The world, through Chinese brushes

Shanghai is expecting upwards of 70 million visitors for the World Expo, which is going on now through 31 October.

I wasn’t one of those –with 300,000 + visitors per day last week, I decided to avoid the lines and crowds during the 48 free hours I had. The closest I came was an expo-related exhibit at the Shanghai Art Museum, ‘One World, One Family – Chinese Painters Capturing the World Expo With Their Brushes’. (24-May thru 9-Jun).

More than 200 Chinese artists were commissioned to produce painting to represent each of the 189 countries participating in the expo. Some of the images were predictable and cliche, but quite a few portrayed an interesting perspective.

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Above is Wang Mingguo’s interpretation of Slovenia. Predictable?  ‘Hello, America’, by Bi Jianxun is below.

A few more that stood out for me: ‘Yemen – Rock Palace’, by Xie Zongju –

‘Landscapes of Maldives’, by Lu Tianning:

Saudi Arabia – Al Masjid Al Haram Mosque, bu Li Zhengzheng:

and ‘Argentina – Tango’, by Gong Jianxin. Definitely in the ‘predictable’ column, but nicely done nonetheless.

32 in all are in a flickr set here. These quick snaps don’t do justice to the colors, my apologies to the artists.

Like much of Shanghai’s colonial history, that of the museum is interesting as well. Built in 1933 as the clubhouse building of the Shanghai (horse) Racing Club, it sits at the edge of People’s Square, adjacent to People’s Park, by far my favorite part of the city.

Museum link [Chinese only]

Shanghai World Expo paintings 02, originally uploaded by pirano.

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