Jacqueline Hogan, assistant director of the University Art Museum, installs an exhibit for the celebration of the Chinese New Year that will showcase prints made on paper.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Art Museum exhibits to highlight Chinese prints, makeup, costumes
January 25, 2011Tweet
The University Art Museum will celebrate the Chinese New Year and showcase Binghamton’s partnership with the Confucius Institute in two upcoming exhibits.
The first floor of the museum will feature “The Art Behind Beijing Opera: Costume and Makeup,” while the second floor will house “Chinese New Year Prints.” The opening reception will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at the museum in the Fine Arts Building and will include Chinese calligraphy and brush painting demonstrations, as well as Chinese instrumental music from a visiting instructor from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA).
“Chinese New Year Prints,” which runs through March 12, introduces the art of nianhua, a form of Chinese woodblock print. The exhibit also features 37 original Chinese New Year prints from the 19th and 20th centuries on loan from the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.
“We wanted to have an exhibit that would bring people together and have some enjoyment within the exhibit,” said Jacqueline Hogan, assistant director of the Art Museum.
The impetus for the exhibits was the arrival of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, Hogan said. The institute, a nonprofit organization jointly formed by Binghamton University and NACTA, teaches and promotes Chinese language, culture, opera and music. A grand opening celebration was held on campus in November 2009.
“The Art Behind Beijing Opera,” which runs through June 1, offers a series of photos displaying the makeup process that takes place before a performance. The exhibit will also include two Beijing opera costumes, a video detailing the female makeup process and the tools used to apply the makeup.
Makeup and costumes were logical starting spots to promote Beijing opera, as they are things many people can relate to, said Valerie Chou, assistant to the director of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera.
“This is an easier start for those who aren’t familiar with Beijing opera,” Chou said. “The makeup and costumes are so colorful. We thought the first step would be to bring people in to see something so friendly.”
The exhibit also ties in with a course being taught this semester about Beijing costumes and makeup.
“We’re really showing how you put the makeup on and how the costumes are utilized during the opera,” Hogan said. “It’s very simple, but quite fascinating.”
Hogan hopes museum-goers find both enjoyment and educational values in the exhibits.
“I want them to go away with a good feeling about Chinese culture,” she said. “I hope they learn something about the culture because that is what we are all about: education.”