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August 23, 2005 > Unexplored Chinese Treasures

Unexplored Chinese Treasures

by Heidi Leung

Whether it is the biblical version of the beginning of the universe or the "Big Bang" theory taught in high school science classes, there are many different ideas of what creation is or may be. What is more important is the fact that creation is not only about the start of the universe; it can be an epiphany that strikes out of nowhere and creates inspiration. On August 26, The Chinese Artist Network is presenting a visual dialogue, entitled "Creation," at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont.

The Chinese Artist Network is a non-profit organization whose goal is to bring together emerging artists with Chinese backgrounds and encourage collaboration. They also hope to help their members become more recognized in the mainstream by collectors and critics. The shows theme explores the stereotype that the Chinese are great at academic achievements. Stated on the CAN website at, "Rarely does a Chinese photographer in the US capture the attention or anxiety of a metropolitan community." Now is the chance to see a different side of the academically proficient Chinese, the artistic and imaginative side.

Artwork on display will offer different artist's renditions of what creation means to them as expressed through photography. Abby Chen, a member of CAN, noted that although the group, "focused a lot on traditional photography, such as Black & White, in the past," they have recently started to emphasize different types of photography including digital montage, abstract, etc.

The theme of creation comes from development of Chinese art over the last decade, said Chen. China's growing economy and its political atmosphere have given many Chinese artists chances to explore different cultures and show their work to a wider audience. "This broadening and intensification spurred an urgent search for a new cultural identity among China's many artists, critics, and curators," said Chen

Featured artists include Ma Liang and Meng Jin. Liang is a photographer, DV artist and short filmmaker based in Shanghai. His series "Life just as a dream," "Fairy tale of Mr. White" and "My circus" will be showcased. Jin is a contemporary photographer based in London. His Montague series "Will you stay or should I go?" will be on display. Two other local artists from CAN will also be showing their work.

"Creations" will be showing from August 26 to October 1 at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery, 123 Washington Boulevard, Fremont. The opening reception is on August 26 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about other CAN events or the Creations exhibit, call Abby Chen at (510) 754-3794.

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