Colorful Dragon: 2024 Chinese Art Exhibition – Chinese Folk Art at Martin van Blerk Gallery in Antwerp

Antwerp is the fashion and art capital of Belgium. It is home to Van Gogh’s alma mater, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Rubens’ former residence, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

In this art-filled city, Chinese folk artists will join forces at the Martin van Blerk Gallery to showcase the diverse charms of Chinese culture and art creation, including stone carving, printmaking, calligraphy, costumes, watercolor painting, embroidery, tie-dye and other art forms.

Corner of the Martin van Blerk Gallery

Painting Exhibition Opening Reception: Saturday, March 16, 4:00 pm (Pre-registration! See end of article for registration)
Address: Martin van Blerk Gallery Antwerp, Belgium
Opening hours of the exhibition: March 16th – March 24th 15:00 – 19:00

Exhibited Works

—Treasures of Chinese Folk Art —

 

Microsculpture: a cultural microcosm in the palm of your hand
In China, the folk art of stone carving and micro-carving is mainly manifested in ancient bronzes, jades, zisha and other kinds of traditional handicrafts. Through micro-carving, artists sculpt these stone materials so vividly that the viewer seems to be able to feel the precipitation of history and cultural heaviness.
The exhibited stone micro-carvings come from a micro-carving folk artist from Shengzhou, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, Lou Changwei, who has been the closed disciple of the Chinese micro-carving master Zhou Changxing for more than thirty years, and has acquired a high level of carving skills. He presents the traditional classic instruments to the public in the form of micro-carving, which is a precious expression of traditional Chinese culture.

 

“Every stone has its own soul, telling a unique and profound story through its unique texture. Jade is not a weapon unless it is cut. An uncut stone is just ordinary. Carving these stones into exquisite works of art is my deepest joy.”

His works “Double Deer Protector” and “Micro Carved Vase Set” will be featured in this March exhibition, and he is also accepting custom orders for limited edition private seal engraving.

 
Tie-dyeing: an ancient craft that enriches patterns
 

Zhao Chen
Graduated from Chongqing Technology and Business University, School of Design and Art
Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Tie-Dye Inheritor

Tie-dyeing is an ancient and exquisite traditional Chinese craft that creates colorful patterns and motifs through ingenious tying and dyeing techniques. Zhao Chen has been learning the art from her teacher since she was young, and has devoted herself to the research of tie-dye design and production process. By collecting and organizing ancient Chinese folk tie-dye materials, she has accomplished the innovation of tie-dyeing techniques and dyeing based on the inheritance of folk traditions. She has instructed her students to participate in the national non-legacy competitions for many times and won numerous awards. Her and her students’ works have been exhibited in England, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and South Africa.

 

Paper Sculpture: On the occasion of the Year of the Dragon All is well

The Year of the Dragon symbolizes auspiciousness and prosperity.

Considered a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture, the dragon possesses majesty, strength and wisdom.

The exhibition will also present a limited edition Year of the Dragon calendar, an exquisitely crafted paper-carved Year of the Dragon calendar that has won an award in the Chinese Zodiac Design Competition and is available for sale at the Forbidden City. In addition, there are also some cute cartoon version of the Year of the Dragon bookmarks and Chinese style bookmarks in this exhibition. Let’s immerse ourselves in the Year of the Dragon, which is full of blessings and creativity!

 

Embroidery: Non-Heritage Crafts Delicate and exquisite

Wang Yanfen
Zhengzhou City Arts and Crafts Master, member of China Folk Literary Artists Association. She won awards in the first Zhengzhou City Folk Art Fair and Folk Literature and Art Works Exhibition; and in the Henan Province Non-Genetic Undertaking Skills Competition. She applies embroidery techniques to cultural creative design, and designs cultural creative works with different themes by colliding different techniques, stitches and materials. In the past two years, she has mainly studied oracle bone inscriptions and Shang Dynasty totems, and designed different series of cultural creative works by combining these elements with her embroidery skills.
 
