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HUMANSCAPE:?Explorations in Sumi-E/Reflection Gallery

Exploring Sumi-E at the Reflection Gallery

March 3, 2011

HANCOCK - Using Sumi-E ink and watercolor, Tomas Co has created an entire show now on exhibit at Finlandia University's Reflection Gallery in the Jutila Center in Hancock.

Yueh-mei Cheng, Finlandia professor of studio arts, said Co will have 35 pieces in the show for the entire month of March.

"It's Sumi-E ink combined with a western-style painting in a joint technique," she said.

Co's exhibit, "HUMANSCAPE: Explorations in Sumi-E," explore the human condition "combining eastern and wester styles of painting, and incorporating traditional and modern approaches to the aesthetics of philosophy."

An opening reception and artist talk will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today at the Reflection Gallery. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Sumi-E ink is an East Asian type of brush painting, Cheng said.

"The Sumi-E is tradition Japanese ink and it's an ink-painting style," she said. "It's really unique but it's not traditional Sumi-E, it's contemporary Sumi-E."

In a statement to Finlandia University, Co said, "the main thrill of the incomplete control of both these water-based media has given me a terrific and awkward scalpel to explore the genius and imperfections, beauty and ugliness, goodness and evil that surround us."

He calls this, "The purest forms of art stem from the primordial needs to externalize, articulate, and sometimes exorcise the internal struggles, confusion, rationality and personal essence," and said it is the most human means of expression and communication.

Cheng said Co's creative process "entails sketching images recalled from the media, memories, and conversations, while drawing inspiration from shapes and brushstrokes that encourage him to explore his subject matter further."

Through his painting, narrative's change and characters evolve.

"I have seen some presentations and exhibits at the Reflection Gallery, and I found the artists and audience were very open with fresh enthusiasm and ideas. So I thought, why not?" Co said in a statement. "Maybe as an outsider of the art profession, I can offer a naive perspective, and I am sure that the community will be able to give some exciting and interesting perspectives."

Tomas Co is an associate professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University.



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