Chinese art exhibition opens in the College of Design

Wen Qingwu, associate professor and vice dean at the Wuhan University, poses with his drawings which are hanging in the Gallery Room in the College of Design building.

Katharina Gruenewald

Twenty-eight pieces of Chinese art from seven Wuhan University faculty members will be displayed in the College of Design from Feb. 12 to Feb. 21.

Iowa State’s College of Design together with the Chinese Student and Scholars Association will host the Exhibition of Artwork by Wuhan University School of Urban Design faculty members.

“Our faculty has worked nationally and internationally and I thought about how their passion and talent could be displayed on an international venue,” said Zhang Ming, dean of the School of Urban Design at Wuhan University.

Chiu-Shui Chan, professor of architecture, had been working with exchange programs for quite some time and was also on a search to broaden his students horizon. While searching for such a venue, Ming said he got in touch Chan.

Feb. 12, an opening ceremony will be held in the College of Design’s Gallery 181. Speakers will include David Holger, ISU associate provost; Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of College of Design; and Zhang Ming, dean of the School of Urban Design at Wuhan University.

The exhibition will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Feb. 21. The partnership is the first of it’s kind with the Wuhan University School of Urban Design.

A former graduate student of Chan, who joined the Wuhan faculty, built the connection between the two professors, Chan said. After two years of organization, the exhibition “Shang Shan Ruo Shui,” which translates into “the highest good is like water,” will open.

“I want [students] to start thinking and approach art from different perspectives, to have them see things they have never seen,” Chan said.

Ming and other Wuhan faculty members do not just want to display the art, they want to teach people about Chinese culture and provide the possibility of interaction, Ming said.

In order to do so, Wuhan’s faculty members will demonstrate the techniques they used for their specific artwork in workshops over the course of the exhibit.

“Our professors prepared a lot of these artworks especially for this exhibition, and they are very devoted,” Ming said.

Visitors will have the opportunity to watch demonstrations of Chinese traditional art glace painting, charcoal pencil and pen sketches, lithographic plat painting, water color paintings and photography focused on light and shadow.

During those demonstrations, members of the Chinese Student Association will provide translations, said Jingyu Feng, senior in architecture and minister of propaganda of the Chinese Student Association.

Chan said he hopes that this exhibition will provide the opportunity to open doors in the future not just for the students of the college of design but maybe also for the Chinese program.

“Artists use lines instead of words to present their thinking. And I hope everyone who comes will see the world’s beauty in those artworks,” Chan said.