5 Oct 2008

Extraordinary artist: Monom Wu Keng-Yen is not to be missed

After the digging at Puckshole I did a quick change in the car - mud splatted clothes in the boot and it was off to Gloucester for one of the most moving events I've been to in a long time. I would urge all to not miss this exhibition or indeed the workshops which look great...

Photos: the photos do not do justice to the wonders of the pictures on show but hopefully give a taste of what you shouldn't miss!

From 5 to 26 October 2008 The Anglo Asian Cultural Centre at 91 Barton Street, Gloucester, GL1 4HR will host "The Light of The Century", an exhibition of paintings by internationally acclaimed artist Monom Wu Keng-Yen. The exhibition will be open every day except Tuesdays from 11.00 am to 6.00pm. Admission is free.

Beautiful centre - support garden

I was fortunate to have an invite to the preview - removing the mud took longer than expected so I missed the very beginning but was still able to join the opening ceremony. I had thrown on a jacket but still felt under dressed amongst so many immaculate folk in the audience - first off it was great to see what the centre has become - it is a beautiful Grade II listed Church - and it's renovation is just what is needed in this area which has faced rough times in the past

Next door to this area is a small area of wasteland at the edge of Asda's car park - a proposal has been made for six flats to be built on it. This is a crazy plan and it was good to hear that Parmjit Dhanda MP was amongst those saying he would support a garden being built there instead - an oasis of peace in an area that is pretty bleak. A garden would also have my full support.

Calligraphy demonstration

Anyhow one of the most exciting and moving parts of the opening ceremony was the calligraphy demonstration by the artist, Monom Wu Keng-Yen. I was fascinated to watch the energy flow from him and the brush onto the paper - a live musician played an ancient chinese instrument (can't spell the name!) as the brush strokes went on the paper.....

...later the pieces were auctioned in an event that saw money raised for the centre - indeed the artists generosity also saw him selling other works for the centre's funds.

After the auction we all went through to enjoy a 'banquet' - glorious vegetarian food from the tastiest spring rolls I've ever tasted to a wonderful tasting but rather scary looking green cake. It was great to catch up with various people I knew and meet many of those who were involved in the running of the centre. The warmth and generosity of the centre was something very special.

The Light of the Century

But hey I've not even mentioned the pictures yet - or anything about the artist...well according to the leaflets Monom Wu Keng-Yen was born in Taiwan and trained and worked there until he moved to Paris in 2001. He has exhibited in many countries and the French audience have particularly taken to the spiritual elements of his pieces and he recently had an exhibition in the Louvre.

Also according to the leaflet Monom Wu Keng-Yen draws inspiration from the famous principle of Confucius, that is "the Union between Heaven and Man" and that of the great sage: Lao-Tzu: "Wu; Non-act". In this latest exhibition he reveals to us an adventure or "quest towards the deep Origin" - it reflects his time spent in Paris.

In the many beautiful abstract paintings there is much, much more than just a beautiful picture - you can feel the energy - a rhythm, spirit, heart, Yin and Yang, wisdom, vibrance, life and more. Standing before them the energy is tangible - indeed an extraordinary mysterious energy. I loved it all!!

I was also very fortunate to be introduced to the artist and through an interpreter was able to hear more of his enthusiasm - he also twice offered to come to Stroud to share his work either this time he is over or in the future - and suggested the photos left! I have phoned several people already to see if something might be possible in Stroud but it has come at a very busy time for me at work so it may have to wait - having said that I would love to hear from anyone locally who would be interested in helping put something on???

Abstract painting and calligraphy workshops

From this Monday there are daytime and evening workshops with the artist - only £10 a session - and that money will go to the centre. Telephone 01452 300323 for details.

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