Newburgh Campus to Host Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibit from Jan. 25 through March 29

PHOTO: Painting from exhibitNEWBURGH, N.Y. – For the next two months, SUNY Orange’s Newburgh campus will exhibit the multi-media works of nine female artists--each of whom has been trained in the United States or China--who use images of women to portray the problems, challenges and beauty of contemporary society.

The exhibit is entitled “Living in a Material World” and features Chinese contemporary art by Chinese and Chinese American artists who reside and work in New York City and Beijing, China. The exhibit will be hosted in the CenterArts Gallery, located in Kaplan Hall on the College’s Newburgh campus, through March 29. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays.

Curated by Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky, Oskar Munsterberg Chair of Asian Art History at Bard College, the exhibit features artists Gao Yuan, Cui Xuiwen, Cai Jin, Hu Bing, Mimi Denise Kim, Xin Song, Nina Kuo, Feng Jiali, Hui Zhu. The works are done in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography, paper cutting and video, and address the identity of women and their role in society.

This exhibit is sponsored by Cultural Affairs at the SUNY Orange Newburgh Campus and Bard College. It is free and open to the public. A wine and cheese reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25 to celebrate the opening of the exhibit. Free, secure parking is available in the Kaplan Hall underground parking garage accessible via First Street.

For more information, contact Nicole Shea at (845) 341-9386 or at nicole.shea@sunyorange.edu.


Gao Yuan, who was born in Taipei and has lived and worked in New York and China, now mostly lives in Beijing. She was trained in photography at the University of Japan’s Graduate School of Art where she earned her MFA. She has had many shows in New York, Beijing, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Europe and the U.S. Gao uses portraits as her main vehicle of expression. In her present series, she details the pollution and degradation of the environment by juxtaposing the sensuous and pristine beauty of naked young women against a backdrop of an urban context, drawn from her photographic archive of scenes of contemporary China.

Mimi Denise Kim is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. She received her B.A. in Art and Chinese Literature from Smith College. Subsequently, she received her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania after attending The New York Studio School and a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She was also a recipient of the Charles Addams Memorial Prize in 1997. Kim is a co-founding member of the Alpha Contemporary Art Association, promoting Asian Artists in America and is currently professor at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Art and Design, The New School. Her recent works consider the elemental role of woman and their place in society.

Cui Xuiwen, a renowned artist in China and abroad, began her career as a painter, having trained at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, but has turned to photography for much of the work that she produced. Most recently she has explored the medium of video. At first her work focused on the image of a young school girl placed in a number of social contexts in Beijing- like the Forbidden Palace or a landscape setting. In these works the plight of young women in contemporary China is suggested by the difficult circumstances in which they find themselves.

Cai Jin, who is from Tunxi in Anhui Province, began professionally as an undergraduate, illustrating magazines and attended the Central Academy of Art. She taught painting at Tianjin University. She began painting banana leaves as a subject at that time and had been interpreting them in a number of formats, material and colors ever since. Her works suggest the natural process of growth and decay.

Nina Kuo was born and raised in New York. Her work, in her own words, "exposes illusions that transcend mental worlds of created Asian symbols such as pointillist landscapes, faux floating calligraphy, anachronistic classical scholars, bamboo gardens and rocks. At times swaying hi-tech scholar figures appear to mimic our transplanted identity with modern props. Exploding transparent abstractions sometimes evoke crystals and diamonds that appear to offer a retreat into a juxtaposed culture recovered by a newly invented mythical muse."

Hu Bing was trained in China after Mao’s death. She finished her art education in New York where she now resides and works. She has taught at a number of New York colleges and has had numerous shows, including her most recent installation at Flatiron Prow Art Space in Manhattan in April 2012. Hu excels in the medium of glass and her sculptures suggest the beauty of our quotidian existence and the urban decay of our society. In the broken and reshaped forms one sees the destruction of the past as well as hope for the future.

Xin Song was born and trained in China and now lives and works in NYC. She spent time creating paper cuts in the countryside of China with women farmers for whom this tradition was part of everyday life. A third-generation feminist, Song celebrates women’s stories and their ceaseless use of hands for housework, childcare, and for ever-expanding global technology. Contrasting these organic, natural forms, her imagery ranges from the high-tech fast pace of instant messaging, to pop culture, politics, economics, environment, health, beauty, science, sex and taboo.

Feng Jiali, from Sichuan, got her Masters in Painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Jiali’s work often captures the moods of women from different eras and different stages of life. In her vivid and colorful paintings one sees young girls in various stages of development, subjected to the restrictions of life in China and their yearning for personal expression.

Hui Zhu lives in Beijing and teaches at Tsinghua University. She is a 3D animator whose short films recreate the evolutionary process of birth. In gorgeous colors we see the first zygote separate into two cells and then multiply until it achieves the complexity of a fully grown woman. The narrative of the video also anticipates the cycle of death, but it is the kind of death in which energy is neither created nor destroyed but rechanneled into new life forms. These poetic videos affirm the ancient mystery of creation in modern terms and the primary role of woman as the source of creation.

Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky (Curator) is the Oskar Munsterberg Chair of Asian art history at Bard College and an adjunct Professor at Lehman College, CUNY. She has published many books on Chinese medieval art and written many articles and curated exhibitions on Chinese contemporary Chinese art.

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