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Forece of Nature, The Power of the Brush | Symposium: Sharp Lines, Soft Nature

Mr. Ethan Cohen ( President of Ethan Cohen Fine Arts / KuBe) speaks at the symposium

Professor Eugene Wang ( Director of HarvardChinese Art Media Lab) speaks at the symposium

Mr. Boon Hui Tan (Director of Asia Society Museum) speaks at the symposium

Mr.Yu Han Yu (President of Benyuan Painting & Calligraphy Institute) speaks at the symposium
 
Ms. Chang-ying Wang (President of Shandong Wandefu Tea House and Company) speaks at the symposium
 
Gan Yu, (Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University) speaks at the symposium

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Guest Participants

Prof Eugene Wang, Director of Harvard Chinese Art Media Lab, Harvard University

Mr. Boon Hui Tan, Director of Asia Society Museum

Mr. Ethan Cohen, President of Ethan Cohen Fine Arts / KuBe

Mr. Han-yu Yu , President of Benyuan Painting & Calligraphy Institute

Mr. Melik Kaylan, Cultural Critic and Journalist

Dr. Gan Yu, Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University

Prof Yin Mei, Director of Dance, Queens College if the City University of NY

Mr. Isaac Aden , Artist and Curator

Ms. Chang-ying Wang, President of Shandong Wandefu Tea House and Company

Mr. Mengmeng Yu , President of Benyuan Painting & Calligraphy Institute of Hong Kong

 

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Main Exhibition Hall Presents 16 works of Han-yu Yu’s ink paintings and 1 video recorded the artist’s footsteps in Tibet from the past 13 years.

 

Ethan Cohen Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Yu Han Yu: Force of Nature. The Power of the Brush, co-curated by Ethan Cohen and Gan Yu. The exhibition will be held at Ethan Cohen KuBe in Beacon, New York from 14 th of July – 2 nd of September, 2018. The opening ceremony will be accompanied by the symposium on the converging histories of Ink Tradition and Tea and the journeys of both from the past to today.

A leading figure in the practice of Chinese landscape painting and calligraphy, Yu Han Yu has pioneered a visual vernacular that pushes the ancient art form into the 21st century – without losing touch with its origins. Based in Beijing, he is recognized as both a master of the genre and an experimental visionary, an explorer on land and on the canvas. Yu's ink paintings derive from direct contact with his subject matter: the mountainous regions of Tibet's Qinghai Plateau, the sweeping peaks of Shangri-La, glacial cataracts and cosmic cloudscapes. Born in 1964, and graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in Wu Hand and China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing , he has travelled to Tibet on some 50 occasions in 13 years, often in strenuous conditions. His explosively jagged confluences of nature suggest his own struggle against the elements in creating his art while conveying the internecine struggle within nature's fierce forces of creation.

Yu does not paint from photographs or mediated images although his works reference ancient imagistic antecedents in the landscape genre: the almost psychedelic colors of early Dunhuang cave murals fused with Tang era chromatic lushness and Northern Song atmospherics through the use of a brush and ink technique. He gathers the strands of aesthetic tradition and delivers them into realms of abstraction to achieve maximum expression. As such his paintings could be termed expressionist – the brushwork itself is both medium and object while the scenery achieves a simultaneity of both landscape and artist's mindscape. Confronted by Yu's feral Himalayan volcanoes of ice, the viewer seems at times to be witnessing the moment when energy becomes form. And when form is about to atomize into pure energy. The moment of creation and destruction. Hence the need for abstraction as perhaps the most realist approach to a metaphysical visual challenge.

Yu's calligraphy too is highly celebrated for its originality, its ability to convey its purpose not simply through meaning inherent in language or the individual dance of ideograms but through the headlong flow of the whole. The teeming kinetic torrents of calligraphy suggest his landscapes and their unleashed energy. Again, everywhere there is the pulsing instant when the artist sculpts creativity into form.

Yu Han Yu is the director of the leading private art school, Ben Yuan Academy of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in Beijing. His work has appeared in numerous prestigious exhibition in China. His one-man show at the Beacon Cube will be his first in a major US gallery.

Ethan Cohen Fine Arts

Han-yu Yu’s Demo of Chinese Running Style Calligraphy

Han-yu Yu’s Demo of Chinese Running Style Calligraphy

Han-yu Yu’s Calligraphy and Color Painting Studio

Han-yu Yu’s Color Painting Studio

Prof Yin Mei’s 15 minutes performance “Dance with ink”

 
Intervie with Co-curator Mr. Ethan Cohen (CCTV)
 
Intervie with Prof Eugene Wang (CCTV)
 
Intervie with Dr. Gan Yu (CCTV)
 
 

Mr. Yu Hanyu's Speech: "Art and My Bonds with Tibet"

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

It gives me great honor and immense pride to be hosting my art exhibition here today as a Chinese artist at the elegant Ethan Cohen Fine Arts KUBE Museum in the quiet and picturesque city of Beacon in the United States, amidst all the distinguished guests who have travelled from afar, brought together by your love of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Fifteen years ago, I forged close bonds with the majestic landscapes of West China, especially the mountains and rivers of the Himalayas in Tibet. In the harsh artistic journey of sketch-making that involved over 50 visits to the snow-capped mountains and glaciers in Tibet, I created a new style of Chinese landscape painting──a unique style featuring landscapes painted with heavy strokes of ink, colors and gold, one that has never been tried before.

