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East Central University’s Pogue Art Gallery will be the setting for “Color Ink with Zen Spirit,” by Ma Hong and Wu Dan, beginning Aug. 23 in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.

The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 6, features 23 paintings with colored ink on Chinese Xuan paper. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. A reception for Ma Hong and Wu Dan will be held 4-5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25 in the Pogue Art Gallery.

Inspired by Eastern Zen culture and the concept that everything in the world has a soul, the works of Ma Hong and Wu Dan both express the meaning and experience of life and self-awareness by depicting figures, flowers and landscapes. Their own unique painting techniques represent eternity, serenity and beauty.

By using the Xuan paper, which absorbs water quickly, their medium of expression skillfully mixes ink and water with the brush and blending colors to create rich visual effects.

Ma Hong is an internationally recognized visiting artist in residence on the ECU campus. Her partner, Wu Dan, is a renowned Chinese artist as well.

“I enjoy ethnic art with local characteristics, such as Chinese opera, ancient Dun Huang murals, Japan’s Ukiyo-e and Native American handcrafted goods,” said Ma Hong. “I am fascinated by the composition of color and structure, so I often use them to express the passion and felicity of my life. Of course, China’s unique paper, inks, brushes and watercolors help me create unique special effects in my paintings.”

Ma Hong will talk and work with student groups and classes in the time she spends at ECU. Her presence, with the influence of traditional Chinese art and the Zen philosophy on their work, provides a special possibility for enrichment in general education and humanities courses such as art history, philosophy, non-western literatures, Humanities I and world religion.

Wu Dan is a famous Chinese painter and professor at Guilin University of Electronic Technology, School of Art Design, where he is dean of the Art Academy and an instructor of postgraduate students. He is a member of the Chinese Industrial Design Association and the Guangxi Artists Association and served as a visiting scholar at the Chinese National Academy of Arts.

He is most well-known for his landscape paintings and sketches of nature. His artistic style features bold and powerful use of ink and lines, creating a sense of both masculinity and sincerity. He is well regarded as one of the greatest artists to depict the natural beauty of Southern China. Much of his art has been presented at academic exhibitions in China.

The exhibit and reception is being sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Global Education Office. Ma Hong and Wu Dan’s visit is made possible due to the sister university agreement between ECU and the Gui Lin Electronic and Technology University of China and is sponsored by the Global Education Office and the Family and Consumer Science Department.


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