Arts discussion fuses Chinese, American culture
August 30, 2013
New: Aug. 30, 11:31 a.m.
Sammamish residents will have the chance to hear a panel discussion on art, revolution and government interference in the context of the work of Chinese and Chinese-American artists.
The discussion, “East Meets West Through Art, Poetry and Revolution” will feature three artists discussing their work and cultural institutions.
“The connection here is of revolution and government intervention of east and west,” said Barbara Jirsa of the Sammamish Arts Commission.
The work of Chinese artists – and brother and sister – Lu Yansheng, a painter, and Lu Shuangqin, a poet, currently hangs in Sammamish City Hall’s art gallery. The work of Bellevue-based artist Cheryll Leo-Gwin is also present.
The siblings, who are both Chinese natives, were members of a group known as the pre-Misty Poets. The Misty Poets themselves were active in China in the 1980s, working against the restrictions placed on art during the Cultural Revolution.
The group operated largely underground until the Tiananmen Square massacre, when many were exiled.
The paintings of Lu Yansheng are hanging on the ground floor in City Hall. These versions are prints, Jirsa said, while the originals remain in China.
The poems of his sister, Lu Shuangqin, can be found on the top floor (in Chinese with English translations), alongside the work of Chinese-American artist Leo-Gwin.
Leo-Gwin’s work, Jirsa said, refers to another type of government action, one that happened here.
The Chinese Exclusion Act, active in the United States from 1882-1943, prevented the emigration of all Chinese laborers. According to Jirsa, Leo-Gwin’s family was affected by that act.
All three artists will be on hand during a reception and panel discussion Sept. 12, along with Professor Paul Manfredi of Pacific Lutheran University, who will moderate the discussion.
“He can put things in perspective,” Jirsa said.
Jirsa said the artists will first tour City Hall and discuss each of their works. Lu Shuangqin speaks English and will translate for her brother, Jirsa said.
After the tour, there will be a small reception and the panel discussion.
The art will continue to hang in City Hall through the end of September. From there, it will move to Normandy Park, marking the first time an exhibit in Sammamish has traveled somewhere else.
Lu Shuangqin also has some of his drawings hanging in Kirkland in a companion show, Jirsa said.
“There’s been quite a bit of interest in their work and their experience,” Jirsa said.
If You Go
East Meets West Through Art, Poetry and Revolution
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m., Sept. 12
Where: Sammamish City Hall
The display is free to view. The art will remain in City Hall through the end of September.