Library exhibitions paint picture of cultural combinations and more

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 8:56 AM
Library exhibitions paint picture of cultural combinations and more by Amber Chisholm
Photo: Amber Chisholm

Viewers were able to take in unique cultural perspectives on the second floor of the Baron-Forness Library from April 1-10, in the form of a two-part painting exhibition called “The Love of Lake.”

Zhou Jing, a visiting scholar from China and an associate professor at the Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, along with her husband Liu Bin, presented 18 pieces, including both watercolor and acrylic artwork.

Each piece was completed at Edinboro and represented topics like love and the human smile, along with the word “strive” (which is part of Edinboro’s motto).

Combining American and Chinese cultures, three pieces held both American figures and Chinese poems, which were translated in English on cards next to them. An example of this was in a poem called “Autumn Thoughts” by Ma Zhiyuan and one of Jing’s painting of the same name.

It read:

“Dried vines, old trees, evening crows in nests high, 

Short bridge, running stream, some homesteads nearby,

Cold wind, gaunt horse on the ancient path high,

Sinking Sun in the West sky —

At the Earth’s end: Heartbroken, lonely!!”

“Home,” a watercolor painting completed by Jing, included various scenes around the campus, such as the Highlands residence halls, Baron-Forness Library and glimpses of nature with a goose and some leaves.

There were also three paintings as part of “Figure Fridays,” holding colorful images of people, followed by two of Bin’s acrylic paintings named “Geese” and “Lake” on the next wall.

“Geese” shows a couple with two geese and looked to represent distinctions between modern and traditional religious culture. Bin said that geese represented holiness and purity during the Renaissance period.

“Lake” shows a young woman, who represents water, with an older man whose eyes are the only blue element in the painting. This was intended to represent the human experience with nature.

“King” and “Horse,” also by Bin, came next, with the former showing the titular king holding up his beliefs and ideas; similar to how the Statue of Liberty holds her torch.

In “Horse,” the animal itself is shown with a lonely boy, and this painting, along with one called “Performer,” which shows a cat and flute player relaxing together, were meant to reflect on the human-animal relationship. People opening their minds toward accepting more love, which can involve people, animals and plants, was also part of this message.

Some pieces were not exactly light-hearted, yet could still be relatable, such as “Rock.” This was where a boy is curled up into a ball and rocking in an attempt to find both physical and mental balance. 

One painting called “Red Maple” involves a woman resting while listening to what Bin described as traditional folk music. This one holds double meaning however, since she is happy yet lost in illusion.

For Jing herself, she says that painting lets her forget every sad thing and release her worries. 

Watercolor is her favorite way to paint and she loves it because it is “natural and kindly.”

She also believes that water is representative of life, especially in “film, drawing, painting, music and so on.” Her husband agreed.

Undoubtedly unique, this exhibit held a purpose and included messages that viewers will likely keep in mind. 

Amber Chisholm | edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

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