DULUTH, Minn. (May 6, 2015) — The Tweed Museum of Art (TMA) at the University of Minnesota Duluth will feature the art of internationally celebrated watercolorist Cheng-Khee Chee from May 12 through September 20, 2015.
The solo exhibition brings together 40 watercolor paintings created over the past 40 years (1974 – 2014), including Duluth Depot of 1974, the first painting Chee exhibited with the American Watercolor Society, as well as the monumental 100 Koi that the artist completed in late 2014.
Experiences and influences of both Eastern and Western art and culture have shaped the six decade artistic career of Cheng-Khee Chee. Born in 1934 in Fengting, southeastern China, the artist emigrated to British colonized Malaysia at age 14. As a self-taught artist, with both Eastern and Western mentors, Cheng-Khee Chee has developed a combined vision that incorporates the processes of Chinese brushwork with Western painting styles. Over the years, Chee has developed and adapted a repertoire of techniques from both East and West that clearly identify his work and have influenced countless students. For the philosophical underpinnings of his creative practice, the artist cites Confucianism and Buddhism as powerful influences.
“After many years of practice, I have concluded that the watercolor medium is closer to Tao than any other medium,” said Cheng-Khee Chee in a Tweed interview with Betsy Dillard-Stroud. “The very flowing movement of washes has a strong evocative power. The interpenetration of colors creates mysterious precipitations and nuance. In watercolor, the artist can let the medium obey its own laws and create wonders in the same way that nature creates her own works.”
In addition to the artist’s aesthetic concerns, Cheng-Khee Chee has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the medium of watercolor by working tirelessly to engage new audiences through teaching workshops, leading cultural tours and organizing international exhibitions.
“In Chee’s art the interplay between Taoist philosophy, Chinese brush painting and Western art forms – from realism to complete abstraction – offers us an expanded way to look at watercolor painting. He offers viewers multiple ways to approach his art. Each path yields an enriching opportunity to perceive the world through his eyes. A focus on technique is one path; attention to spiritual influences is another. This exhibition gives everyone – local fans, watercolor aficionados and students alike – several means to appreciate his work,” states Peter Spooner, the exhibition’s guest curator.
The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014 is the first exhibition by the artist at the Tweed Museum of Art since 1992, and will be accompanied by a publication with essays by artist and writer Ann Klefstad and guest curator Peter Spooner. A variety of public programs are planned, including receptions, gallery talks, and a rare three-day workshop for practitioners and novices alike, led by Cheng-Khee Chee himself.
EVENTS AT THE TWEED MUSEUM OF ART:
Registrations Required (open exclusively to members)
UMD University for Seniors Lecture Series April 22, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
(1) This four-week class is for individuals who are 50+ years of age and who participate in the University for Seniors Program. Individuals can view program details, register online, and see other lifelong learning courses at www.d.umn.edu/goto/seniors.
About the Museum:
Tweed Museum of Art
1201 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812
The Tweed Museum of Art is a collecting art museum that holds in trust a historical and contemporary art collection of over 8,000 artworks on behalf of the University of Minnesota and the people of Duluth and the outlying regions. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Hours and directions can be found atwww.d.umn.edu/tma or by calling 218-726-8222. For more information about this exhibition, go to http://www.d.umn.edu/tma/