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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

KRISTIN HUA YANG (article first published : 2007-05-7)

Kristin Hua Yang is to present an exhibition titled Nordic Forest – on occasion of the 50th anniversary of Sibelius’ death.

“The exhibition consists of a series of 20 to 30 paintings which were conceptualized while I was travelling in Finland two years ago, from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, the “hometown” of Santa Claus,” says Kristin Hua Yang.

“During the trip, I was very much awed by the mysterious but tranquil Nordic landscape and I could almost sense Tapio, the Finnish sylvan god, roaming deep in his realm of the dark forest. The grey and gloomy dusking sky is so overpowering in this silent corner of the world, amidst the unsympathetic trees, whose strong branches wiggle only sporadically, completely oblivious of any passers-bys. I was first chilled to the bones by such ruthlessness and the complete indifference to our worldliness modern attitude. Then I realized that I was staring at the path to wisdom and enlightenment right in the eyes. Now all these have become a mesmerizing figment of my imagination which I endeavoured to preserve on canvas.

“It is ironic that in this daunting and yet soundless environment, I could almost hear Sibelius’s tone poem, Tapiola, with forest deities materializing through sound waves. In a sense, this exhibition is very much like Mussorgski’s Pictures from an Exhibition in reverse. I therefore find it appropriate to dedicate the exhibition to Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957), commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death.

“One final note: as a Chinese painter working in South Africa commemorating the greatest Finnish composer, is this itself a statement about our global village and a hint that the visual art is a media where people from different ethnic and culture background can appreciate one another?”

Nordic Forest opens at the KZNSA on May 8 at 18h00 (all welcome) and runs until May 27.

More information from Nathi Gumede, Curator of the KZNSA Gallery on 031 202 3686 or 082 220 0368 or visit www.kznsagallery.co.za




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