Cross Cultural Currents: The Art of Zhiyuan Cong, Chung-Fan Chang, Liqin Tan, Jing Zhou

The Shanghai William Chinese Art Foundation Distinguished Visiting Artist Series

04/30/2018 - 06/22/2018
West Windsor Arts Center Gallery
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Opening Reception

05/06/2018, 4:00–6:00 p.m. West Windsor Arts Center Gallery, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 This exhibition was presented by West Windsor Arts Council in partnership with the Center for Chinese Art at William Paterson University and the Chinese-American Art Faculty Association. “Cross Cultural Currents” displays the work of four Chinese American artists from four NJ-based colleges and universities. The exhibition sheds light on the cultural influences on their art.

Zhiyuan Cong, Professor and Director, Center for Chinese Art at William Paterson University. Tradition is embedded in the cultural heritage of the world. For an artist to reach the peak and achieve artistic eternity, he needs to be conversant with things present and past, drawing from the best of all traditions. Inspired by the Chinese Han human figure stone relief, which used simple and vigorous lines to express masculine power, my work aims to portray an indispensable part of American life, namely, the sport of basketball. From the images in both paintings and prints, I hope people will see the dynamics, the rhythm, the quick pace and life in our modern society.

Chung-Fan Chang, Assistant Professor of Art, Stockton University. Through the Kite series of paintings, works on paper, video, and wall installation, Chung-Fan Chang’s work represents the Eastern influence of imaginary personal landscape that reflects issues within the society and daily life experience. “Kite” refers to the neon color fields in the abstract landscape that imply intruders to the surrounding. Intruders cross-examine how fluorescent and artificial colors affect our vision and use that restless sensation as a metaphor of continued conflict in society. The abstract landscape calls upon the viewer to ponder, and often allows for ambiguous interpretation. The color is obsessive and disturbing, yet demonstrates authority to demand to be viewed and to attack the viewing experience. The work draws inspirations from life experience, formal Chinese ink landscape and identifies the visual simile of color and its significance in culture.

Liqin Tan, Professor of Art, Rutgers University-Camden. Primitive Level Signals – This theme uses spirit levels, commonly used to indicate whether a surface is level, as a signal to illustrate a natural phenomenon in humans, where brain development is an equalized process. The competing concepts of the brain—whether the battle of the brain’s size versus its intellectual capacity or of its technological versus its spiritual side—are always kept in equilibrium.

Jing Zhou, Associate Professor, Monmouth University. Meditation is an ancient healing method in many cultures. Inspired by nature and the Chinese culture, my digital imaging series “Ch’an Mind Zen Mind: Visual Meditations on the Ultimate Reality and Absolute Calmness” reflects my experience in search of inner peace through one of the most widely held Oriental philosophies—Ch’an, also known as Zen. Ch’an’s profound wisdom/teaching and Western art inspired this project. Every image in this series carries a unique philosophical concept with a different aesthetic approach. I hope to communicate with my audience Ch’an’s subtle atmosphere of Emptiness and Calmness by developing a personal visual language that expresses universal ideas. Creating this series of artwork has allowed me to explore the arts, mythology, and both Eastern and Western culture from a Ch’an perspective. I want to share this experience and hope my viewers look at my images as if through magical windows into a healing space.