Monday, March 29, 2010

"True Flavors"

This sketch of vegetables titled "True Flavors" is painted on a piece of scrap styrofoam -- I wonder if it was part of a cheap picnic ice box. We saw this painting in a beautiful exhibit of the author's work at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

The artist, Chang Ku-nien (1906-1987), had a delightful way of placing modern objects in classical Chinese paintings. One very long scroll depicted a typhoon that hit Taiwan in 1959, showing a train the artist was riding that almost derailed when the bridge was blown out. A winter scene shows a classical landscape, but two tiny figures at close inspection turn out to be skiiers. Paintings of autumn and winter in Michigan and of the Yellowstone Falls show how the artist's vision could turn American scenes into what appear to be Chinese landscapes.

"True Flavors" does the opposite: places a Chinese painting on a modern object!

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I love this. Japanese art is a favorite. This is beautiful -- styrofoam or not!