Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach CA
Through December 31st
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Article by Cathy Breslaw
The monochromatic large-scale oil paintings of Shi Zhiying are a duality of the physical and the spiritual. This Chinese born artist is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese ink painting creating immense landscapes of open seas, fields of grass, sand gardens and ancient sacred structures. Zhiyng examines our relationship with the universe in the vast vistas of basic land and seascapes containing just enough references of water, land, gardens or structures to indicate their forms while allowing the viewer to sense their place within the spaces. Her delicate and practiced use of the brush in balance with the large scale of the works radiate a particular emotive atmosphere and feeling of spirituality. There is also a feeling of loneliness and emptiness among the works while indicating themes of time and space.
Aside from the landscapes there are also three large monochromatic black and white oil paintings of white marble figures of Buddhas. These figures void of arms or hands, appear as ghost-like spirits. Also included in the exhibition is a wall installation of 100 small Buddha watercolor paintings of ink on paper and a large oil painting of hundreds of tiny Buddha figures. These repetitive works as well as her Zen garden and sand ocean works relate to Zhiying’s personal connection to Buddhism. Overall, Zhiying’s paintings are meditative, quiet and still, while bringing the viewer into her search for meaning and our place in the universe.