Depicting the snow-clad glaciers in Tibet with Chinese landscape painting as an art form requires many conditions. In Chinese culture, there is a beautiful word called “yuanfen”, or "fate" or “predestined bond” when translated into English. Painting Tibet requires a great deal of yuanfen: namely, one’s yuanfen or bonds with heaven, the earth and people.

By "tianyuan" is meant one’s predestined fate with heaven or nature. Tibet's high altitudes and harsh conditions pose stringent requirements for human health and adaptability. Many people are unable to stay for long on the Tibetan plateau as they suffer from altitude sickness due to their inability to adapt to the high altitudes from sea level. In contrast, my body is particularly adapted to the plateau environment, suffering from practically no altitude sickness. This is a result of my innate physical conditions. And this is my "tianyuan", or heaven-endowed bond with Tibet.

The "diyuan" or geo-affinity with Tibet refers to my relationship with the harsh natural environment of Tibet's high altitudes, steep mountains, deep canyons, and dry and cold weather, among others. In this natural environment, mere survival is very difficult for people in general. For me, I still had to do sketches and paintings in the wild. Without an "ardent love" for those high and treacherous mountains and waters, it would have been impossible to paint Tibet with one’s heart. For example, sometimes in order to get close to the beautiful snow peaks and glaciers, our SUV would have to drive on dangerous roads next to precipitous cliffs. Any wrong move would have had the driver and passengers buried in the deep valley below. Sometimes, in order to reach a more remote and more beautiful ice-capped mountain, I would hire three yak and as many Tibetans, and we would walk in the snowy mountain forest for five or six days, or even longer. During the day, we traversed above or between the cliffs and abyssal canyons. At night, we built a bonfire to fend off the cold and snowstorm. I would hide with the yak and the Tibetans in a flimsy wooden shed which afforded a weak defense against the natural elements. As soon as we arrived at a destination, I started my sketching in extreme cold. However, in this environment that ordinary people would find unbearable, I was full of great excitement. The sight of beautiful and holy snow mountains and glaciers would make me forget everything ── the cold, hunger, and danger. This could be done only with a fiery passion, fascination with the holy mountains and waters, the impulse to create art, and the love for this land. And this is my "diyuan”, my predestined love for the geography of Tibet.

By "renyuan” or “personal bond" I mean the self-cultivation and abilities that enable the painter to make a success of his depiction of Tibet’s snow-capped glaciers. Due to its remote geographical location and difficult environment that rendered the region almost inaccessible to people with the limited means of transportation available in the past, no one before me had ever painted the snow-capped mountains and glaciers in West China by means of the Chinese painting method. Consequently, I did not have even a teeny bit of artistic product to draw on when painting this vast expanse of mystical landscape. As a result, when drawing and painting these snow mountains and glaciers I could only rely on myself, starting line by line, stroke after stroke, just like building a high-rise building by starting slowly, brick by brick. Hence the need for me to venture into the dangerous land dozens of times to build up my sketches. For only by so doing would it be possible for me to have some understanding of this "blank" place in art history and thus create works of art that are different from those produced artists before me. In a nutshell, to reach the goal of succeeding in painting West China, especially the snow-capped glaciers in the Himalayas of Tibet, it is indispensable not only to have profound cultivation in traditional Chinese culture and art, but also to have a deep understanding of this swathe of holy mountains and waters, in order words, my self-cultivation for Tibet, or my “renyuan” or personal bond with Tibet.

Today, with Mr. Cohen’s great support, I have on display here the works of fine arts which have been created during my decades of artistic career thanks to the deep “yuanfen” or bonds I have built with Tibet. These works include ink and wash drawings, Chinese color paintings, works in golden and other colors, and calligraphy. I hope that while you appreciate them, these works of art will take you into the pulsating and exhilarating world of art about the holy mountains and waters of China’s West, of Chinese calligraphy!

Once again, my gratitude to all of you, especially to Professor Eugene Wang, Professor of Asian Art at the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and Director of Chinese Art Media Lab of Harvard University, who has taken the time out of his busy schedule to visit my art exhibition. My thanks also go to Mr. Cohen and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts KUBE Museum for their support, and to New York eChinaArt.com and Dr. Yu for their hard work!

I wish all the friends a wonderful time by virtue of my art exhibition! Thank you.

.
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Ms. Chang-ying Wang's Speech: "The Bond between Tea and Arts"

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

It gives me great honor and immense pride to be hosting my art exhibition here today as a Chinese artist at the elegant Ethan Cohen Fine Arts KUBE Museum in the quiet and picturesque city of Beacon in the United States, amidst all the distinguished guests who have travelled from afar, brought together by your love of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Fifteen years ago, I forged close bonds with the majestic landscapes of West China, especially the mountains and rivers of the Himalayas in Tibet. In the harsh artistic journey of sketch-making that involved over 50 visits to the snow-capped mountains and glaciers in Tibet, I created a new style of Chinese landscape painting──a unique style featuring landscapes painted with heavy strokes of ink, colors and gold, one that has never been tried before.

