Internationally recognized Chinese artist Chi Jia He is exhibiting more than a dozen of his luminous impressionistic oil paintings at Sparrows Gallery in Denison through the end of January.
Chi Jia He’s paintings reflect the countryside where he grew up along the Pearl River directly north of Hong Kong in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
“I love the watery region so deeply,” he said. “I could feel the violin sounds were falling into the river surface; the south wind pushed the summer heat so far away. I loved the elegant colors and simple composition integrated into the deep earth.”
Chi Jia He said that in contemporary China, city people are longing for rural life.
“I am the son of nature earth,” he said. “I wish the mountain green and the water clear forever. Suddenly my painting pen jumps in my thought.”
Chi Jai He said that he feels the need to express the passion around him, describe the landscape, and present the serenity and peacefulness to others.
As the cities become more congested and busy, it is much harder to find peace of mind. Chi Jia He hopes “that through my artworks, people can call back the past that is simple and honest.”
Chi Jia He came to Sparrows Gallery through the recommendation of another internationally known artist, Stuart Davies. Chi Jia He first sent three paintings and had a reception at the gallery earlier this year. After selling all three paintings, Sparrows Gallery and Chi Jia He arranged for all the paintings on exhibit in Chicago to come to Denison before returning to China.
Tamie Odom, curator of Sparrows Gallery, laughs when she describes the challenges of communication where two languages are involved.
“Google translator helps plus so does Chi Jia He’s brother,” Odom said. “Also, he has graciously written out some of the history and his own statements which makes things much easier.”
When the current exhibit leaves, several new paintings will arrive for display at the Sparrows Gallery.
“I was born in 1941,” Chi Jia He said. “I attended Guangdong FoShan Art School from 1958-1961, graduating in 1961. The major subject was oil painting in the style of Monet impressionism. I also studied violin in this school.”
After graduation, he worked as a violinist in the Artist National Association for a couple of years.
“I also made the musical instruments from a very young age until today,” Chi Jia He said. “Some are the Erhu fiddle (a two-string or spike fiddle also), a guitar and violin. As a culture representative, I also built up a Cantonese band for the government in Guanzhou. Life was tough, but I felt passionate and appreciated so much my upbringing in the art, giving me endless creativity in my life.”
Chi Jia He has exhibited and won awards in numerous countries around the world, including Italy, Vienna, London, Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and the U.S. In China, Chi Jia He has been honored with solo oil painting exhibitions in the Wan Jiang National Library, Lin Nan National Art Academy and Hu Men Opium War National Museum.
“Through all his works, Chi Jia He hopes that people pay more attention to the lost, a great cultural heritage, the ancients built a (culture) full of wisdom of the living environment, excellent traditions to save down, from generation to generation, these are treasures, left to our descendants,” Chi Jia He said in the biography he gave to Sparrows Gallery. “Especially in today’s China, globalization urbanization make people lives better than before any time, but also destroyed a lot of beautiful environment and traditions, to reproduce past beautiful home, awake the audience’s longing for the past, think about something we lost, what is our need. This is the intention of Chi Jia He.”
Regular hours at Sparrows Gallery are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 124 West Main Street, in Denison. For more information visit www.sparrowsgallery.com or Sparrows Gallery, Denison Texas on Facebook. The gallery can be reached at 903-337-0708.