Monumental Site-Specific Installation by Contemporary Chinese Artist Tang Qingnian Will Go on View June 22

Artist will discuss the work and his residency at The Huntington on May 19

Published : Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 9:16 AM

Digital mockup of the installation “Tang Qingnian: An Offering to Roots.” The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

A special installation of a new work by visual artist Tang Qingnian will to go on display in The Huntington’s Chinese Garden on June 22, continuing through Sept. 23. “Tang Qingnian: An Offering to Roots” will feature full-size prints of five monumental banner paintings, the largest of them 18 feet in length, suspended from a bamboo framework above the water of the Chinese Garden lake. Two years in the making, Tang’s series of ink paintings memorializes the devastating wildfires that ravaged California in 2017 and 2018.

In addition to the banner paintings, which have been printed on weatherproof material for outdoor display, a small selection of original handscrolls and albums by the artist will be on view inside the adjacent Waveless Boat Pavilion.

Tang is the 2019 Cheng Family Foundation Artist-in-Residence at The Huntington. He will discuss the new work he is undertaking during his residency in a free public program on Sunday, May 19, at 2:30 p.m., in Rothenberg Hall. Tang will offer an overview of his approach to art-making, explaining especially how he uses traditional calligraphy and painting in contemporary contexts. The artist will be joined in conversation during the program by Phillip E. Bloom, the June and Simon K. C. Li Curator of the Chinese Garden and Director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies at The Huntington.

“Tang felt compelled to respond to California’s wildfires, taking brush in hand to sketch roots and wood torn from the earth,” said Bloom. “In creating An Offering to Roots, he also drew inspiration from historical Chinese poetry that likens the fate of trees to the fate of humans—a message with particular resonance as society confronts the effects of climate change.” More…

More information about The Huntington can be found online at huntington.org.

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