Cultural Evolution Gallery
What is art? What art is depends on who you ask. To me, art is something that makes you think or it is something that makes you feel. When you look at a piece of art, you either understand it, you don’t understand it or you don’t want to understand it. Nonetheless, it allows you to study it, it allows you to see the artist’s vision and ultimately, it may even communicate with you.
I have found that the art that communicates to me is art that is a blend of cultures. Is it cross-cultural art? Is it Fusion art? I am not sure what the name is but I call it Cultural Evolution art. It is art created by artists who are influenced by their experiences and exposure to multiple cultures. I am interested in what their art communicates because I am ultimately apart of the same experience. We all are.
This is the beginning of the Cultural Evolution Gallery. It is a venue that is created to display and support talented artists that have different points of view influenced by the culture that surrounds us. Each gallery contains the work of different artists. Each artist has been selected based on the content of their work and/or their style of art. The following pages provide bios of each artist and the pricing of each piece.
Gallery Hours are 11:00 am to 2:00 pm or by appointment 312-504-7998.
Yes, we continue the search. If you or someone you know would be interested in being shown in Cultural Evolution Gallery, please have them contact us.
Cheng’s work integrates both traditional Chinese artistry and contemporary Western abstract elements. Cheng’s masterful brushstrokes coupled with his exceptional use of acrylic produce spirited depictions of human nature and the brilliance of wildlife and nature. His paintings have been influenced by his numerous travels to China.
Cheng began his Chinese art studies at the Lingnam Art School, and later graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic with a degree in Industrial Design. His work earned him a German government scholarship, an opportunity that provided him insight into the art of the Western World. Cheng has won numerous awards and recognition throughout Europe and the United States. He currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and fellow artist Vivienne Lee. Their numerous commissions have included works created for Coca-Cola Company, Disney Work, Inc. and Amoco.
Jie Tan’s intricate and elaborate works are a unique and modern adaptation to traditional Chinese silk embroidery. Tan’s embroidery piece found in Gallery B is unique for several reasons. Her ability to create exquisite shadowing and lighting through her skill in manipulating infinitesimal silk fibers demonstrates her exceptional and brilliant ability to create lifelike and impressive images. Notice the shading techniques she uses against the wood paneling throughout her work as well as her skill in balancing color in her piece. Additionally, traditional embroidery pieces generally focus on landscapes or birds in flight whereas Tan’s piece is a still life arrangement using a backdrop from a rural cabin in Eastern China.
The basket pictured to the left is actually a bamboo steamer used to steam dumplings, which is used as lunch carrier for a convenient meal when working in the fields. The bamboo sticks slightly hidden towards the right of the chest initially appear to be fishing poles but they are actually bamboo smoking pipes. Finally, unlike most conventional Chinese silk embroidery pieces which layer embroidery objects on only a portion of the canvas, Tan’s embroidery encompasses the entire canvas, which compounds the work she has invested in this piece.
The two smaller embroidery pieces, which border Tan’s Rustic still life, show a cluster of leaves. The embroidery of the leaves using a sheer fabric gives the illusion on sun light shining through the leaves.
Born in China, Tan learned silk embroidery at an early age from her grandmother. Her exposure to silk embroidery at a young age had a tremendous impact, and ultimately influenced her to become an artist in the United States. To supplement and sharpen her expertise, Tan traveled to Suzhou, China, prominently known as the Capital of Silk Art. Upon her return to the United States, Tan began exhibiting at art shows in 2004, and has since continued to be a presence at fine art shows throughout Illinois. She has won numerous awards for her diverse range of silk artwork, and she is a fixture in art galleries in Illinois.
Gallery C & D
Inspired by the countryside and villages of China, Lee’s artwork displays her innate ability to incorporate a multitude of different techniques. She has described her distinct style of painting as “contemporary primitive”, due to her innovative use of oil pastel above watercolor paper, along with acrylic, pencil, and ink as supplementary materials to produce truly distinctive movements in her paintings. Her Moon Festival in Su Zhou-China painting in Gallery D shows a night festival in a small village. The stories told in this painting abound from the dinner boats in the canal, the family barbeque on the patio to the entertainment in the city center.
Lee has won over 200 exhibit awards in the United States.
Gattinella’s photography draws its creative artistry from vivid photographs of the famous National Geographic publications. The coverage of various cultures and awe inspiring locations within the pages of the magazine coupled with formal training offered an unconventional influence on his artistic process.
The inspiration for Gattinella’s photography stems from uncovering striking qualities from even the most mundane of subjects. The artist’s photographs relay the image back with insight, imagination, and precision to his audience. The moments captured by Gattinella transcend form, texture, events, and symbols to ultimately convey a complete yet equally mysterious experience.
Gattinella ability to depict his vivid images results from his adaptation to darkroom developing and extermination techniques which are a modern homage to Japanese wood cuts. He skillful manipulation of the chemical reaction has allowed him to allow him to create unique and unconventional images.
Gattinella’s wide ranging portfolio of work has appeared in galleries, private collections, and corporate offices throughout Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. He currently resides in Chicago as a commercial photographer.
The captivating challenge of watercolors as an artistic medium proves to be a fascinating influence on Bate’s art. Its tranquil and translucent properties have equipped Bate’s with the opportunity to produce brilliant and fervent portrayals of his imagination. The inspiration for Bate’s work evolved from childhood travels to the museums and ethnic districts of New York coupled with his family’s extensive artistic experience. His family trips to the city first introduced and familiarized him with the techniques and paintings of John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, and Mark Rothko along with the character of neighborhoods such as Chinatown. His use of cultural subtleties within his paintings illustrates the versatility of his work as well as his worldly understanding of diverse cultures.
Bate’s childhood interest led him to pursue a degree in Fine Art, Design and Illustration. His work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Florida in addition to private collectors. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois as an Art Director, Designer, and Fine Artist.
Hongyuan Xu’s work reflects his explorations of both the visible and unobserved properties of energy and nature. Each painting captures and illuminates the animated and dynamic dimensions of nature by glorifying the juxtaposition of chaos and structure. Further, his works demonstrate his desire for fusion and the continuous investigation of his art. His paintings here in Gallery G represent a contemporary adaptation of the forest. Whereas most landscapes focus on what is available to the naked eye, Xu brings greater focus on the energy of the earth itself in different seasons.
Born in Jilin, a northeastern province of the People’s Republic of China, Hongyuan later immigrated to the United States in 1996. He attended the Northeastern University Art School in 1984 and has since exhibited his works at numerous art shows and has been represented at various art galleries in and throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.