It’s a still life, but it is not still. It moves. Flows. It rushes into your visual awareness and continues to swirl—shifting and refocusing your attention from object to object—slipping from circle to globe and down sweeping diagonals.
CinCin Fang welcomes you into her ecosphere of painted ideas. You settle in and become fascinated with silky fabrics, the reflections off glass bowls and beads, the marching rhythms of pearls or seeds—and the textures of nature. These are traditional still-lifes with Asian artifacts. But wait. There are curiosities— inferences maybe. Certain bowls, are tipped or overturned as if to draw attention or imply there is an overlooked mystery here.
CinCin was born in China. She came to this country as an infant, but goes back to visit family, especially for festivals. She studied art at the Feidi Artist Village in Beijing and with active New York City artists at Princeton University.
While her approach is primarily Western, her Chinese culture “filters through.” You see it first in the objects chosen in the set-ups, in the color and visual rhythms, and motifs. She often begins with black and white compositions to ensure strong shadows and forms, and then goes back with rich color harmonies.
While CinCin’s current show at the Hill Center is primarily still life, she also draws and paints people extensively. She has worked as a graphic designer and is an accomplished photographer—from dramatic panoramic portraits of National Parks and Monuments, to spontaneous people moments and portraits.
You can see the work of CinCin Fang this month at the Hill Center (see, At the Galleries) and at www.artbycincinfang.com.
Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art
Can anything be sadder than a painting left unfinished? Yes, a painting never begun. A painting unfinished still has a voice. It sings of life—maybe an existence forever unresolved, but an existence nonetheless. The same is true of an essay, or novel or even a column.
As I sit and look about my studio, I am surrounded by paintings and scribblings yet to be resolved. I am only occasionally capable of accepting a painting or writing to be complete…or finished enough. But there, sifting and sorting their way through the hopeful pigments are visual thoughts that become ideas. Arranged on a page are words that burned crisply, if only briefly, to light the way through a notion.
Life surrounds. It talks to me—sometimes yelling—saying things like, get back here—don’t go away. Yet, it still sings, celebrating the birth, and enticing me like the sirens to return to the canvas again and again to give value to that visual thought. And most importantly, to give value to my time.
Of course, the thoughts and ideas forever change with living and seeing, They are collectively sprung from all the seeing and listening and doing from our earliest awakening—combined with the sayings and doings of parents and others—added to the genetic contributions of the thousands of ancestors that lived and loved and wondered.
So don’t rue the unfinished. Cherish the beginning—the first movement of the chorus of voices that came from so many places and encounters. You can always go back to those unresolved visuals and words that still sing of life.
At the Galleries
Hill Center Galleries
921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
– Sept. 8
- Photographer Karen Cohen, in “A She Thing” presents a “collection of women centric images and ideas and words.”
- Painter CinCin Fang (see Artist Profile) offers a series of traditional still lifes, each of which is “a piece of me that I hope will resonate with you.”
- Printmaker M. Alexander Gray creates highly detailed woodcuts and engravings. “My work is inspired by the past – my own past, that of my region, and that of printmaking itself as an artistic medium.”
- Wanjin Kim: With “Blooming,” the mixed media artist brings awareness to global warming by using natural resources, like coral, in her artwork.
- Painter Janie McGee, with “Black-Eyed Suzies and Grace,” has created “volumes of art over the last 46 years that depicts the struggles, pains, joys, and faith engraved in the black experience. It is a journey that will take a lifetime…”
- Painter Dilip Sheth, with “Come Into My World,” uses “bold colors” so the world he sees “becomes my world on canvas.”
2118 – 8th St., NW
July 31 – Sept. 1
Reception: Sat. Aug 3, 5 – 8
The theme of this regional juried show is the “alternation of presence and absence—inner and outer.” The seventeen artists approach the depth and sometimes mystery of the theme with differing choices of subject and technique.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Notice: CALL FOR ENTRY: 2020 Gallery Artist Residency
The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) is currently seeking applicants for its 2020 Gallery Artist Residency, a five-week paid residency, January 6 through February 10, 2020 in CHAW’s Gallery at 545 7th Street, SE, Washington, DC, 20003.
“The residency provides an opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Completed applications are due August 31, 2019 at www.chaw.org/artist-residency.