Beauty From Afar

Centerpiece Gallery surveys Asian Contemporary art

Asian Contemporary, the new show at Centerpiece Gallery in CityCenter, serves up an intriguing display of artists from China and Korea. The show is captivating—its beauty drawing us in, paving the way to absorb the art’s contextual and historical richness.

“We have worked with some of these artists for a period of time,” says operator and curator, Michele C. Quinn, “and felt it was necessary to show them in context of their cultural contemporaries.” Quinn opted for a mixed-media display, which ranges from hyper-realism to unique presentations of pop art. “The best collections have a variety of mediums and are not limited to one focus,” she says.

Although more than a few pieces stood out, here are the highlights:

Ye Tao’s “Chinese Beauty” (2009). You have to love this one. It’s a take on the infamous dream sequence in Sam Mendes’ American Beauty, where Kevin Spacey dreams of Mena Suvari naked with a deluge of roses surrounding her. Tao’s oil painting replaces the central figure with a fetching Chinese beauty and the robust colors and keen wit are present throughout.

Hai Bo’s “Dense Fog” (2004). A sprawling, 49-inch-by-65-inch airy piece of landscape with an isolated figure standing in the midst of a murky atmosphere may sound like a simple idea, but Bo executes it with perfection. The composition is immaculate and the delicate gray scale is stunning. 

Huang Yan’s “Four Seasons, Spring” (2005). One of the most notable artists in Chinese Contemporary, Yan’s work consists of landscapes painted on the human body in a series of photographs. It forces your eyes to study two subjects: the human canvas and the painting. His “Four Seasons, Spring” has a subject staring intensely into the camera with intricate details of ink of the season dovetailing every aspect of his unsmiling demeanor. It’s beautifully provocative.

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