Pan Gongkai was born in Hangzhou in 1947. Influenced by his father Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) who was one of the top Four Masters of Chinese Painting in the 20th century. His father was regarded alongside Huang Binhong, Wu Changshuo and Qi Baishi. During the Cultural Revolution, Pan Gongkai’s father had been accused for crime as a “Reactionary Academic Authority”. In consequence of his father’s crime, Pan Gongkai was banished to a barren village for 8-year “Reform through Labor” punishment and retribution. In his early 30’s, Pan Gongkai returned to his normal life and invested himself in studying and practicing traditional Chinese art and its history. He set himself to explore the intersections and divergences between Eastern and Western art traditions. By combining elements of both perspectives, he exemplified a new relevancy to Chinese sumi painting with a contemporary global perspective. (Source) Pan Gongkai is one of the most unique and influential artists alive today. He has achieved great accomplishments in art education, Chinese painting, art theory, contemporary art and architectural design. I saw Pan Gongkai’s show Withered Lotus Cast in Iron – a series of giant contemporary ink landscapes – at the Frye a few years ago. The work was magnificent. Rough and graceful, sensitive and bold. They were larger than Monet’s water lilies and deeply affecting. His “unmannered splendor” avoided all superficial beauty so commonly seen in landscapes. The autumn blossoms in Pan’s painting are neither frail, nor weak. Instead, they are forged with strength, “cast in iron.” This reference to iron in the context of ink painting is not unusual. Ancient brush painters would describe using the brush as “iron, splashing the ink like waves,” and of forceful brushwork that resembles wrought iron. (Frye) Watch Pan Gongkai paint Peer over the shoulder of Henry Li, sumi teacher, as he makes masterwork studies of Pan Gongkai’s paintings Flying the viewer over Pan Gongkai’s ink and paper as if it was a landscape. There are a few moments that are digital and cheesy, but most of this is quite lovely, with extremely high resolution photography allowing us to see into the texture of the ink and paper. Please watch this on the largest screen possible. Beginning Sumi Ink ONLINE: this Saturday, July 11, 10:00-1:00 Sumi II ONLINE: 2 Saturdays, July 18/25, 10:00-2:00 Angie Dixon Angie Dixon studied art at the University of Washington where she received two degrees: one in fine arts and the other in art history in 1976. Dixon was 1 of 24 Americans in the first group accepted into the art school to study classic Chinese Landscape Painting and other Chinese painting and calligraphy in Hangzhou, the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in the people’s Republic of China. She continued with graduate studies in the People’s Republic of China at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in 1984. Her training has been in the traditional use of Asian Brush and Ink Painting in its varied forms. She has pursued bringing brush and ink into contemporary art language in her own work along with practicing the tradition. See her work: angiedixonartist.com.