BEIJING, March 13 -- When Chinese people think of Denmark, they may recall Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales; when they talk about Germany, they may first think of companies like Mercedes-Benz or Siemens. The mention of South Korea may lead to a discussion about "Dae Jang Geum."
An exhibition by German artists Christoph Haupts and Johannes Gr¨ątzkes taking place at the Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, and another exhibition by Danish artists Anders Moseholm, Bent Holstein, Gitte Winther and South Korean artist Kim Min-jung being held at the Guan Shanyue Art Museum may provide something new for locals to talk about.
The exhibition by the German artists has the poetic name Moon in the Water, while the one at the Guan Shanyue Art Museum is simply titled 3+1.
A total of 41 watercolors and prints by Haupts and Gr¨ątzkes were published in a book titled "China" in Germany recently.
Their works elicited mixed responses among visitors when the joint exhibition opened Mar.7.
Some said they couldn't understand why young Chinese girls had been painted in such exaggerated or even ugly ways, while others praised the works, saying their paintings accurately depicted the daily lives of Chinese people.
"The German artists looked at Chinese people with the same curiosity just as Chinese people would look at foreigners," said Shenzhen-based art dealer Chen Jianguo after viewing the works.
"The fascinating charm of the two German artists' art came just out of their bold imagination and artistic exaggeration," he said.
Christoph Haupts, 46, had staged a one-man exhibition in the Shenzhen Fine Art Institute in 2001 after completing his stay in the city as a visiting artist as part of an exchange program between the sister cities of Nuremburg in Germany and Shenzhen.
"The Chinese girls with small eyes in my works actually depicted my understanding of China and its history as well as my liking for Chinese people," Haupts said.
An important realist painter in Germany, Johannes Gr¨ątzkes had never been to China before coming to attend the opening ceremony of his joint exhibition with his good friend Haupts.
"China has played a magic on me, which has motivated me to paint relevant subjects on China," said Gr¨ątzkes, who was born in 1937 but looks like he is in his 40s.
Gr¨ątzkes' works on display, including the "Tsingtao Girls" and "Increasing Height" series, show a humorous understanding of the country and its people and a deep admiration for Chinese culture.
The four artists who held a joint exhibition in the Guan Shanyue Art Museum were recommended by the Galleri Kobenhavn in Demark.
The works of Danish artist Anders Moseholm on display reflect the artist's profound insight into modern urban life.
Born in 1959, Moseholm obtained a master's degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1996.
The metropolitan scenes painted by Moseholm in his paintings appear to be familiar to visitors, but it is hard to identify where exactly they are from.
Vaguely functional buildings, indefinable moments, street corners and open squares, harbors, bridges, street lamps, and crowds ¡ªall seem to blend into poignant memories or uneasy apprehensions.
In his paintings, Bent Holstein has delineated subtleties of nature with his delicate artistic feeling and exquisite brushwork, presenting a natural world to viewers.
Born in Copenhagen in 1942, Holstein has a passion for fishing. He has fished regularly on the Florida coast for many past years.
Holstein loves standing up to his knees in water for hours with his fishing rod raised, looking out over an endless ocean in which blue, green and the many shades in between flutter toward the horizon in a ceaseless, sparkling interplay of water, air and sky.
Holstein found his theme in these natural scenes and succeeded in presenting them in his paintings.
Gitte Winther's paintings are composed of color blocks of the abstract style, which still carry specific titles. In this way, her works often inspire viewers to move between the abstract and the concrete.
Born in Denmark in1964, Winther is a member of the Danish Artists' Association and the Union of Danish Artists.
The works of South Korean artist Kim Min-jung represent an organic mixture of Eastern and Western elements by her peculiar artistic techniques.
Born in Gwangju in South Korea in 1962, Kim studied Oriental painting and calligraphy in her early years, which allowed her to understand fundamental concepts of the Oriental art tradition.
Kim moved to Italy for further study at the Brera Academy in Milan in 1991, which prompted her to approach Western conceptual art.
In her works made on overlaid layers of rice paper, Kim burned sections of them to generate an effect of three-dimensionality to provide the viewer with a chronological dimension, and to indicate layers of time symbolized by the layers of paper.
(Source: Shenzhen Daily)