October 20th, 2008

HongNian Zhang, Chinese artist unveils painting at San Marino Gallery

Last Saturday Debbie Kolodji and I had a twelve hour day of walking, sharing and poetry, which culminated in this wonderful unveiling at the San Marino Gallery in Pasadena. This is artist HongNian Zhan, before his 10 foot painting "Yang Gui Fei", "The Song of Unending Sorrow" commissioned by the Gallery, and two years in the making.

Here is our group, with the artist in our midst. Rennee Hoffmann, Deborah P Kolodji, Rick Wilson, artist HongNian Zhang, Kathabela Wilson. We all felt privileged to be able to attend this special unveiling ceremony.
This from the gallery website:"HongNian Zhang paints scenes for which there are no photos or visual records. He is attempts to depict each scene as historically accurate as
possible. Once a historical event is chosen, he begins the two year long
process of researching and recreating the clothing, jewelry, shoes, hairstyles,
accessories, colors, artifacts and symbols of that dynasty. HongNian has a
"backstage pass" into places others are not allowed entry. His ability to
sketch inside the Dun Huang Caves, the tomb with the Terra Cotta Warriors
and the museum's historical vaults allows for precise accuracy of all the
details. Every item used in the life size paintings has actually been
recreated. He then assembles a cast and builds a set that he can paint from
in his barn in Woodstock.
This painting unveiled today, "Yang Gui Fei" is the Romeo and Juliet story
in Chinese history that took place during the Tang Dynasty. "It is
HongNian's favorite tale and San Marino Gallery is blessed and honored to be
able to curate this exhibit." It is the First Time Ever that all of the drawings,
sketches, character studies, costumes, wigs, accessories and historical
elements will be on display alongside the 9 foot tall by 10 foot wide oil