Curated by Professor James Arvanitakis, and featuring artwork from well-known Chinese artists such as Zhenzhong Qiu, Ling Song and Ping Chen, “Mutualism — Chinese Contemporary Ink Wash Painting Exhibition” (opened on August 12th) is currently being held within the China Cultural Centre in Sydney.
This collection of Chinese contemporary ink wash paintings presents us with a series of striking and imaginative pieces all based on this theme, emphasising a symbiotic relationship in which individuals thrive from another’s actions, as opposed to a competitive environment where the actions of one group undermines, diminishes, weakens or even kills off another.
“Mutualism”, according to Professor Arvanitakis, “is the way two organisms from different species come to exist in a relationship. In this relationship, there is a type of balance as each separate organism benefits in the actions, activities and engagement of the other”.
“Participating artists showcase different possibilities of the relationship between ink wash and the linear feature of Chinese calligraphy, which is an essential trait of Chinese contemporary art, and fully reflected in China”, said Zhenzhong Qiu, one of the participating artists.
On a broader scale, mutualism does not simply apply to smaller groups, but can be seen in all aspects of society, generation and culture. The exhibition aims to present us with the challenges as competition and opposition form in the contemporary world, while also providing an alternative picture to rivalry, reminding us of what we can achieve when we come together and benefit from each other’s actions.
“The works capture and reflect a mutuality that engages us, inspires us, reflects our hopes and wishes, and also remind us of the best of our worlds”, said Professor Arvanitakis.
“The exhibited paintings give us unlimited space to imagine and reflect”, said Ernest Wong, Member of the Legislative Council.
“We want to showcase changes and developments of the current Chinese society, what’s happening in China through this exhibition, helping others have a better sense of Chinese culture and people”, said Mrs. Zhao Li, Director of the China Cultural Centre in Sydney.
Following the opening ceremony, Professor Qiu delivered a talk on the relationship between Chinese ink wash painting and calligraphy, sharing his experience and reflection on Chinese contemporary art through his personal art work and the comparison between Eastern and Western artistic styles.