasts with existing repressive social structures.
Li has developed her own innovative creative processes through many years of experimenting. Her art is a fusion of two traditions: painting and kite making. This art form is combined in a powerful form of expression through the beautiful and intricate kites she produces.
Jingfei explains, "Three years ago, I chose wadang as my main focus of painting because wadang is unique to Chinese history and culture, as is Dian-style kite making. This exhibit is my attempt to bring together the kite-making traditions of Yunnan with the painting methods of the West, thus creating a bridge between two different sides of our world."
Jingfei Li is in this country as a resident artist at the Institute for Chinese Studies at Ohio State University .
This unique show brings a rich, vibrant excitement to the gallery. The exhibit will remain through November 16, 2009.
The Friends Gallery is located at Kendal at
Oberlin ~ 600 Kendal Drive ~ Oberlin , Ohio .