 

Calligraphy: The Rhythm of Ink and Brush broad and profound

Lu Wanping
A calligraphy enthusiast from Chun’an County, Zhejiang Province. He has learned the art of calligraphy and painting from Sun Qifeng and Ning Shulun of the Tianjin Academy of Painting and Calligraphy. Lu Wanping’s calligraphy studies include Yan Zhenqing’s Qinli Stele and Liu Gongquan’s Xuanxie Pagoda Stele in Tang Regular Script, Wang Xizhi’s Sacred Teaching Preface from the Jin Dynasty, Mi Fu’s Shusu Post from the Song Dynasty, and Liang Shizheng’s Ten Palaces Post from the Qing Dynasty, as well as cursive calligraphy such as Huaisu’s Self Narrative Post from the Tang Dynasty.
He has participated in the 2014 “Successor of the Dragon” Global Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Public Welfare Competition and won an award of excellence, as well as an award of excellence in the “Apricot Blossom Cup” national competition. Lu Wanping regards calligraphy as a way to cultivate his body and mind, and considers it a kind of training and cultivation.

Clay sculpture: rubbing and shaping life forms

Hu Zhenbo
Intangible Cultural Heritage Chang’an Clay Sculpture Inheritor.
Clay sculpture, often called “mudman”, is a kind of folk artwork made of clay as the main raw material through the process of rubbing and molding from inside to outside, from coarse to fine. It records the beliefs and aesthetic interests of the folk of Xi’an, China, and expresses the qualities of the people of Guanzhong, such as simplicity, honesty, boldness, integrity, thrift and contentment. His work expresses people’s lives, folk customs and habits, and draws people’s memories back to the rural areas of the last century, making it a lively popularization book of folklore.

 

Hanbok: The Heritage of Classical Temperament

Hanbok is the traditional dress of the Han people. The dress characteristics of hair binding and right obeisance are regarded as an important cultural distinction between the Chinese civilization and the four barbarians. In the pre-Qin period, there was already a clear way of assigning dress: “Virtue must be called position, position must be called salary, salary must be called use.” There is a position only if there is virtue, there is a position only if there is a salary, the position can be viewed in terms of goods, and goods can be measured in terms of virtue, and moral performance, social status and wealth and goods, clothing and accessories are commensurate with the corresponding proportion. Therefore, the Chinese dress system was not only a guideline for the distribution of consumer goods and a norm for interpersonal communication, but also embodied the moral beliefs and ideological concepts contained in the ritual system. Clothing had both material and spiritual values for the ancients.

In recent years, Hanbok has gained a lot of attention from young people in modern society, and there are many places where you can see ladies wearing beautiful Hanbok as a way to recapture traditional culture. In this exhibition, there are also Hanfu costumes on display, and on Saturday, March 23rd, the gallery will also cooperate with the Belgian Hanfu Club to hold a Hanfu costume fitting, make-up and photo-taking activity for children or adults (both men and women), which will require some fees to participate in the project, and the number of places is limited, so you need to make an appointment in advance!

In addition to the above, there are many other types of art on display, such as traditional Chinese New Year paintings, watercolor paintings, and so on, that it is difficult to introduce them all. It’s well worth a look! We’ll also post some more photos from the show as they become available.

 
                                                         Opening invitation
 

– HAPPY NEW YEAR –

Among the many galleries in Antwerp, it is rare to see the works of Chinese artists. We are really proud of the artists who have been able to export their culture to Belgium this time! If you are interested, come and join us for the opening reception of the exhibition on Saturday, March 16th at 4pm at the Martin van Blerk Gallery in Antwerp! Remember to register in advance 👇 See details at the end of the article. The opening reception is an opportunity for art lovers to meet, enjoy art together and share ideas.

The organizer of the exhibition is the Central European International Design and Cultural Association (CEIDA). Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Belgium, the association is one of the early international platforms uniting artists, designers and other stakeholders from China, Europe and even around the globe.

                                                            – See you in March –

 

Those interested in attending the opening reception of the exhibition should register in advance. Send the name, number of participants and contact information (e-mail or cell phone number) to the organizer:
SMS: +32 (0) 487 20 4230
Email: LOUYIDESIGN@GMAIL.COM
WeChat: 36101967
For those who are interested in the hanbok fitting, make-up and photo shoot activities, please make a note of that as well. When the details of the event come out, interested peeps will be contacted in advance first!

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