Archives for category: Exhibits

Internet access for me has been difficult while in Beijing, at least from the Hotel where I’m staying.  I found a nice little Internet cafe called Sculpting in Time, and this evening I’m here catching up on my online stuff.

Today, we presented our works for the faculty and students in the photography department at the Beijing Film Academy, which was well received.  Everyone has been great.  There was a lot of interest generated from the presentation.  The Beijing Now blog has a little more detail about this.

(And I hope to have some photos posted soon.)

Not earth shattering, but this thought just struck me.  A great application for Apple’s new iPad would be a traveling portfolio.  My iPhone is just too small to do justice to any of my photos.  Laptops are ok, but inconvenient, when you’re going from gallery to gallery to other venues.  The iPad fits in-between very nicely.

Last night, I attended a well-attended panel discussion at the Art Department (INFLUX) at the University of Minnesota.  On the panel were two artists from China, Li Shuan and Liu Xuguang.  Their show, the past re-configured, is at the Nash Gallery.

The works based on certain Chinese characters retain the idea of past Chinese art, but with new methods and materials.  Their thought process seemed very holistic to me.  I also couldn’t help wonder, in a McLuhan sort of way, the advantage these artists have, embodied in the Chinese pictographic writing system, the more directness of the imagery in the signs used, such as Li Shuan’s use of the Chinese character for person ( rén) in a visually repeated way to represent a sense of humanity; the  character itself resembling the outstretched arms of a human being.  I wish I knew Chinese; I would like to better understand the role this writing system plays in one’s thinking process–especially the visual thinking process–and the significance and type of impact it has.  McLuhan has a lot to say about the impact of typography on social structure and social roles, but I will keep this article short.

Liu Xuguang talked about his life’s influences in his art, especially of the Yellow River, and compared this great river to the Mississippi River on which the University campus rests.  This was Liu’s first visit to Minnesota.  Liu is professor of fine art at the Beijing Film Academy and his current work involves New Media, however the brief time I had talked with him after the panel discuss did not allow any in-depth discussion.

Also attending the panel was Wang Chunchen, curator for CAFA Art Museum (Central Academy of Fine Arts).  One theme discussed at length during the panel session was the rapid change that China, and Beijing itself, is going through, and the impact this has on artists, and on the people of China in general.

My photograph, River Portrait (pinhole), did not make the cut in this year’s Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts show. This interrupts my 4-year trend, but I can’t feel too bad. The statistics of getting into the show are rather bleak, when you look at the numbers.

This year’s Photography category was judged by Doug Beasley. There were 1019 online entries registered in this category, of which 819 actually made it, and 112 were selected for the show. That’s only 13.7 percent that made the cut!  Mr Beasley on his blog declared something around 9 percent, however I believe he calculated from the total online number.

For the State Fair ‘overflow’ (a term much less threatening that ‘rejected’) artists were invited to submit their works to the non-juried show called Salon 300 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, in downtown Hopkins, MN. River Portrait will be in that show, which goes from Saturday 22 August to Sunday 6 September, opening reception on Saturday 22 August 6-8 pm.

As for the other categories, the numbers were not quite as bleak:

[table "0" not found /]