Expressions of China Exhibit
Introduction

Expressions of China includes thirty selected works by four young University of Central Florida artists. In this exhibition, Ian Hernand, Blair Remington, Tomas Valladares, and Sharon Weaver illustrate through photography their Spring 2008 journeys through the rural villages of China’s Shandong Province and the larger cities of Jinan, Beijing, and Shanghai. These students traveled to document Chinese folk art traditions for ChinaVine, a larger research project presenting Chinese traditional culture to English-speaking audiences (www.lib-wpms.uoregon.edu/chinavine), but their complex and rich stories evolved in their own contexts and became the work exhibited in Expressions of China. In these revealing photographs, the artists explore a changing and dynamic country that celebrates its past, embraces its future, and is full of resilient, energized, and hopeful people. They observe the fluidity of that change and they capture their ubiquitous encounters with “the other.” They illuminate their experiences through enticing colors, lights, faces, buildings, and streets, and they create depths of understanding within their informative texts. These four travelers see their worlds through the electrified glances, intriguing juxtapositions, and inspiring moments that responded to their inquiring lenses. They communicate through their nuanced talent, intuition, and energy the exhilaration that the places and spaces of China elicited in them. As witnesses to their artistic growth, we also grow. Through the keen, confident eyes of Ian Hernand, Blair Remington, Tomas Valladares, and Sharon Weaver, we are privileged to experience their playful sense of curiosity and their admirable ability to live directly in the remarkable visual moments of Expressions of China.