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Exhibition of contemporary French art opens in Beijing

English.news.cn   2015-01-13 10:33:39

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing's art scene has traditionally been dominated by museums and confined to large artistic communities such as 798. In recent years however, small art galleries have been attracting the many discerning local patrons as well as inspiring international artists. Julian Waghann visited one such art gallery for the opening of an exhibition of French contemporary artworks, titled 'Feel Paris".

Tucked away in this semi-residential and office neighborhood in Beijing's Chaoyang district is Lelege Art. A gallery hosting intimate art and real stories.

These galloping horses for instance, have come a long way. And that's not just becasue of the sheer distance from Paris. Part of the "Feel Paris" exhibition, they've been sketched by French artist Joel Person, whose fascination for the animal began with a Chinese Sancai ceramic horse, his grandfather brought back from a trip to China. Soon, the horse became Person's totem and the subject of his art.

Alexandra Roussopoulos' work too can trace its lineage to China. She lived in Hangzhou three years ago where the subtle landscape led her to pursue a softer palette of light in her paintings. It's also during this sojourn that she discovered the use of rice paper on canvas, allowing for a more multi-dimensional and ethereal effect.

"So, I paint on the canvas, then I put the rice paper on top of it," Roussopoulos said. "And then I repaint. That's why the effect is there. It's like a filter, as if the light is going through a filter. "

In comparison with 19th century traditional French painting, contemporary French art exhibits a more dynamic energy; especially evident among the young French artists who have brought a new lease of life to the contemporary French art scene. Many of them have done away with traditional techniques in exchange for a new language and new mediums.

The works of these five French artists range in style and medium from oil on canvas to sketches on paper, but there's obviously an air of expressiveness that binds them together. It's something that you feel by being here, but you can't quite put your finger on it.

This landscape of Strasbourg for example is quite a trompe l'oeil. These chateaux wrapped in verdure are actually made from several aerial photographs of the city, which are then overlayed with embroidery. Magically, it gives the forests a sense of being in the foreground, the mid-ground and the background at the same time.

Artist Cathry Boch says her works are inspired by her grandmother, a seamstress and her grandfather an illustrator. These embroidery works with sparkling crystals on top can be quite a treat. They are made from grains of sugar, another memory of her grandmother.

"When I was little, before going to bed, my grandma would bring me a glass of sugar water," Boch said. "It was an elixir for sweet dreams."

The dreammaker behind this intimate exhibition is none other than lawyer turned art aficionado, the artistic director of Lelege Art, Zhang Yonghong. Since 2012, the gallery has been hosting exhibitions of contemporary young artists from home and abroad.

"We dont' have many art galleries, especially outside of large art communities like 798," Zhang said. "By having our gallery in a small neighborhood, I hope that more everyday people can come and see and feel art. And that more international artists will come to the heart of city."

And you can too can come and "Feel Paris" at Beijing's Lelege Art from now, until February the 28th.

(Source: CNTV.cn)

Editor: xuxin
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