Thursday, March 29, 2012
1. a. From the artist statement: “The intent of this work is to protest the cruelty of the war and its aftermath…This painting is on display side by side with a documentary photograph from the Farhat Art Museum collection by photojournalist Anwar Amor of the AFP news agency [which] captured an attack in Lebanon in 2006 destroying many buildings that were of civilian residences and artist’ studios in Nabatieth in Southern Lebanon.”
b. Says Prof. Louie: “This painting does not really age because the same issue: war. In the ’80s, there was war in the Middle East, between China and India, Iran and Iraq. Anwar documents these photos in 2006 attack [of Lebanon] by the Israeli military. I’m not going to point fingers or anything. War is destruction: human life, buildings, economics.”
c. “[The] painting by Picasso, ‘Guernica,’ it’s about war but it’s not really grotesque. You’re not graphically describe how we die. Give dignity. More abstract way of bringing out destruction. Like a poetry way. The reason I do that is to honor those who died not at their fault. That is why I prefer to present painting in [an] abstract way.
2. a. “I am from China and in my work I use a lot of writing, especially Chinese writing. I incorporate a lot of calligraphic stroke. Expressive, spatial effect between one line and another line, one form and another form. In [the] beginning, I start writing. Like praying. Then slowly, the spatial relationships come out.
b. “In Chinese history, in 300 B.C., there [were] a lot of small little states that fight each other over time, like Middle East. I used the title for this painting. Constant fighting. Destroy and rebuild.
c. “I put the [painting and photograph] together. I was shocked when I see the two together. The photographer was taking pictures of what I was painting. We never met. I saw the photo December 2011. They come from different time; they have great similarity.”
3. a. Pacific Grove Art Center executive director Jacqui Hope says that this exhibition and another complementary show, Art for the Sake of Humanity, both politically bold works, have stirred some controversy, but that the PGAC board decided, in the end, not to censor the work: “It’s important,” Hope says, “to see that art is not just pretty pictures.”