Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Celebrated Chinese artist focus of upcoming exhibit in Parkersburg

Work of Dongfeng Gao to be on display for one month starting Oct. 9

MARIETTA, Ohio — Capturing breathtaking views of natural landscapes, photographer Dongfeng Gao is a renown artist in his homeland of China.

The Asian Studies Program at Marietta College is sponsoring a month-long art exhibit of his work starting Friday, Oct. 9 in the Mezzanine Gallery of the Parkersburg Art Center, located at 725 Market St. in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9. Admission to the reception is $10 per person.

The exhibit will feature many distinct sceneries in China, including the Badain Jaran Desert, the Tibetan Plateau and Pamir Mountains.

Dr. Luding Tong, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Marietta College, first learned of Gao’s photography talent from one of her Chinese language lab tutors.

“This student told me that Mr. Dongfeng Gao, a talented Chinese photographer, had recently moved in town,” Tong said. “Mr. Gao has deep family connections with Marietta College. His son, Chao Gao, graduated in 2013 with a dual degree in Petroleum Engineering and Economics; his daughter-in-law, Jing Cao, graduated in 2014 with a dual degree in Finance and Economics; his nephew, Lu Gao, graduated in 1999 with a dual degree in Accounting and Computer Science.”

Tong said she knew she wanted to help host a photography exhibit featuring Gao’s work last year when she first saw his work.

“I marveled at the fantastic scenery in north- and southwest of China that were captured in Gao’s views of the boundless desert, Mount Everest, the golden Euphrasian Poplar forest, and Tibetan costumes,” Tong said.

The Asian Studies Program has brought Asian art exhibits, such as the Gao show, the 2006 Shaofang Shen Lifetime Art Exhibit, the 2010 Tranquil Visions Exhibit of 1947 alumnus Dr. Richard Krause’s art collection (in collaboration with the Art Department) and the 2013 Mao Xuefeng Art Exhibit, to Marietta College over the last decade. Bringing these types of Asian cultural experiences to Marietta complements the 2015 Strategic Plan of the College.

“I am drawn particularly to the artist’s sensitivity to the meanings of life and nature,” Tong said. “This sensitivity is philosophically and masterfully captured in the shots of life emerging in the desolations of withered branches, the transience of life, the yin-yang dynamics, such as light and shade, bold rocks and refined sand waves, and stillness and motions. Gao’s photography is an earnest statement of the artist’s passionate love of nature and life; the pictures express the artist’s concern and advocacy for the protection of the ecology of the desert.”

Located in Marietta, Ohio, at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, Marietta College is a four-year liberal arts college. Tracing its roots to the Muskingum Academy begun in 1797, the College was officially chartered in 1835. Today Marietta College serves a body of 1,300 full-time students. The College offers 45 majors and has been listed among Barron’s Best Buys in College Education and Peterson’s Competitive Colleges, and has been recognized as one of the top regional comprehensive colleges by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, as well as one of the nation’s best by

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