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from Jiangxi University in Nanchang City
with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Educa-
S

ung Dynasty
tion and became an opera singer and
soloist with the Giang Xi Opera House.
Artist Exhibition
A move to Beijing marked a career shift,
with Yang Xu working as an editor for
and Demonstration
the Macroeconomics Journal of China.
She loved the energy and variety of life
in Beijing, but left there to pursue a per-
sonal relationship in Spokane in 2003.
By Kate Spencer, Editor
The move was a complete culture shock.
“I didn’t speak any English,” says Yang
Xu. “It was really different and hard for
me. And at first, I thought Spokane was
a little boring.”
Y
ang Xu is a modern Chinese artist stick is made of charcoal and rice, which, That didn’t stop her from making the
who creates an ancient form of Chi- when mixed and ground with water, most of it. In the six years she’s been here,
nese painting: Sung Dynasty water- makes the ink. The brushes are made of Yang Xu has been a work study student
color landscapes. The Sung Dynasty, either wolf hair or sheep wool. The mate- ambassador at SFCC, president of the
which spanned the years 960-1279 is rials and tools for the paintings have been SCC Asian Pacific Club, Chinese cooking
considered the Golden Age of painting the same for more than 2,000 years. instructor at SFCC, classroom assistant at
in the Chinese culture. The contrast between this ancient art SFCC and preschool classroom assistant
“I love the landscapes,” says Yang Xu, form and the modern woman who works for Spokane Head Start. She completed
a language instructor at the Chinese in this style is both striking and harmoni- her ESL degree through SCC last sum-
Language School at Gonzaga University. ous. Yang Xu is a study in complimentary mer and is currently teaching Chinese
“The birds, bamboo and poetry in the contrasts, much like her paintings. to students ages 11 and up at Gonzaga’s
paintings are my favorites. My father was Yang Xu was born and raised in Spokane Language School.
an architect who really loved landscapes, Yangzhou, China. Her interest in Sung “Spokane is home now,” she says.
so my style of painting is greatly influ- Dynasty landscapes began when she was “When you leave your country, you
enced by him.” a teenager and has remained a sustaining change, you see a new world. And you
The primary theme in Sung Dynasty force throughout a richly diverse profes- just can’t go back.”
paintings is the relationship between sional life. She does, however, visit her native
man and nature, with nature playing the Yang Xu was trained in Chinese paint- homeland. And in her paintings, she
more prominent role. Humans and struc- ing and calligraphy by the famous Chi- shares that homeland and its heritage
tures within the paintings seem small in nese artist, Xinming Yue. She graduated with others.
comparison to their natural surround- “My painting brings me intimately
ings, but the overall feeling conveyed is close to my Chinese heritage, its history,
one of harmony and unity. There is often poetry, and rich culture.”
a meditative quality to the landscapes,
reflecting the influences of Zen. Yang Xu’s painting will be on display
Poetry is always included in the paint-
at the Club through February. She will
ings and is a meditation on the landscape
offer a demonstration of her painting
depicted and the feelings it evokes. The
on Friday, February 5 at 5:30 pm.
poetry is written in Chinese characters
The event is free of charge,
but reservations are suggested.
with the artist’s signature appearing in
Call 459-4239 to register.
red characters within a frame. The ink

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