LKJ Gallery

This past Saturday, Sara and I attended an exhibition of modern art at a newly opened gallery. It was a very short walk from the old campus. It was the perfect day for a walk as the sun shone proudly through the polluted Xi’an sky. We perused the gallery which featured all-female Chinese artists, mostly professors at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, while enjoying a glass of wine (and not the Chinese kind, an Australian or Spanish red). The artists were present and Liu Pei (her art is displayed below), as Sara and I were getting ready to leave, asked if we would mind sitting for portraits! So of course, as is customary, numbers were exchanged with the promise that we would hear from her. It is Chinese style to possibly never call or call months later, so we will see if this opportunity actually materializes. 
This is Liu Pei’s work. As explained to us, it is a representation of  everyday objects. In the center she has painted 肉夹馍 ròujīamó (Xi’an hamburger, a Xi’an specialty dish), 峰 bīngfēng (Ice peak, a tastier version of orange fanta), and 凉皮儿 liángpíer (cold noodles). 
I don’t remember this artist’s name, but I was very intrigued by her work. She had two paintings of the books and she infused foreign language textbooks as well. They both bookended her collection (hah, a pun!).  Additionally, she had two paintings where the subject was an abacus. 
The gallery had an eclectic mix of modern and traditional Chinese furniture. 
Sara posing with a painting that is reminiscent of the impressionist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme. 
Another from the same collection as the latter painting. 
Oil paintings largely reminiscent of Monet’s Water Lilies sans lighter elements. I liked these for their cubist elements. The painter chose various natural Chinese landscapes and captured them quite vividly.   
These were the first images you encountered upon entering the gallery. The painting on the right immediately made me think of my favorite book as a child Where the Wild Things Are. Below are two more paintings from the same collection. 

Liu Pei’s other collection: items she uses everyday. Cake, teapot, hard-boiled eggs etc. 
The gallery’s entrance. There were mostly Chinese in attendance with a sporadic peppering of foreigners. I was a bit surprised by this because of the lack of Chinese who seem interested in art, albeit modern art. 

I am really looking forward to Deanna’s visit at the end of next month, in addition to the winter holiday. This semester had been especially draining. I will be happy to be able to focus more of my efforts on Chinese. Coming soon: an American Thanksgiving in Xi’an.

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