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Tradition and Innovation in Harmony at VisArts

Gallery hosts a multimedia exhibit to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of China.

"Tradition and Innovation," a multimedia exhibit in the ground floor Gibbs Street Gallery at , also captures the spirit of the featured artists, the Harmonious Art Group.

Founded 11 years ago by Bertrand Mao, a resident Chinese calligraphy and brush painting artist at VisArts, the sits on a solid foundation of traditional brush painting while welcoming the influence of other media.

The exhibit includes the work of 15 Harmonious members who paint in ink, watercolor and oil. Artists explore traditional themes like Shan-Shui (Mountain-Water) landscapes, calligraphy, astrology, pictographic scriptures, animals and flower arrangements in limited color palettes. More vibrant and colorful interpretations in oil and watercolor by Natacha Lo and and Nellie Chao, respectively, and hand-pinched pottery by Lydia Liu, are also on display.

The exhibition coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of China and runs through Nov. 26.

At the opening reception on Nov. 5, Mao demonstrated how to create the "coupling" for a traditional, three-panel Chinese living room wall hanging. The wall hanging includes two calligraphy scrolls flanking a central brush painting.

"A good painter must be a good calligrapher," Mao said as he rolled out two scrolls of specialized rice paper and began writing on them with a bamboo brush. "You can use the same brush for both calligraphy and painting. This is a clerical script. It's 2,000 years old."

Mao is the author of "Harmony of Brush and Ink," a book of Chinese calligraphy and painting.

The gallery will hold a public demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m on Saturday.

The artists featured in the exhibit are: Elise Chang, Nellie Chao, Mei Lih Chiang, George Elliott III, Bing Huang, Eliza Kuo, Lydia Liu, Natacha Lo, Bertrand Mao, Li-Wen Quach, John Wang, Zhoa-Yong Wu, Carole Yee, Wendy Yee and Erica Yu.

Gallery hours are Mondays, 2 to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday hours vary.

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