Artworks of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang enable the next generation to comprehend the essence of art from different cultures
SAN FRANCISCO – On November 2, the Provost of the New York Academy of Art, Peter Drake, led 15 Master’s students to the International Art Museum of America (IAMA) in San Francisco and conducted a class on site. When the group was copying original works of world class artists such as those of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang, they praised the art profusely.
Matthew Kuan, the President of the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco, welcomed the visiting group. Loretta Huang, Director of Museum Operations, and staff introduced artworks in each gallery to the visitors. The President of World Journal San Francisco Ken Lo came to meet members of the group including Peter Drake. Lo also acclaimed the Museum’s collection and exhibition program.
Drake had visited the International Art Museum of America before and was amazed by the artworks exhibited there. In this trip, he personally led 15 students to study the artworks by copying them. He said that this was the first time these students had ever been to the IAMA in San Francisco.
Amy Hughes is a Master’s student from the U.K. and has been living and studying in New York for five years. She specializes in the study of oil painting. She said that this visit had enabled her to truly comprehend the essence of art from different cultures. She is especially impressed by the expansiveness and profundity of Han Chinese culture.
Dongqin Fang is a 2019 Master’s degree graduate and a teaching assistant at the New York Academy of Art specializing in oil painting and sculpture. He expressed being truly shocked by the large number of original paintings by top Chinese artists at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco, and that he has gained a lot from being there. He said this is also the first time he ever looked at Yun sculptures created by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III at a close distance. To him, those sculptures exude a mystique that feels like “heavenly bliss.”
Out of approximately 250 artworks exhibited in the International Art Museum of America, more than 100 of them are on loan from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III whose works have repeatedly achieved the highest prices at art auctions, beyond those ever reached by any living artists.
The art pieces that caught everyone’s attention are the rare world treasures of Yun sculptures exhibited in the Treasure Room, including A Pillar Holding Up Heaven, and another work esteemed to be “miraculously divine artistry of Buddha” within which mist was carved to become an actual part of the artwork. Yun sculpture is uniquely originated by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. It embodies a multi-dimensional sense of space; its beauty transcends natural scenery, and its colors are more exquisite than those of natural rock formations. Inside the stone cave of the Yun sculpture, one can see richly magnificent colors as if they were intrinsically part of the art, with no trace of rendering. From the carving knife comes the melting cave with enigmatic and miraculous scenery. Auspicious clouds and natural mist float inside the melting cave of the artwork and do not dissipate, exuding the sense of an otherworldly paradise.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III originated 16 unique and unprecedented painting styles. Exquisite works of art created by His Holiness the Buddha capture the quintessence of art and culture. They encompass Chinese ink painting, Western oil painting, sculpture, calligraphy, stone and bronze inscription, poetry, verse, song, ode, colorfully painted tile and other media. In His Holiness’s paintings, subject matters include landscape, flower, bird, animal, fish, insect, and human figures. The range of profound techniques include traditional Chinese painting methods such as meticulous style, freestyle, and ink wash; as well as Western painting styles such as figurative, abstract, impressionist, and line drawing.
Recently, when paintings of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang were exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris, they stunned the European art world. Professor Wang’s art has attained the highest state of artistry and accomplishment. Experts in the field of art all held her paintings in high esteem. One of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang’s small paintings Pomegranates in a Basket realized a top auction price of US$1.27 million in the Spring auction at the Gianguan Auction House in New York on March 13 of this year. It clearly shows that the art of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang is recognized by art collectors and people of foresight alike.
Loretta Huang, Director of Museum Operations at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco said that levels of artistic creation in painting can be categorized in four classes. First is the Class of Proficiency where one’s sketching skill achieves resemblance of form. Second is the Class of Wonderment in which the paintings are wondrously beautiful. Third is the Class of Divinity where both form and spirit are fully enlivened. Fourth is the Class of Ease where the artist possesses extraordinary skill and is able to paint anything at will to accomplish a magnificent masterpiece. The art of the Honorary Lifetime President of the Museum, Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang, is of the Class of Ease, a Class that few Chinese artists have ever achieved. The artistry of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang is esteemed to be of the same standing as Western painters such as Cezanne and Gauguin.
Loretta Huang said that in addition to exhibiting the art of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang, the International Art Museum of America also showcases works by renowned artists including Wu Changshuo, Qi Baishi, Huang Binhong, Pan Tianshou, Fu Baoshi, Xu Beihong, Li Keran, Zhang Daqian, Yun Shouping, and others; as well as authentic calligraphic art by the Emperor Yongzheng. What differentiates IAMA from many other museums is the eminence of the artworks it exhibits.
The International Art Museum of America in San Francisco holds three criteria for artworks to be admitted for exhibition: First, the works of the artist must be collected by at least two world famous art museums. Second, the auction price of the artist’s works must exceed US$200,000 per square foot. Third, the artist must have substantial influence or status in the world, such as being director of a museum or provost of an art academy.
Rare Opportunity to Copy Original Artwork, Everyone Puts their Heart and Soul to Study
The Provost of the New York Academy of Art, Peter Drake, led 15 graduate students in a 3-hour Master Class at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco to study the artworks by copying them on site.
The collection of the International Art Museum of America includes many original artworks. Students and members of the faculty from the New York Academy of Art especially cherished the opportunity to study on site. After everyone toured the Museum, each selected a different ink painting and sketched it in great detail to explore the wondrousness embedded in the brushwork.
The Han Chinese culture goes back to an ancient origin and will continues to flourish for a long time. Chinese painting and calligraphy make up a major part of such culture. There is a big difference between appreciating and copying art. Appreciating is skimming the surface; only through copying can one engage in an in-depth study of the works.
Qindong Fang, a student of Chinese ethnicity, said it awed him that some of his fellow American students could actually copy Chinese calligraphy, and Museum staff members of different ethnicities could even read what they copied. Through copying, he said, his fellow students could gain better knowledge of the culture of Chinese painting and calligraphy, and explore in-depth the 16 unique painting styles originated by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III; and this has been a wonderful learning experience.
Translated from article in World Journal by Shaohua Huang, San Francisco