Friday, July 24, 2015

Upcoming Art Dialogues in China: Four Invitations

After my last email interview with Art Journalist Zhang Hongbin was published in about 20 press outlets throughout China, apparently there was a flood of interest in having further Art Dialogue. The organic evolution of this cultural exchange turns a one week trip to Shenzhen and Hong Kong for the NWS/China art reception into a much larger adventure. These are the highlights so far: 

Invitation from artist Xi Guo

Hi Ken, 

One of my friends who teaches watercolor in Qingdao University wants me to ask you if it's possible you can give their students a lecture when you visit China. He hopes you can talk about contemporary water-medium in the US., introduce some great watercolor artists to them, talk about your work and give them some knowledges about opportunities of exposing and exhibiting their works internationally. The date is flexible because I told him that you have wait until hear from Tianya. Also, he told me he will pay every thing for your trip (including the hotel, every meal. By the way, his name is Hong Shan. He was the one invited many Malaysian artists and me to be a part of China Qingdao Youth Watercolour Artists International Exhibition 2015. He was the curator. 

Qingdao is a beautiful city by the ocean. If you are interested please let me know then We three can talk about the details. 

Thank you! 

Xi Guo 
Invitation from art Journalist Zhang Hongbin

Dear Ken

There is a important matter need to talk about with you.

I remember you that will be end arrangement on 8 December in Shenzhen. And there are no other arrangement after 8 December. My friends know this news, they are glad to invite you visit them.

There are 3 organizations invite you visit them.

1.  Watercolour Association of Fujian Province
2. Fine Art Association of Xiamen City
3. Fine Art Department of Jimei University

All of them is in south of China and near Shenzhen City. If you could visit them, all of them could take charge of your airplane tickets and food fee and hotel fee.

In order to your activities more abundant, except three organization in Fujian city. I arrange a Hubei province visiting for you. There are gathering most Chinese watercolour artist and art colleges.

All fee of you and your wife during the visiting after 8 December will be charged by invite organization. So you do not need worried. Then you and your wife have abundant trip in China and then you could learn different Chinese culture in diferent cities and have a food taste trip also. 

I think the visiting to Fujian and Hubei will take about 8-10 days. And I think the date arrangement:

1. Hope you make a  lecture about yourself about the watercolour creating and thinking.
2. Hope you make a lecture about development and  present situation of American contemprary watercolour.
3. A dialogue with art societies and watercolour artist.
4. visiting workshops of artists.
5. visiting city attractions

They hope they could communication with you watercolour  and talk about American and Chinese artist communication.

There are more than ten universities in Hubei province. There are gathering most fine art universities in CHina. So I hope you could Chinese watercolour through the visiting to Fujian and Hubei of China.

I think it is good chance for you to learn Chinese watercolour and learn the watercolour in different cities of China and we could building a good cooperation relationship in future.

About your artworks' picture, please send me clear ones for print in magazine. The Jimei University want to put your artworks in their magazine published by their university. So please choose some you think it is good for publish. Thanks.

When you make sure your visiting date, please tell me. And we could booking hotel and plane tickets for you and your wife.

Looking forwards to your reply.

Best wishes,

Zhang Hongbin

These are the pieces Zhang Hongbin selected for the Jimei University Magazine

Reclining Nude_Oil on Canvas_18”x24”_46x61cm
Paolo Cristobal_Oil on Canvas_40”x30”_102x76cm
Slice of California_Oil on Canvas_36”x36”_91x91cm
A Day at the Prado_Acrylic on Canvas_48”x24”_91x61cm
Balboa Tower_Pastel on Canvas_36x24”_91x46cm
Hair-pin Turn La Jolla_Pastel on Board_22”x30”_56x76cm
Double Take_Watercolor on Paper_22”x22”_56x56cm
Morning Glow_Watercolor on Paper_22”x22”_56x56cm

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chinese reporter Zhang Hongbin Interviews artist Ken Goldman

