East – West Diversions

Where has the time gone? Does it seem like twenty-seven years have gone by? Mark it down on your calenders to tell your children or your grandchildren, that on March 22nd, 1982, you stood in line to watch a famous and classic movie. Some of you may have been children then, and some of you may have been adults then.  But this film crossed all barriers of age, nationality, or race.

I’m talking about the classic Steven Spielberg movie, E T. The Extra Terrestrial. This delightful movie wasn’t the usual Spielbergian fare of heart-thumping excitement. No, this film was simply a heartwarming tale about family, friendship and trust, themes that should lure audiences back to the theaters, as people world over need to feel better given the events of today be they war or natural disasters. As the poster claims, this was a movie that touched the world.

E T was the extra-terrestrial accidentally left behind on Earth who was befriended by a young fatherless boy and his brother and sister. A series of events occur in the film, E T phones home and then goes home, and then, as we exit the theater, we feel very happy, and we feel emotionally enriched.

Misty Huanshan by Song Di

Misty Huanshan by Song Di

Who doesn’t want to feel happy and emotionally enriched?

Actually that is a rhetorical question as we all want to feel happy. Looking at gorgeous women is another kind of visual experience that makes me happy, and it certainly is enriching. But quite often I feel the same way about art. Check out Misty Huanshan by Song Di above

I recently watched a film from China entitled The Curse of the Golden Flower. Directed by Zhang Yimou, the movie was really a film about the intrigues, clandestine plans and machinations of the royal family. Set in the days of the Tang Dynasty in 10th Century, the film included illicit liaisons, mysterious assassins, sibling rivalry, as well as a slow and deadly poisoning – and all this was happening between just the royal family members. But these events played out against the breathtaking backdrop of thousand of chrysanthemum blossoms. Check out this image from the film:

As you can see, Yimou’s creation of the golden flowers is really a sight to see. I was inspired enough to seek out some art from China that may have inspired Yimou. My selections follow immediately.

This first one is called Scenery and the artist is Wu Zuoren. Except for the tall pagoda off on the distance, and the  misty valley preceding the mountains, it isn’t particularly Chinese. But I know I haven’t seen anything like it in art before.

Vivid Autumn by Ying Qiang Du

Vivid Autumn by Ying Qiang Du

The Chinese adore landscape paintings. They need not be steeped in classic realism, nor must they be traditional. Landscapes, as a favorite genre, have been done in many different formats. The next two are by Ying  Qiang Du. First is A Vivid Autumn . Below is Fresh Rain of Clear Mountain. His works are primitive as well as bold; simple as well as elegant. Did you miss the man in the boat at the bottom of Fresh Rain?

Fresh Rain of the Clear Mountain by Ying Qiang Du

Fresh Rain of the Clear Mountain by Ying Qiang Du

Golden Time by Ko Nam

Golden Time by Ko Nam

Some of the works have more traditional elements, and others are much more like photos than paintings, they are so realistic. Ko Nam’s Golden Time (above) is impressionistic. You won’t find a field of flowers like that in real life, nor will you locate a home like that in the painting’s center.

Below is Mao-shan Liu’s New York in Autumn. This one is gorgeous, and while it approaches reality, it is still pure artistic imagination. Right down to the lady in the bright blue rain coat at the edge of the park’s tree in the painting’s foreground.

New York In Autum by Liu Mao-shan

New York In Autum by Liu Mao-shan

Chrysanthemum by Zhao Fan Qi

Chrysanthemum by Zhao Fan Qi

Want more art to delight in and make you feel special? Above is Zhao Fan Qi’s spectacular Chrysanthemum. You look at this work of art and you can almost feel the luxurious flower petals between your fingers. But look at the next one called Rainy Lijiang Gloaming by Song Di (below). The massive mountain peaks soar skyward from the plains as the gentle River Li wends it way between them. Sublime.

Rainy Lijiang Gloaming by Di Song

Rainy Lijiang Gloaming by Song Di

We have three more grand works for you. Below, please check out Zhang Bu’s Autumn Melody. I love the way the artist has even captured the falling leaves in air on this canvas.

Autumn Melody by Zhang Bu

Autumn Melody by Zhang Bu

Our last two paintings aren’t landscapes. Instead they are supremely beautiful florals. We usually see flowers in bunches, but if you take the time to examine them closely, you will be impressed. Below is Fragrance Spreading by Zhongyau Zhou. The detail is electrifying.

FRagrance-Spreading by Zhongyau Zhou

Fragrance Spreading by Zhongyau Zhou

And our last painting is called Yellow Peony by Chuanan Zou. While this painting edges away from reality in the direction of expressionism, there’s no denying the masterful creativity despite the low number of brush strokes.

Yellow Peony by Chuanan Zhou

Yellow Peony by Chuanan Zhou

Make your lady happy to see you. If you can’t bring home a Masterpiece by a Chinese Artist, then at least bring a bouquet home tonight, and a blissful evening will follow. Thank you for stopping by The Arts.

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