KCAD Connections Abound in First American-Chinese Exhibition at Inner Mongolia Art Museum
The first exhibition at the Inner Mongolia Art Museum in Hohhot, China to include work from both Chinese and American artists featured alumni, current students, and a former visiting artist of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD).
From July 7-16, 2017, alumni Sandra Hansen (’13, BFA Painting; ’16, MFA) and Leilei Chen (’17, MFA), current MFA student Beibei Chen, and Dr. Yiwang Wang, a scholar and former KCAD visiting artist, showcased work that reflected themes of water pollution, air pollution, and biological extinction. The environmental focus was also a first for the museum, which organized the exhibition in collaboration with Fuijan Normal University in Fuijan, China and the Holland, Mich.-based Artists’ Cultural Exchange program founded and led by Hansen.
(left to right): Beibei Chen, Sandra Hansen, and Dr. Yiwang Wang at the Inner Mongolia Art Museum (image courtesy of Sandra Hansen)
According to a press release issued by the Inner Mongolia Art Museum, the exhibition was created to “firmly establish a public respect for the environment as well as to work with the natural world, rather than against it. Eco art exhibitions bring awareness to the value of the natural world. This exhibition represents a commitment by the museum to examine environmental issues in future art shows.”
Hansen displayed a series of handmade papers embedded with beach trash, inks, and found objects, forming a powerful commentary on the harmful influx of plastics into aquatic environments. The pieces are also heavily influenced by historical Asian art. As internationally-recognized Chinese artist Luis Lin noted in the press release, Hansen’s art is a “near-perfect combination of materials and topics, a sense of rhythm, which has drifted away from the Oriental mystical composition and holds contemporary manifestations of a deep level.”
(above): work by Sandra Hansen; (below): work by Beibei and Leilei Chen (images courtesy of the artists)
The Chen twins, who came to KCAD to study art after forging highly successful careers in China as artists and educators, showed collaborative art focused on air pollution. Their watercolor paintings, created in the traditional Chinese freehand style, portray laboratory slides of microscopic lung cancer tissues and cells to show how change occurs internally in the human body while remaining undetected on the skin’s surface.
Dr. Wang, a professor of art at Fuijan Normal University, held a year-long residency at KCAD from April 2016 to April 2017. The exhibition included her impressionist landscapes depicting the extinction of bees as a commentary on the harmful effects of widespread pesticide use.
work by Yiwang Wang (image courtesy of the artist)
Visit sandrahansen.com to see more of Sandra Hansen’s work.
Click here to learn more about KCAD’s MFA program.
To learn more about KCAD’s Painting program, visit kcad.edu/painting.