Seeing China through Tuscan eyes

Updated: 2015-11-17 10:13

By Li Xueqing(China Daily)

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Seeing China through Tuscan eyes

Painting and Model by Agostino Cancogni. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Federico Gori was inspired by a poem-The Green Mountain Perch by the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) poet Li Bai. He engraved typical Chinese mountains on his copper pieces and is waiting for natural oxidation to work its magic on the metal.

Andrea Baldini, co-curator and senior researcher at the university, says: "Nanjing, with less Western influence than Shanghai, is profoundly Chinese. Here, you can get a firsthand impression of what China is."

Domenico Monteforte says the artists have met "two Chinas" on their trip. "One is projected in the future in a technological way, the other is looking backward at ancient times."

He also notes that China is rich in color.

Macello Bertini, who made red the dominant color in his landscape paintings, says: "It's the traditional Chinese color."

In Sky Above Nanjing, Francesco Barbieri uses black and white, like he is creating a Chinese ink painting, to explore a clash in Chinese cities.

Skyscrapers, antennas and a temple tower dot the city's skyline, and high-speed trains take up the center of the composition, creating a kind of dynamic tension.

Separately, Monteforte feels black and white are also the colors of contemporary China.

"They are the colors of steel, concrete and smartphones."

He gave up bright colors for a more Chinese approach in his work, The Tree, which has a lot of empty parts and simple coloring.

Francesca Banchelli says her experience in China has changed her art.

"For instance, I was more into abstract painting. But once here, I felt the need to describe what was going on around me. I have to go back to the figurative. I need to change a lot and do it naturally."

She depicted the complexity of today's China with a mountain, birds and people playing cards at a bar in her work, A Man with the Mountain.

She also used a jianzi, or a shuttlecock, for her creation. Attracted by its color at a supermarket in the old town, she bought it and used it to paint with.

If you go

10 am-4 pm, Nov 20-30. Shaw Hall, Nanjing University in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

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