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August 6, 2011

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Painter hopes to create a 'symphony' with his work

MANY critics say that abstract paintings lose power and energy when being enlarged. They would not say so if they see Zhang Guolong's work.

Zhang's solo exhibition currently running at Shanghai Art Museum expresses the profoundness of Eastern culture.

His art has always had strong Chinese elements ever since his early "Earth" series. Zhang is masterful at using color such as brilliant greens, vibrant reds and lush purples.

"I hope to use my knowledge and skills learned in the West to express how profound Eastern culture truly is," Zhang says. "I want to create a place with rich resources that gives birth to life in our universe."

Living in Germany for nearly a decade, Zhang has a strict attitude toward art as well as an academic background. He is now a post-graduate teacher in the experimental art department at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

After his return from Germany, Zhang had his first exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 1994.

The highlight of this current exhibition in Shanghai is his latest "Inverted Triangle" series.

In his new paintings, triangles are mixed with circles and squares. The artist wants to express his understanding of the universe in his art.

?°There are five basic elements according to traditional Chinese culture (metal, wood, water, fire and earth) and these five elements interact with each other,?± Zhang says.

"I put these concepts in my art. But I also make some adjustments for the final visual effect. For example, I changed the earth to gold and added triangles," he explains.

Zhang says that Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was the first to compare painting to music.

"Kandinsky said that colors were akin to notes, the heart to a piano, and the artist to the hands that strike the note," he says. "I hope my art will be appreciated as a symphony."

Date: through August 9, 9am-5pm

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