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Paintings by Wu Yi, founder of the Association of Modern Chinese Art and chairman of its board of directors, will be displayed March 17-May 5 in the gallery of Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts.

A reception for the artist will be held at the gallery 3-5 p.m. Sunday, April 7. He will give an informal talk at the beginning of the reception.

Wu’s works range from traditional landscape in ink and wash to more contemporary interpretations of landscape that are influenced by European painting. A native of Zhongshan County (now Cuiwei County of Zhuhai), Guangdong Province, Wu was born in 1934 in Osaka, Japan. He graduated from Nanjing Institute of Arts in 1962. As one of the most accomplished artists from China, Wu became well known by the end of the 1970’s. He traveled to Japan in June 1984 to study modern Japanese art, and subsequently moved to the United States in November 1984. In 1992, an exhibition of his paintings was held at the China National Art Gallery in Beijing.

In March 1994, Wu founded the Association of Modern Chinese Art in New York.

His 1995 essay “Art In My Own Way,” which generated much discussion in fine art circles in China and elsewhere, examined the evolution and the origins of Western and Eastern art.

Wu has produced nearly 100 paintings. His works emphasize his own inner feelings through internalization of external visual images, thereby achieving harmony between the material world and himself. In his search for the origin of art, Wu benefited from the traditional Confucian and Taoist schools of thought for the development of a unique style of non-conformity by following his own inclinations.

His two masterpieces of landscape, “Self-Expression on the Peak of Mt. Kunlun” and “Self-Expression at the Mausoleum of Emperor Tangtaizong,” are the most vivid and profound illustrations of his emotion toward the vast landscape of China and his broad vision.

In the realm of ink and wash Chinese painting, Wu advanced the theory that color and ink are of the same origin, thereby bringing change to the traditional school of Chinese painting, which has favored the ink and wash technique. In the words one of art critic, Wu “represents a new generation of artists who paint images embodied with meaning.” In the eyes of the Grand Master Liu Haisu, Wu’s paintings are “deemed as one of the peaks in the fine art circle of China.”

Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, and before public performances in the Williams Center. For more information, call the gallery at 610-330-5361 or email Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The exhibition series is presented under provisions of the Frederick Knecht Detwiller Endowment. The gallery is funded in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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