Two CCAD Illustration students will exhibit work that they developed over a four-month study abroad trip to China.
Junior Luis Uzcategui and senior Travis Hayes spent a semester in China from September 2011 to January 2012. They attended classes at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, learning traditional Chinese painting along with the history and philosophy behind the art form.
“I learned a whole new style of ink painting that still resonates in my work,” Uzcategui said of his experience.
The students lived on the academy’s campus for the duration of their trip, immersing themselves in an entirely different culture, while attending art class every day alongside their Chinese peers and learning the specifics of Chinese painting.
“We had to relearn basic techniques because their style is so different,” Hayes said. “They focus on two-dimensional line work to depict shapes and scenery, where at CCAD we focus on three-dimensional shapes and shading.”
Each student will have approximately six paintings in the show, and their sketchbooks will also be out for people to look through. A projection screen will be set up in the area, displaying photos from their trip.
“I feel like China greatly influenced my voice as an artist. It helped me find my specific style,” Uzcategui said. “The line work that is involved in traditional Chinese painting will continue to have a presence and influence in my work.”
Both students enjoyed learning the philosophy behind traditional Chinese art, recalling a trip to a Buddhist temple to discuss the history and meaning with a local monk. They said experiencing the culture day-in and day-out had just as much impact on their art as the daily lessons.
“I thought of every day as an adventure, not a struggle,” Hayes said. “I know my work and skill level made a significant jump from when I left to go to China to when I came back.”
The students will display their paintings on the third floor of the Loann Crane Center for Design on April 20–May 4, 2012, with an opening reception April 20, 6–8 p.m. The Crane Center is open during regular business hours.
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