Friday, December 15, 2017

My Featured Painting - Colony

My painting Colony depicted a roughly sketched tight grid, in which several skeletal ants nervously roam around these low barriers. The whole painting was awash in a cold and almost sinister bluish green, and the insects were barely discernible at the first glance, as they seemed to have merged with the thin grids underneath their wiry bodies. The painting was a bit starling as it presented the ants in close-up, and they looked rather monstrous in their enormities.

Colony / 屬地 / Kolonie  
Colony
Oil on Canvas
22" x 28"
Completed in 2011

This painting is currently in a Group exhibition Color Speaks (Sep. 23, 2017 - Jan. 20, 2018), in the vibrant art district of Downtown Berkeley.

Originally posted on matthewfelixsun.com

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- Featured Painting - Waft
- Featured Painting - Remembrance
- Featured Painting “Mirage” – A World of Ambiguity
- Featured Painting – “Forest Within” – When Reality Met Illusion
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Classical Concert in Shenyang, China - Ying String Quartet, Eastman School of Music


DSCN3331 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1148 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

Three years ago, my hometown Shenyang, Manchurian city in northeastern China, opened a new complex for performing arts - Shengjing Grand Theatre, which consisted of an 1800-seat opera house, a concert hall, and a multiple-functional playhouse. During day time, the diamond shaped dark complex looked like a squatting tortoise; when the night arrived, the many lights dotting its transparent surfaces gave it a look of a giant gemstone, though the constant shifting of the colors of those lights was rather cheeky.

DSCN1151 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1161 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang, China

DSCN1169 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1159 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

In October 2017, I had an opportunity to attend a chamber music concert in the concert hall situated on the 7th floor of the complex.

DSCN1211 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

Once having entered the complex, audience members had to go through security check — apparently the common practice in China now, in most public places, such as theaters, train terminals and subway stations.

DSCN1171 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

The front lobby was simple and traditional — welcoming without overwhelming.

DSCN1209 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1173 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

On the second floor, the odd-shaped and vast lobby, sandwiched between the curved wall of the opera house and the trusst structure of the transparent outer shell, was pleasantly airy and intriguing, enticing theater goers to gawk and socialize.

DSCN1188 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1182 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1191 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

The 7th Floor was very subdued and had an atmosphere of modern day church, preparing audience for an experience of near spirituality.

DSCN1205 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang DSCN1217 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1219 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1196 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

The arena-styled Concert Hall had only one floor; apparently, the designer and management were convinced that more seats were not needed for this industrial city, which could boast only rather modest history of classical music.

DSCN1235 - Concert Hall, Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang, China

DSCN1236 - Concert Hall, Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang, China

DSCN1230 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1231 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1228 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

The concert I attended was performed by Ying String Quartet from the excellent conservatory in the USA — Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. All the performers were faculty members from the music school and each taught the instruments they performed.

The theater provided no information as what the program was, neither online, nor inside the theater, and the ushers were of no help either, though they did know the length of the performance.

DSCN1237 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

DSCN1234 - Shengjing Grand Theatre, Shenyang

Once on stage, the viola player introduced themselves and the program - string quartets by Borodin, Ravel, and Dvořák. The speaker spoke only in English and no translation was provided; though many audience members seemed understood well and responded at the right timing. Not everyone understood English for sure, including my parents, who was left in the dark, but applauded politely when cued.

The acoustic of the hall proved excellent, with good combination of clarity, warmth, and immediacy. The hall was barely half-full and many people played their mobile phone, during the performance, taking photos or videos of the performance, sometimes even selfies, or just chatting with friends.

For the encore, gratefully, Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 1 Op. 11 - II. Andante cantabile movement was performed, instead of gratuitous local flavored offerings, and cemented a night of solid music making.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Featured Painting - New Century's Shangri-La

My recently painting New Century's Shangri-La is rather visually intriguing — a colorful and orderly semi-abstract landscape/cityscape, serene and paradisal, being menaced by heavy dark storms swirling above, which threaten to crush down at any moment and bring havoc to the orderly world below. The ironic title unfortunately aptly described the state of our world, if not yet today, soon tomorrow.

New Century's Shangri-La / 新世紀香格里拉 / Neues Jahrhunderts Shangri-La
New Century's Shangri-La
Oil on Canvas
30" x 24"
Completed in 2017


Originally posted on matthewfelixsun.com

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast) Exhibition, Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley


IMG_4855 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4854 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

Recently, I saw a deeply moving and technically impressive exhibition at Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley, titled "MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast)".

According to the poster, "the train known as 'La Bestia' carries half a million Central American migrants a year on a dangerous journey across Mexico towards the United States. Through art and poetry, the Colectivo de Artistas Contra la Discriminación explores the meaning of 'riding the best'."

Below are several of those touching images, together with the accompanying poetry, documenting the struggles and suffering of those desperate people, and some of them will haunt me for a long time.

IMG_4852 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4853 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4857 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4858 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4859 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4860 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley
 
IMG_4861 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4862 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4863 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4866 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4867 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4868 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4870 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4871 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4872 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4873 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4874 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4875 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4876 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4877 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4880 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4881 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley

IMG_4882 - MONTARlaBestia (Riding the 
Beast), Center for Latin American Studies, UC 
Berkeley


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