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Mixing ink-wash and oil painting

AN experiment in East-meets-West art combines traditional Chinese ink-wash sensibilities and Western oil painting.

The exhibition featuring 13 Chinese artists showcases what Chinese critics are calling "Oriental Implicative Expressionism on Canvas." The show of varied works is underway at the Mingyuan Art Center through Thursday.

"Implicative" refers to a style in traditional ink-wash painting that focuses on spontaneity and the artist's personal feelings.

But rather than splashing blocks of grays or colors on rice paper, these "implicative" artists are working in oils.

"Implicative expressionism is an experimental pursuit of East-meets-West," says Peng Feng, a noted art critic. "It refers to employing some techniques of traditional ink-wash painting while at the same time retaining the advantages in Western oil painting."

Unlike realistic, surrealistic or abstract painting, implicative expressionism emphasizes natural shapes, inner emotions and layers of cultural interpretation, says Peng.

"It is another space that wafts between realistic and abstract styles," he adds.

Reflecting his observations, most paintings at the exhibition feature blurred, somewhat dreamlike and poetic, images though the meaning is clear.

For example, "Lotus Singing" by Shanghai artist Lin Quan vaguely conjures up a pond of fading lotus with a dim background; one pink lotus with several fragile petals emerges from the blurry brushwork.

Some critics say implicative expressionist painting is another way for Chinese artists to distinguish themselves with strong characteristics.

"I am confident it will be an important chapter in Chinese contemporary art history," says Peng,

Date: through October 14, 9am-5pm

Address: 1199 Fuxing Rd M.

Tel: 6473-8383


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