East Asia Library hosts online exhibition of Chinese brush painting

November 13, 2020
Joshua Capitanio
ART 221 Exhibit

The East Asia Library is currently hosting an online exhibition of student work from the Stanford Continuing Studies course ART221: The Art of Chinese Brush Painting, taught by Felix Chan Lim, Ph.D. and Bobbi Makani, Ph.D.

We are pleased to feature the artwork of ART221 students. This term has been particularly interesting as this the first time ART221 was taught online. 

Chinese Brush Painting is one of the oldest living arts in the world. It is a form of art that has evolved continuously for more than 6,000 years to date. Chinese brush painting is simple in spirit, concept and execution. The apparent simplicity of the brush strokes belies the complexity in their execution. Perfecting the brush strokes requires considerable practice and experience. This ancient art reflects harmony, serenity and tranquility, yet its execution can also be exceedingly contemporary.

ART221 introduces students to the basic elements, concepts, and fundamental techniques of the so-called "Four Gentlemen" of Chinese painting. The Four Gentlemen in Chinese art refers to the four major themes of bamboo, orchid, plum and chrysanthemum. These themes have been used in Chinese brush painting since the Song Dynasty (960-1279) because of their symbolism and significance in Chinese literature. The Four Gentlemen also represent the four different seasons of the year - the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer, the chrysanthemum for autumn, and the plum blossom for winter.

Throughout the course, students have learned different techniques and developed skills in using the Chinese brush to paint the Four Gentlemen. This student art exhibit is a showcase of the painting techniques students learned in the course.

The exhibition may be viewed on the East Asia Library website.

Student artists featured in this exhibition:
Christine Saint Georges
Jiayan Zhao
Jim Lawson
Leslie Strong
Karen Ueberwasser
Linda Papanicolaou
Lisa Miller-Phillips
Lourdes Ventura
Lushell Curt
Minjuan Bian
Rhonda Diaz
So Park
Tony Trias
Marianne Berkovich