WRITTEN BY LARA LEGATH

“A Celebration of Chinese American Art and Photography in NYC” had its opening reception in SFC’s Callahan Center from 2-6 pm on Friday, December 2.

The event offered a Chinese calligraphy demonstration by Yvonne Kwok, Chinese music by Andy Lin playing the Erhu, and Dim Sum from the Oriental Garden restaurant. Guests also got the chance to try their hand at writing with a brush and ink, as well as stamp a seal onto rice paper.

The exhibition is open until December 31 and also features the works of Artist Linda Moses and photographs by SFC Professor Emeritus Dr. Uwe Gielen.

Walking into the event, guests were offered a pamphlet of information about the artists. Linda Moses—who started Chinese brush painting after retiring from being a psychologist—said, “Moving a brush loaded with sumi-e ink on rice paper was thrilling. So was capturing the essence and energy of my subject matter spontaneously. The show honors the two most important mentors in my artistic life, Jin Guang Yu and Nicki Orbach. This show marks the evolution of my work, using innovative approaches and incorporating Asian aesthetics into abstract Western art.”

The pamphlet also offered a description about Dr. Uwe Gielen. “Professor Gielen has spent the last years chronicling the lives of Chinese American youths for the book, Growing up Chinese in New York City. Over the course of collecting those stories, he trained his camera lens on the vibrant culture and people of New York’s Chinatowns. Professor Gielen presently serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for International and Cross-Cultural Psychology at St. Francis College.”

Linda Moses’ artwork at the exhibition was presented in mediums like Sumi-e ink and watercolor on rice paper, some of these pieces being titled “Nibbling Rabbit,” “Drunken Lilies” and “Ocean Drifters.”

Her piece “Ghostly Garden” was created with Sumi-e on rice paper with milk, cream and skim milk resist. Her piece “Wisteria in the Rain” was created using a similarly interesting medium, watercolor on rice paper and rain drops.

These can be found on display along with work from Moses’ collection “Tree Series.” A number of this series’ pieces are made on canvas scrolls, with “Dancing of the Flowers” being Acrylic collage on canvas with fabric, tissue paper and chain.

The photographs shot by Dr. Uwe Gielen are displayed in the exhibition capturing an array of events big and small in the Chinese community to everyday scenes of Chinese Americans of New York City.

Some are pictures showcasing important and inspiring moments, including a photo titled, “Waving both an American and a Chinese flag, a confident adopted girl tells the world about her bicultural identity,” and another titled “Chinese culture emphasizes the physical and mental benefits of Tai Chi and other traditional exercises, especially for the elderly.”

Professor Gielen also captures many images from the Lunar New Year and Lunar New Year Parade, such as “Dragon and maid: colorful and swift-moving dragons with 30 feet long tails form a special attraction in many Chinese Lunar Year parades.” Another piece shows the parade with the description, “Members of a Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu group demonstrate their mettle as musicians during a Chinese Lunar Year parade”.

He also captured an image from an event here at St. Francis College, titled “A member of the Chinese Opera Society of New York appears in a traditional dynastic drama during a performance at St. Francis College.”

This gives a brief summary of the kind of pieces one can see at the exhibition, though there are many more pieces to be seen. Students and guests alike can view the art until December 31, 2016.

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