July 31- October 18, 2015
“I think of myself as an educator, not an established artist. My mother once told me that, if you are a taker, you eat very well; but if you are a giver, you sleep very well. I sleep very well — like a baby.”
— I-Hsiung Ju
I-Hsiung Ju was born in 1923 in Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China. He is considered one of a few artists able to blend two worlds of style, technique, and idiom to produce a unique form of painting that is both modern and traditionally Oriental. Ju is famous for saying “a Chinese artist is not only a painter, but also a poet and a philosopher.” He is an author of several painting textbooks and numerous papers on Chinese art. During his life, he did what he loved, teaching the art of painting. A poet and philosopher, his paintings are lessons in living and appreciation of nature.
The works of I-Hsiung Ju show the refinements and delicate strokes of Chinese calligraphy. The brush strokes demand complete mastery since the artist’s ideas are portrayed immediately with a few strokes. Ju’s brush has a fascinating disciplined freedom-one can see its sure and firm movements-accomplishing silk-thread-thin lines to luxuriant swaths of ink, creating infinite variation of shapes, and producing different shades and tints in a single stroke.
Ju completed the two epic paintings the 72 foot Ten Thousand Li of the Yangtze and the 45 foot Misty Clouds of Huangshan both of which will be featured in this exhibition. Additionally, Ju’s individual works of art, calligraphy, and flora and fauna from the Philippines, Morocco, and the United States will be on display.
October 24, 2015 – January 31, 2016
In partnership with the Choki Traditional Arts School, The Gate has organized an exhibition that will feature the most sacred traditional paintings from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, as well as Northern India and Tibet. Each “thanka” (scroll) painting was created at the Choki Traditional Arts School located in Kabesa, Thimphu, Bhutan.
The exhibit will showcase Bhutanese representative art forms that contain spiritual traditions and sacred teachings such as sacred deities and ancient mandalas, which incarnate the stories of Buddha and spiritual conquest of the self. The paintings portray the process of enlightenment and the breaking of the ego, while others manifest the history of Tibetan Buddhism.
The works were brought to life by alumni, teachers. and students of the Choki Traditional Art School where young people live and train in traditional art techniques. The paintings are painstakingly created by individual artists, many taking up to fourteen months to complete. One incredible piece, “One Thousand Buddha’s,” is an 8×8-foot painting with each brush stroke composed in meditation.
Mandalas are works of sacred art in Tantric (Tibetan) Buddhism. The word “mandala” comes from a Sanskrit word that generally means “circle,” and mandalas are primarily recognizable by their concentric circles and other geometric figures. Mandalas are far more than geometical figures, however. For Tantric Buddhists, they are rich with symbolism and sacred meaning. In fact, the etymology of the word “mandala” suggests not just a circle but a “container of essence.”