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INK not INK an Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art Makes Only US Stop at Drexel

January 30, 2009

INK not INK: an Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art Makes Only U.S. Stop at Drexel
Curated by the Shenzhen Art Museum and an expert panel of Chinese critics and curators, including Fan Di’an, Director of the National Art Museum of China, INK not INK will be the first survey-scale exhibition of contemporary Chinese art ever presented in the Greater Philadelphia region. More than 80 paintings, prints, sculptures, and videos by 40 Chinese artists, including renowned figures such as Wenda Gu, Wei Qingji, and Lin Tianmiao, will be presented. The central theme of the exhibition is the critical role that the ancient tradition of ink painting plays in the cultural memory and imagination of many contemporary Chinese artists even as they respond to China’s explosive economic growth and rapid globalization. As outside cultural influences become increasingly potent inside China, artists are boldly experimenting with new mediums and technologies on an imposing scale, creating unprecedented admixtures of Western and Eastern imagery.

The exhibition’s featured artist, Wenda Gu, has participated in hundreds of critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions. Gu’s most acclaimed and controversial work is United Nations, an on-going series of works begun in 1993. One of the works from this series, United Nations: Man & Space Year 2000, a colossal, 100-ft high installation made of human hair and representing the flags of all nations, will be the center piece of the Ink not Ink exhibition. A symposium on contemporary ink painting will be held on Wednesday, April 1 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Bossone Research Center (3128 Market St.). The symposium panel, comprised of leading scholars from China and the United States including Fan Di’an, director of the National Art Museum of China, Jia Fangzhou, critic, Lu Hong, curator at the Shenzhen Art Museum, Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, Richard Vine, senior editor, Art In America, and Melissa Chiu, director of the Asia Society Museum, will create an important dialogue between Chinese and American scholars. Dr. Pan Qing, curator at the National Art Museum of China will serve as moderator.

A gala preview and reception by invitation only will follow the symposium at 6 p.m. in the Bossone Research Center. The gala will be attended by Chinese artists, critics, scholars and curators as well as dignitaries from the Ministry of Culture, members of the Consulate General’s Office in NY, the Chinese Embassy in Washington, and American local and national elected officials. All proceeds will benefit Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

INK not INK will open to the general public on Thursday, April 2, at three different locations at Drexel University: The Bossone Research Center & Atrium (3128 Market St.), The Paul Peck Alumni Center (3142 Market St.) and The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery (Nesbitt Hall, 3215 Market St.). The exhibition will close Saturday, May 9. The exhibition, which opened at the Shenzhen Art Museum in September, 2008, and moved to the Today Art Museum in Beijing in December 2008, will travel to Europe after it closes in Philadelphia.

The symposium and exhibition are free to the public. The exhibition will be open daily from 10 am – 5 pm. Public parking is available at the Drexel parking structure located on Ludlow St between 33rd & 34th Streets. Tickets are required for the gala preview and reception. For more information, please visit www.drexel.edu/inknotink or call 215-895-2548.

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About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design: Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers twelve undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. The College empowers students with the knowledge, skills and techniques to succeed in highly competitive creative fields. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and a faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.

In January 2009, the Westphal College received the largest philanthropic gift ever recorded at Drexel University, $25 million. The gift is being used for the development and expansion of the college, purchasing a 130,000 sq ft. Robert Venturi Building on Market St. The Venturi building is one of two buildings that will serve as a new home for the design programs of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design beginning in fall 2010.

Drexel University is the premier co-op school in the United States and is a top ranked comprehensive university. Allen Sabinson is the dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. For more information about the College, visit: www.drexel.edu/westphal.

News Media Contacts:

Zeek Weil, director of communication, Westphal College 215-895-2629 or zw36@drexel.edu

Niki Gianakaris, assistant director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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