Today, October 13th, marks the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and China. Yesterday, I was honoured to attend the opening of a one-week cultural exhibition of contemporary paintings illustrating the famed 300 poems from the Tang Dynasty at the Robarts Library, Uni. of Toronto, thanks to the kind invitation from Justin Poy (The Justin Poy Agency), one of organizers along with the Inst. of Traditional Chinese Painting Creation & Research. ABOVE LtoR: Jack Leong, Andre Schmid, Consul Jingjing Sai, Larry Alford, Justin Poy, Jerry Shi, Binghuang Shi
Justin, along with local dignitaries and visiting Chinese representatives, introduced the special celebratory installation of stunning traditional watercolour and ink illustrations created by 130 of China’s leading contemporary artists including Xiang Li, Hong Biao Liu, Hui Zhong Ren and Dong Fang Wang. The poems of romance, longing & passion were written in an ancient language and are extremely difficult to translate into English, something Justin, along with his Chinese collaborators, is trying to remedy with an upcoming book, perhaps in time for the 49th anniversary next year. The beauty of the scrolls is undeniable and regardless of my lack of understanding of the language, the subjects exuded the thoughts and feelings behind each poem. This delicate painting (below) in the softest of pastels and pinks caught my eye and I returned to it over and over again. I would love to know the meaning of the poem it illustrates as it obviously resonated with me on a subliminal level.So many beautiful scrolls decorated the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library on the 8th Floor so I hope you can visit over the next week and see for yourself. EXPRESSIONS OF CHINA runs Oct. 12-19 at the Robarts Library (U of Toronto), 130 St George Street. Supported by the Art Committee of Chinese Artists Association. For more information contact: 647-821-7050.