Rome

>>>ANSA/ Mao Jianhua's mountains 'dance' in Rome show

Chinese artist's on display at Vittoriano complex

>>>ANSA/ Mao Jianhua's mountains 'dance' in Rome show

Rome, September 13 - An exhibition by Chinese artist Mao Jianhua opened Wednesday at Rome's Vittoriano Museum Complex, featuring works of calligraphy and paintings that employ a traditional method of brush and ink on handmade cotton paper, rooted in the artist's particular philosophical and religious approach. In the 99 works on display, Jianhua depicts landscapes with craggy mountains that climb to infinite heights, fog, forests, and even the sea of Sardinia, with its cliffs and islands. Jianhua chose the works for the exhibition, titled "The Timeless Dance: Beyond the Mountains", together with curator Martina Mazzotta, to create a sort of interior journey into the universe of "chief and universal" values that support every brush stroke. "I chose to dedicate myself to painting because calligraphy is too difficult," Jianhua said at a press presentation with Mazzotta. The artist undertook his new direction for health reasons, and began to take care of his body and mind in unison under the guidance of his teacher, a descendent of the last Chinese emperor. The Roman exhibition therefore shows his path, consisting entirely of landscapes and divided into various subsections including one on Taoism and another on folk tales. "In this art, the mastery implies total self-control," Mazzotta said, illustrating the various phases upon which each work is based, both the small-scale pieces as well as the larger more ones with a greater visual impact. She said Jianhua's notebooks don't contain sketches to use later on in the studio, but rather "fields of energy" that, with the help of his students, he transfers with the same significance to the handmade paper. "They are passages of the soul more than realistic descriptions," Mazzotta said, adding that the energy allows the artist's body to "become a compact unit up to the tip of the brush". Jianhua's black ink is handmade, and offers up an infinity of shades of gray, from anthracite to white, to express the rhythm of life, nature, Yin and Yang, full and empty, much like a dance. The exhibition runs through September 26.

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