Chinese brush painting exhibition at East Asia Library

May 21, 2019
Joshua Capitanio
Chinese brush painting

From May 17 to May 25, the East Asia Library will host a pop-up exhibition featuring mounted works of traditional Chinese brush painting produced by students in the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.  The paintings are displayed in the 3rd floor exhibition cases.

Chinese Brush Painting is considered as one of the longest living arts in the world. As an art, it is rife with symbolisms and meanings delivered through the subjects and their composition. In Chinese painting, no sketches are prepared, and no models are used. The artists paint with rapid brush strokes, aiming to transfer what they see in their mind directly onto the paper. Each stroke is a defining part of the art. From the first to the last stroke, the artist must “get it right the first time”. Unlike Western art, corrections and painting over are not part of the process. Hence, practice is required to master the discipline.

Currently there are four Stanford CSP courses in Chinese Brush Painting. Each course introduces students to the basic philosophy, concepts, fundamental techniques, materials used and composition, leading to a better appreciation of Chinese brush painting as an art.

In the past decade, several themes and subjects of this art form has been taught. Students learn to paint landscape, bamboo, various flora and fauna that culminate in a class art exhibit at the end of each term. Students learned different techniques and develop skills in using the Chinese brush to paint and combine elements in their artworks. This art exhibit is a showcase of the subjects and techniques learned in the different courses. These scrolled paintings on display were also exhibited as part of the Chan Lim Art Exhibits in Asia.

CSP class courses are:
Art221: The Art of Chinese Brush Painting
Art228: The Art of Chinese Landscape Painting
Art243: The Art of Peony in Chinese Brush Painting
Art245: The Art of Lotus in Chinese Brush Painting


Joshua Capitanio

Joshua Capitanio

Public Services Librarian, East Asia Library
Bibliographer, East and Southeast Asia (Western languages)
Subject Specialist, Religious Studies