By Anna Gustafson
Queens College will officially kick off its year-long series of events focused on China next month, and two art exhibitions that opened this month at the school are giving borough residents a glimpse of the programs that will be offered at the college, including performances by world-famous artists, lectures by top scholars and a virtual guided trip to China’s Silk Road.
“Nature and Cosmos,” a show of paintings and murals by Long Island City artist Marlene Tseng Yu, opened last Thursday evening at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, and it will run through Nov. 24. “Eden,” a ceramics exhibit by Flushing artist Sing-ying Ho, opened Sept. 13 at the Queens College Art Center and will run through Oct. 26.
“Marlene is a force of nature herself, truly a phenomenon,” Godwin-Ternbach Director and Curator Amy Winter said. “We are proud to present these virtuoso creations which reflect the power and flux of nature and the universe. It is as if the artist’s empathy with the very substance of nature and the universe were projected back onto the canvas itself. This exhibition celebrates her meteoric and inexhaustible talent.”
The works being shown by Tseng Yu include 12-by-36-foot canvases that have drawn comparisons with works by abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. The paintings abstractly depict such natural events as avalanches to melting glaciers.
The show’s official opening was expected to be Sept. 16 but was canceled because of the tornado. It has been tentatively rescheduled for Oct. 20.
Tseng Yu was born in Taiwan and opened a studio in Long Island City in 2008 after spending nearly 40 years in SoHo in Manhattan.
Ho, an assistant professor of ceramics at Queens College originally from Hong Kong, is showing a series of ceramic sculptures at the college. Ho lives in Flushing. She covered the 6- to 7-foot sculptures with hand-painted traditional Chinese flowers with images of business, such as corporate logos and stock market index charts.
“The process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of the painted hybrid porcelain vessels transforms familiar forms into unfamiliar and unidentified sculptures,” Ho said. “This illustrated the intersection of cultures — East and West, old and new.”
The two exhibits were organized in conjunction with the college’s “Year of China” program, which the college will officially kick off Oct. 5. Beginning at 10 a.m. at the LeFrak Concert Hall, there will be a concert by the internationally acclaimed Shanghai Quartet. There will also be a concert at 7:30 p.m., also at the LeFrak, that will feature the music of Shanghai composer Bright Sheng and Beijing composer Zhou Long.
At 2 p.m. Oct. 5, Queens College history professor Morris Rossabi, author of several books on China, will give a free lecture on China. The public is also invited at 3 p.m. to a free talk entitled “Vestiges of the Silk Road in China,” which will be given by France Pepper, executive director of Shen Wei Dance Arts, a modern dance company based in Manhattan. Pepper frequently speaks about Chinese art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Described by school officials as a virtual trip along the Silk Road, the talk will explore the art, culture, history and geography of an area that once connected China to Europe and served as a major trade route.
For more information about Queens College’s “Year of China,” visit qc.cuny.edu/yearofchina.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.