7 Chinese artists featured in exhibit
Z.S. Liang in his studio
Z.S. Liang in his studio
Cal Lutheran show explores cross-cultural contexts

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - Paintings and drawings by seven contemporary Chinese figurative artists will be on exhibit in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University from Jan. 22 through April 9.

An artists’ reception for “Chinese Figurative Realism in the 21st Century” will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10. Six of the artists, including Xu Weixin of China, will participate in “A Chinese New Year Residency” from Feb. 10 through Feb. 20 in the university’s Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture. The free events coincide with Cal Lutheran’s Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 12.

Figurative realism has a long tradition in Chinese art, especially in ink painting, sculpture and ceramics. In the past 100 years, many Chinese artists have also been influenced by Western studio practices, adapting oil painting and drawing techniques to new styles with classical and contemporary elements.

The exhibit features work by Chinese-born figurative artists, six of them immigrants to the United States, on subjects from their native and adopted cultures.

Z.S. Liang began focusing on Native American Indian cultures while studying and painting the Wampanoag Indians in Massachusetts. His award-winning paintings are in the permanent collections of the Autry National Center and Harvard University.

Nan Liu began to study Chinese brush painting and calligraphy as a child and continued his education in the U.S. He has won several juried exhibitions for his still lifes, figures and landscapes and is an associate professor at Florida A&M University.

Mian Situ immigrated after completing his formal art training. This California Art Club Signature Artist’s oil paintings depict Chinese villages, American landscapes and early 20th-century Chinese immigrants in San Francisco.

After immigrating, Jove Wang began a career that has won him worldwide recognition. The California Art Club Signature Artist painted commissioned portraits of former Gov. Pete Wilson and others before focusing on China’s indigenous cultures.

Zhaoming Wu worked as a graphic artist for an advertising company before earning degrees in painting in China and San Francisco. His award-winning landscapes and portraits incorporate elements of contemporary graphic design.

A professor at the School of Arts at Renmin University of China, Xu has won many Chinese national awards, and his works are exhibited internationally. His series “Chinese Historical Figures 1966–1976” was featured in Beijing’s Today Art Museum.

While laboring in a remote mountain village during China’s Cultural Revolution, Yu Ji studied privately with respected painters. He later studied drawing and painting at universities in Beijing and New York. His works explore contemporary urban life.

Cal Lutheran alumna Aihua Zhou, a Beijing-born classical figurative artist living in Thousand Oaks, is the guest curator of the show. The Ventura County Community Foundation provided a $2,500 grant for the exhibit.

The gallery is located in William Rolland Stadium on the north side of Olsen Road between Campus Drive and Mountclef Boulevard on the Thousand Oaks campus. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For information, contact Rachel T. Schmid at 805-493-3697 or rollandgallery@callutheran.edu or visit CalLutheran.edu/rolland.