PANAMA CITY – The latest art exhibition at Gulf Coast State College combines traditional Chinese painting technique with contemporary American subjects, a mix of East and West, new and old.
“Campus Life” features paintings by Florida A&M University art professor Nan Liu. It opened on September 10 at the GCSC Amelia Center gallery in Panama City and will run until October 8. The opening hours of the gallery are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Free entry. For more details, visit GulfCoast.edu/arts.
“The work in the exhibition is executed in the traditional Xie Yi painting style, which is a traditional Chinese painting technique using a Chinese brush and colored ink on Xuan paper,” said Pavel G. Amromin, associate professor. and gallery director. “This style is known for its emphasis on the spontaneous use of ink and color washes.”
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The subjects of the paintings are FAMU students going about their daily business on campus. According to information provided by Amromin, Liu is particularly interested in “the effortless creativity and bold assertiveness that these young men and women demonstrate in the vivid colors and shapes of their clothes.”
Liu began studying Chinese brush painting and calligraphy at a young age in Tianjin, China. He continued at the Department of Oriental Art at Nan Kai University. After completing his graduate studies in arts education at Capital Normal University in Beijing, he moved to the United States, where he obtained both an MA in painting and a doctorate. in Arts Education from Florida State University. His work has been exhibited widely at regional, national and international levels.
âIn my recent work, I try to create a series of life-size figurative paintings with ink medium. My favorite subjects are the students I walk with every day,â Liu said. âTeaching at a historically black university, most of my students are African Americans. Surrounded by them, I feel the restless energy and barely contained exuberance of youth. “
Liu tried to capture the moments that make up student life, especially the activities they use to fill in the minutes of inactivity between classes. Even the variety of accessories they carry with them, like headphones, backpacks and skateboards, serve to communicate a simultaneous message of belonging and individualism.
âMy vision reflects the multicultural nature of contemporary America,â Liu said. “I describe a predominantly African American world seen through Chinese American eyes, with a sensibility that has been fused with contemporary and classical influences from the East and the West.”
For this exhibition, he created more than 40 pieces – figurative ink paintings and student portraits. The style emphasizes the spontaneity of ink and washes on Xuan paper (similar to American rice paper).
In 2019, Liu published his first book, “Art Education in the United States”, in China by Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, and it is the first comprehensive book introducing American theories and concepts of arts education to educators and educators. to the Chinese public. Since 2000, he has been invited as an artist and guest lecturer to lead more than a hundred lectures and workshops on Chinese painting and calligraphy by universities, museums, galleries, public schools and universities. art festivals.
He has taught art classes for all age groups and worked with young students from kindergarten to high school, college students and the elderly for over 20 years. He resides in Tallahassee with his wife Haiqiong Deng, their son Ethan and their daughter Isabel.