exhibit explores the versatile works of Chen, whose paintings
include applying Chinese techniques to interpret American Southwest
Unlike the dramatic changes of attitude and techniques
in the west - classicism, romanticism, impressionism and many
modern movements - little revolutionary growth has occurred
in traditional Chinese painting, or Guohua (national painting),
since its development during the Sung dynasty (1000-1200s).
Chinese ink and brush painting interfaces with
many elements - poetry, calligraphy, seals - and expresses Chinese
cultural ideals and values. Beyond the aesthetic, most of the
narrative or pictorial works embody morals and illustrate social
functions. Paintings often employ symbolism and retell stories
and legends of heroes and religions, or may depict famous landscapes
and familiar poems.