Hosting an immigrant has its advantages. My wife went to Norwegian language classes (governmental payed) when she came to Norway and met other students from all over the world. Some, from Bulgaria, Brazil and Somalia, are still good friends. Yesterday we were invited to the opening of the Chinese painting exhibition by Frank Woo in Lillestrøm (1/2 hour drive north east of Oslo). Frank is Diane’s best friend’s brother, a friend she also met at language classes.
Impressed by his personalty and fabulous work, I’ll gladly share this art adventure with you:
Born in Hong Kong, Frank Woo’s artwork shows an inspirational blending of traditional Chinese colours and textures mingled with modern art and raw emotion. He is a self-taught painter, trained in print-making in Hong Kong. His travels and burning desire for inspiration brought him to Japan, to Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College to complete his Degree in Illustration. Today he resides in Malaysia where he expresses his artistic inspiration through both paint and sculpture. Distinctive brushstrokes and drips, characteristic of abstract impressionism, give the illusion of chance and movement to his artwork. Meanwhile each drip is highly deliberate, carefully placed and calculated to give the work the desired feel.
Wave is Frank’s first Solo exhibition in Europe. His travels through Japan and Asia, and his life as a foreigner, always moving through, relocating, struggling to belong, to find a place to rest has inspired the an art collection full of movement and searching. The cool basic water element, movement, waves of the Asian seas which give Japan and Malaysia life are interspersed with vibrant colours of passion and life, struggle and hope for the future. Franks cool waves interspersed with vibrant reds, black and gold are reminiscent of traditional Chinese painting, and the use of space gives an impression of landscapes and open seas.
Take notice of the circles in his paintings, symbolizing the sun or the moon, a metaphoric reminder of the important on focus of lifes target or goals. If you loose that focus, mankind fails. Here are some examples from the exhibition – click the pics for more:
The Mayor officially opened the exhibition together with a representative from the local Art Association and Culture Center. Then Mrs. Sollid from Norway-China Culture Exchange Center, one of the exhibition’s initiators, read a personal greeting to Frank from The Chinese Ambassador in Norway. There was some other cultural elements too, like a Norwegian violinist playing and a lovely contribution by ‘The Little Red Cap Art Kindergarten of Beijing’ in Oslo (I’ll get back to those charming girls). Here is small collection of pictures from the grand opening:
Then back to the Chinese children’s performance as promised. I just could not resist recording some of it and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did:
If any of you want to experience this exhibition in your community, Frank would be delighted to pay you a visit, wherever you are in the world! If so, or if you want to buy some of his breath taking masterpieces, send me a note and I’ll help you get in contact with him!
This exhibition is also a part of Chinese Culture Festival in Norway. Read my earlier post about food, song and dance!