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Our Visits To China

Sunny and I travel to China frequently each year to visit family, and look for exciting, creative, and emerging new artists. Sunny speaks Mandarin, the official language of China. Unlike the English language, Chinese Characters are individual pictures. Even though there are many different dialects, the written language is the same no matter where you travel. If you can memorize 4,000 Chinese characters you can read the newspaper.

"Where Heaven and Earth Meet"
Hangzhou is a two hour drive outside Shanghai. "Where Heaven and Earth Meet", this is what the artists say about West Lake in Hangzhou. On one of our walks we stopped to rest awhile and had a cup of tea. From where we sat the beauty of West Lake was breathtaking. Everywhere you turn is another picture to be painted. Colorful carp cruising through the lily pads, as dragonflies look for a safe place to land. Boats glide along in a mist on the lake surrounded with bountiful lotus along the waters edge. We saw many people with cameras and several Chinese artists capturing the beauty of this area.

Family Roots... The Village
Years ago we went to visit the village where Sunny's father grew up. It is a few hours north of Beijing. We were told it was very primitive and had none of the basics we were use to. Sunny and I camp a lot, so I figured, how bad can it be? Much to our surprise we found ourselves in a bit of a time warp. A step back in time - 100 years or more. After leaving the hustle and bustle of the big cities we found the peacefulness soothing and the people of the village warm and inviting.

We asked Sunny's family if we could visit the grade school in the village. They made arrangements for us to meet the principal and teachers and visit the classrooms. As it turned out I was the first Caucasian that had ever been to the village. I am tall, light skinned and blonde, so I was a real sight for the children in the village, as well as for the adults. Suddenly I became a celebrity. I was the talk of the village, and it made me have more empathy for how the monkey in the cage must feel. Our niece had never seen a foreigner before. Within a few minutes she took my hand and walked me around like she was showing off her best pony. I knew it was important to her, so I just smiled and took it in stride.

The Village Children's Art Project
Our niece Michelle organized an art project and went back to the village for 10 days. She brought watercolor paints, crayons and paper to the school. It was the first time the children had ever used such materials. It was a challenge at first to get the projects started. They had to pump water from the well in the school courtyard. They had nothing to mix the paints in, so the principal sent some of the children home to bring their rice bowls back. The paints were mixed in their rice bowls. North Gresham Grade School and the Gresham Lions Supper Club donated art supplies for this project. The proceeds from the sales will go back to the village school for future art supplies. The lesson plan for the children was to paint self-portraits. They were nervous at first and not sure how to start. Freethinking was a totally new concept for them. The children's self portraits turned out wonderful!

Chinese Art & The Artists

Original Chinese Lotus Paintings
In Chinese spiritual thought, the Lotus represents the purity and integrity that survives the muddy depths from which it emerges. Because of Buddhist influence, the lotus (or sea-rose) is one of the flowers Chinese artists paint most often. Many Chinese artists will refer to themselves as “the spirit of the lotus”. It is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism. Chinese paintings with the lotus are elegant and may include birds or fish.

Original Chinese Paintings Depicting Birds & Flowers
In Chinese paintings with flowers often times you will see birds. In Chinese thought the combination of flower and bird represents harmony in nature. The Chinese Peony represents prosperity and the crane represents longevity.

Original Chinese Oil Paintings
Many of the oil paintings we have in our collection are painted from photographs and from other books of art. Kunming a city in southwestern China has the largest population of indigenous people in China. The women in many of the paintings are of these minority groups. The women are dressed in celebration costume with intricate headdress, clothing or necklace adornments as the focal objects in the painting. The paintings of the children wearing hats with intricate animal designs are typical of hats worn during the cold winter months throughout China.

Traditional Chinese Brush & Ink Paintings
When someone mentions Chinese painting one picture usually comes to mind. A scene of soaring peaks surrounded in a heavy mist with pine trees. A small pagoda, a thicket of bamboo and a winding path where tiny figures can be seen. The scene is usually painted or displayed on a hanging silk scroll. This is the essence of traditional Chinese art, which differs in almost every way from western art.

The Chinese artist uses only the briefest of brush strokes to conjure up the spirit of the picture. Chinese paintings are divided into two major categories: free hand brushwork (xieyi) and detailed brushwork (gongbi). Xieyi is characterized by simple and bold strokes intended to represent the likeness of the objects. Gongbi is fine Chinese brushwork and very detailed. Many Chinese painters will often add a poem on their paintings as well as a chop or seal as their signature. The artist who paints Traditional Chinese Brush and Ink style has had many years of training. The techniques of applying the build up of ink and color in gradual layers, using a few simple brush strokes can take years to master. In theory the Chinese artist becomes one with their work.

The Ancient Art of Chinese Calligraphy
Calligraphy is to the Chinese art collector, the ultimate art, because it is a marriage of painting and poetry. In many paintings you may see the artist include some Chinese writing as part of the painting. This is usually their deep personal thoughts about the symbols they have painted or the season of the year, or it could be a political statement.

Artist Zhou, Jien Ying
Born in 1966 in Suzhou China. The artist combines the old Traditional Style of Brush & Ink Painting with the feeling of a more modern contemporary style in his works. He lives with his family in Suzhou, China.

Artist Xu, Jun
Saturated with color Artist Xu, Jun’s paintings draw the eye at first glance. His works employ ground ink sticks a medium that combines the elusiveness of watercolor while achieving the dramatic effect of oil paints and pastels.

Xu, Jun has chosen the subject of women, stirring in their sensual beauty they regard us directly and at the same time stay removed.

Artist Zhang, Xiexiong
Born in 1977 in Fujian Province. Zhang, Xiexiong is one of the most talented young oil painters in China.

Like many emerging young artists he began painting at an early age, and learned from his father.

Zhang graduated from Fujian Teaching Education University (Oil Painting College) in 1999 after studying for four years. He has since traveled to Russia to study and earn a degree.

His paintings represent Chinese social customs and traditions in realism-style. His oil paints have gained a reputation both in China and out of China. They are collected by government organizations and individual collectors.

Zhang Xiexiong has a natural gift of painting and is exceptional in painting many styles including those of the Great Masters.

Zhang Xiexiong’s specialty is to paint from the Old Masters of Europe, Portraits and landscape. He uses photographs to initiate all kinds of paintings.

Artist Su, Rohr Shien
The artist was born in 1952. Lives in Suzhou, China. He is well known for his Lover Bird Paintings. Su Rohr Shien holds the highest position in the Chinese Calligraphy Association. Su Rohr Shien is a member of The Chinese Art Association, member of the Chinese Art Academy.

Su Rohr Shien has exhibited in Pusan South Korea and currently owns his own Art Gallery.

Artist Zhou, Rong-Bao
Zhou, Rong-Bao was born in 1943 and resides in Suzhou, China

Mr. Zhou’s paintings are representative of the Canals that line the city of Suzhou.

His works have a seemingly architectural feeling to them. If you have been to Suzhou, you may recognize the buildings and have crossed the bridges in his paintings.

Artist Le, Chang-An
Born in Shanghai in May 1964. His works employ ground ink sticks: similar to watercolor with the dramatic effect of oil paints and pastels. The feeling in his paintings comes from the images he sees in his daily life in China.

The Han Collection ships original Chinese paintings and art, please email us to discuss shipping options.

Should you have any questions about the Han Collection of original paintings from China, please don't hesitate to email us at thehancollection@comcast.net.
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