By Savanna Maude, THE TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL

 

September 22, 2018

 

Zhang Hongtu, an internationally acclaimed artist, will debut his first solo show in the Midwest on Tuesday at Kansas State University.

 

The exhibition, titled “Culture Mixmaster Zhang Hongtu,” will be installed in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art through Dec. 22.

 

The exhibition brings together early and recent works highlighting Hongtu’s expressions of his hybrid cultural roots.

 

Hongtu grew up in China as a member of its Muslim minority, suffering persecution for his religion and his political beliefs under the regime of People’s Republic of China founder and Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong.

 

Hongtu traveled around China as a young artist and was heavily influenced by his study trip to Dunhuang in the western province of Gansu.

 

Dunhuang was an important stop along the network of trade routes known as the Silk Road, which connected Europe and Africa to the Middle East and Asia. Through the Silk Road, Buddhism traveled from India to China, resulting in the establishment of Buddhist cave temples around Dunhuang between the fourth and 14th centuries. The cave temples featured painting styles different from what Hongtu learned in art school and showed signs of the mural artists’ awareness of European painting.

 

In 1982, Hongtu moved to New York City to study art.

 

His works show a lifelong interest in the cycle of travel, immigration, transmission of ideas and cultural cross-pollination.

Included in the exhibit are an oil painting applying the signature style of Vincent van Gogh to a landscape scene from a famous Chinese ink painting, and a Ping Pong table that requires players to avoid letting the ball fall through cutouts in the shape of the head of Chairman Mao.

 

Hongtu will speak at K-State at the Art in Motion festival on Oct. 6. He also will speak about Buddhist cave temples along the Silk Road on Oct. 9 at the Spencer Museum of Art on the University of Kansas campus.

 

The Beach Museum of Art is free to the public, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

 

Source: https://www.cjonline.com/entertainmentlife/20180922/international-artist-zhang-hongtu-debuts-first-solo-midwest-show-at-k-state

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