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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Opens "I Am in It: Contemporary Chinese Art Expressions" Exhibition Jan. 10

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public and media to the opening reception for "I Am in It: Contemporary Chinese Art Expressions" exhibition 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10 in the FGCU Arts Complex, art gallery. Yiguo Zhang, FGCU executive professor, is curator of the exhibition. Dr. Zhang delivers a Curator's Talk at 6 p.m. and introduces the artists visiting from China. Jia Borgia, formerly a professional singer in China, will perform, accompanied by Hyae-jin Hwang, an FGCU freshman in the Bower School of Music. The show runs through Feb. 16.

This important exhibition documents the moment of fusion when modernity joined tradition and created an unprecedented art movement in China today. In support of their individual creative spirits and influenced by their personal experiences with recent cultural changes, traditionally-trained calligraphic artists now are choosing to depart from the classical writing form in search of "self".

This exhibition foretells the broadening future of artistic creation in China, showcasing the work of four leading virtuosic calligraphic artists: Lan Zhenghui, Pu Lieping, Shao Yan, and Yiliao.

Dr. Zhang is an internationally recognized expert in Asian Art and an important calligraphic artist in his own right. He is the author of Calligraphy: the Art of Heart and Soul (Peking University, 1991; Taipei, 1992), which was recently selected as the reference book for China high schools.

His exhibition Brushed Voices: Calligraphy in Contemporary China (Columbia University, 1998), received very favorable reviews from the "New York Times" and the catalog was a best seller in its field.

He also served as a research fellow at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1998 through 2004.

Dr. Zhang earned his degrees from Nankai University, Tianjin, China. The University is of Ivy League status and is an educational partner of FGCU.

"I learned calligraphy as a child and have practiced it all my life. I have also followed it closely, as a critic and curator, through a renaissance in China that has been producing inspired work for over two decades," Zhang said.

"There is no distinction in Chinese art between antique and cutting edge; tradition is always contemporary. The artists in this exhibition all have solid foundations in classical Chinese writing styles, but they depart from traditional forms with their individual approaches."

Donna Henry, dean of College of Arts and Sciences at FGCU said, "The 'I Am in It' exhibit will provide FGCU students with an opportunity to study works and interact with artists from this contemporary Chinese art movement. This pivotal show will position our students for even greater success in our global society."

An art catalog showcasing the exhibition is available, and offers readers scholarly essays on the four artists - three of the articles were written by Dr. Zhang and one by Zhongjian Chai, a respected art critic in China. The 165-page, four-color bilingual catalog provides an image of every work in the exhibition. The hardback sells for $45; the softbound copy is $25. They will be available for purchase at the exhibition, in the University Bookstore and at Borders bookstore.

A full press kit is available upon request.

For more information, media representatives should contact senior director for Advancement Judie Cassidy at (239) 590-1058.

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