  • Chinese reporter Zhang Hongbin Interviews artist Ken Goldman

    Chinese reporter Zhang Hongbin interviews National Watercolor Society President Ken Goldman for an article on the NWS China/America Exchange Exhibition. China is home to a large number of artists painting in the watercolor medium. These talented Chinese artists are very interested in the work done by American watercolorists, and in an effort to promote global art the National Watercolor Society came up with a great concept. They created the China/America Exchange to allow talented artists from China to visit, study, and exhibit their works in America, and vise versa for our homegrown American artists. The concept is brilliant, and a great way for artists painting around the world to exchange skills, philosophy, and art with their peers. The following Q and A session with Chinese reporter Zhang Hongbin and Ken Goldman gives great insight into this international endeavor. 
    This interview is currently being published throughout China in anticipation of the NWS International Small Image China Exchange Exhibition in Shenzhen. Ken, Stephanie  and Linda Doll will be present for the opening ceremonies as representatives of NWS.
    Zhang: You are an international known artist, author, teacher and art juror. Do you think that which identity is the most important to you ?  How do you achieve multiple identities conversion?
    Ken: This is a difficult question to answer as the translation could have several meanings. The most important identity for me is that of being an artist and a good human being. Teaching is also important because one must share knowledge with others. I do not teach and Jury too much because I spend most of my time painting.
    Zhang: When do you begin your watercolour creating? How do you understand the water media art?
    Ken: A painting begins as soon as I have a new idea. Water media art is just one of many techniques I use to express an idea. I do not stop painting until I have done the best I can. Each painting has unique challenges. The methods I devise to solve these challenges become new skills that I carry foreword from one painting to the next. I only enjoy painting watercolors that provide new challenges to my present skills. I have been painting professionally for 45 years and am still just as excited to learn as ever!
    Zhang: In contemprary art, watercolour is not in same position with oil painting,sculpture, installation art and conceptual art.In other words: watercolor always had a tendency to be marginalized, how do you think this phenomenon?
    Ken: Yes, watercolor is still considered inferior by many critics because for so many years after the advent of oils, it was only used for studies and often considered “a perfect medium for women”. But watercolor really has an even richer, longer history than oils; your culture has used water-media for thousands of years, western culture used it way before oils in icons and even the ancient cave paintings were painted with water-based pigments. One of the most important missions of water-media organizations should be to highlight the best watercolors in the world so water-media will gain the recognition it deserves.
    Zhang: Watercolour history in United States is later than in United Kingdom. However, the passion to creat watercolour in USA is far more than in UK. What do you think the main factor infulence the watercolor boom in the postwar?
    Ken: Watercolor has a very rich history in England with artists such as Constable and Turner standing out as great examples. But as much as they both loved watercolor, they too viewed it as a secondary medium to oils. I think one of the main reasons Americans have taken to watercolor with such passion is because we are young compared to China and Europe and like adolescents, we tend to be very experimental and sometimes even brash. We are always looking for new ways to break rules and innovate, often with little regard for the past. In America, we call this exuberant creative passionate expression the “CAN-DO-SPIRIT”. 
    Zhang: I made a rough statisticks for American watercolor associations, there are nearly 80 watercolour associations. What role do these associations played to promote the prosperity and other aspects of American watercolour?
    Ken: Water-media Societies such as NWS and others exist to educate the public, provide a competitive venue for watercolor artists and to provide highly informative demonstrations, lectures and workshops by award winning artists. Anyone is welcome to attend all of our educational activities. This is how we educate and inform the public about the latest advances in water-media painting.
    Zhang: How much do you understanding of the Chinese contemporary watercolour? How do you evaluate the Chinese contemprary watercolour?
    Ken: In the 70’s, I practiced Chinese brush painting for 3 intensive years as I have always loved Chinese philosophy, art and calligraphy so I am very familiar with Traditional Chinese watercolor. It is only recently that I’ve become aware of contemporary Chinese Watercolor and can see the strong influence of many Chinese artists growing up with a brush and water-soluble ink in hand. The transition from traditional Chinese brushwork to contemporary Chinese watercolor has been a natural evolution and the results are extraordinarily beautiful.
    Zhang: In the context of globaliztion, do you think what kind of attitude and approach should the artists take and the communication between artists in all world to achieve the best state?
    Ken: I think our NWS Small China Exchange Exhibition and your Shenzhen International Biennial Exhibition is a perfect way to begin our East/West dialogue. Because artists are not politicians and art transcends cultural differences and political boundaries, artists are perfect ambassadors to promote unity and cooperation through the timeless language of beauty, composition and design.
    Zhang: Compared with Europe and USA, the Chinese artists have few chance to attend International watercolour event and exhibitions because of many factors. So the Chinese artists often distress for loss so many opportunities to participate in international communication chance.What do you think how the Chinese artist change the current facing situation?
    Ken: The Chinese will not need to be distressed for long if both of our governments are supportive of Western and Chinese artistic cooperation. American artists certainly welcome this interchange because we feel our two cultures have much to offer one another. 
    If artistic interchange is allowed to continue, soon the Chinese will have as many venues for displaying art as we. 
    Zhang: Please introduce the 2015 the National Watercolor Society annual exhibition? And what is the features of 2015 exhibition?
    Ken: The 2015 National Watercolor Society’s annual International Exhibition is open to both members and non-members. The entry deadline is July 31 and entries from anywhere in the world are welcome. Our Website is www.nationalwatercolorsociety.orgThe NWS Small China Exchange Exhibition is now closed for entries. It is comprised of 100 Chinese paintings Juried by Linda Doll of America and 100 NWS member paintings juried by Zhou Tianya of China. The China reception will be at the Shenzhen Museum on December 7, 2015. Then the exhibition travels to the NWS Gallery in San Pedro, California, July 30 - September 2016. 
    Zhang: For the Chinese watercolour artist, if they attend your 2015 the National Watercolor Society annual exhibition,what kind of artistic experience should the artist get?
    Ken: We usually have several entries from China and many Chinese  entries seem to win awards. All work selected for this show will be very high quality because we have a rigorous jurying system - 3 Jurors of selection and one Juror of Awards. If Chinese Artists attend the 2015 International Exhibition, they can expect to be greeted warmly, meet other artists and stay in a hotel near the gallery. There will be demonstrations, lectures and painting time. The ocean is nearby and there are many wonderful places to paint at either the San Pedro docks and harbor or at the Ocean.
    Zhang: If we recommend Chinese artists to attend your annual exhibition, what's kind of suggestion should you give us?
    Ken: Enjoy your visit, the new friends you will meet and  American cuisine and culture.
    Examples of Ken's Chinese Brushwork:
    Ken Goldman_Hibiscus _ Watercolor_40x30cm

    Ken Goldman_Hibiscus _ Watercolor_40x30cm

    Ken Goldman_Hibiscus and Dragonfly_ Watercolor_45x30cm
    Ken Goldman_Cherry Blossoms_ Watercolor_53x30cm
    Ken Goldman_Sparrows and Bee_ Watercolor_30x30cm