Depicting the snow-clad glaciers in Tibet with Chinese landscape painting as an art form requires many conditions. In Chinese culture, there is a beautiful word called “yuanfen”, or "fate" or “predestined bond” when translated into English. Painting Tibet requires a great deal of yuanfen: namely, one’s yuanfen or bonds with heaven, the earth and people.

By "tianyuan" is meant one’s predestined fate with heaven or nature. Tibet's high altitudes and harsh conditions pose stringent requirements for human health and adaptability. Many people are unable to stay for long on the Tibetan plateau as they suffer from altitude sickness due to their inability to adapt to the high altitudes from sea level. In contrast, my body is particularly adapted to the plateau environment, suffering from practically no altitude sickness. This is a result of my innate physical conditions. And this is my "tianyuan", or heaven-endowed bond with Tibet.

The "diyuan" or geo-affinity with Tibet refers to my relationship with the harsh natural environment of Tibet's high altitudes, steep mountains, deep canyons, and dry and cold weather, among others. In this natural environment, mere survival is very difficult for people in general. For me, I still had to do sketches and paintings in the wild. Without an "ardent love" for those high and treacherous mountains and waters, it would have been impossible to paint Tibet with one’s heart. For example, sometimes in order to get close to the beautiful snow peaks and glaciers, our SUV would have to drive on dangerous roads next to precipitous cliffs. Any wrong move would have had the driver and passengers buried in the deep valley below. Sometimes, in order to reach a more remote and more beautiful ice-capped mountain, I would hire three yak and as many Tibetans, and we would walk in the snowy mountain forest for five or six days, or even longer. During the day, we traversed above or between the cliffs and abyssal canyons. At night, we built a bonfire to fend off the cold and snowstorm. I would hide with the yak and the Tibetans in a flimsy wooden shed which afforded a weak defense against the natural elements. As soon as we arrived at a destination, I started my sketching in extreme cold. However, in this environment that ordinary people would find unbearable, I was full of great excitement. The sight of beautiful and holy snow mountains and glaciers would make me forget everything ── the cold, hunger, and danger. This could be done only with a fiery passion, fascination with the holy mountains and waters, the impulse to create art, and the love for this land. And this is my "diyuan”, my predestined love for the geography of Tibet.

By "renyuan” or “personal bond" I mean the self-cultivation and abilities that enable the painter to make a success of his depiction of Tibet’s snow-capped glaciers. Due to its remote geographical location and difficult environment that rendered the region almost inaccessible to people with the limited means of transportation available in the past, no one before me had ever painted the snow-capped mountains and glaciers in West China by means of the Chinese painting method. Consequently, I did not have even a teeny bit of artistic product to draw on when painting this vast expanse of mystical landscape. As a result, when drawing and painting these snow mountains and glaciers I could only rely on myself, starting line by line, stroke after stroke, just like building a high-rise building by starting slowly, brick by brick. Hence the need for me to venture into the dangerous land dozens of times to build up my sketches. For only by so doing would it be possible for me to have some understanding of this "blank" place in art history and thus create works of art that are different from those produced artists before me. In a nutshell, to reach the goal of succeeding in painting West China, especially the snow-capped glaciers in the Himalayas of Tibet, it is indispensable not only to have profound cultivation in traditional Chinese culture and art, but also to have a deep understanding of this swathe of holy mountains and waters, in order words, my self-cultivation for Tibet, or my “renyuan” or personal bond with Tibet.

Today, with Mr. Cohen’s great support, I have on display here the works of fine arts which have been created during my decades of artistic career thanks to the deep “yuanfen” or bonds I have built with Tibet. These works include ink and wash drawings, Chinese color paintings, works in golden and other colors, and calligraphy. I hope that while you appreciate them, these works of art will take you into the pulsating and exhilarating world of art about the holy mountains and waters of China’s West, of Chinese calligraphy!

Once again, my gratitude to all of you, especially to Professor Eugene Wang, Professor of Asian Art at the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and Director of Chinese Art Media Lab of Harvard University, who has taken the time out of his busy schedule to visit my art exhibition. My thanks also go to Mr. Cohen and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts KUBE Museum for their support, and to New York eChinaArt.com and Dr. Yu for their hard work!

I wish all the friends a wonderful time by virtue of my art exhibition! Thank you.

.

 
 
. Selected Works by Yu Han Yu
 
“Barrens and Floating Clouds”, 150 x 900 cm, Ink on Paper, 2018
 
“Lonely Soul, Cold Moonlight and freezing Rocks”, 150 x 420 cm, Ink on Paper, 2018
 
“Glaciers in the Moon Light”, 90 x 180 cm, Ink on Paper, 2010
 
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