05 May 2011

Art of Lan-Chiann Wu

Lantern Festival, Lan-Chiann Wu.

Through my blog, I have had the opportunity to connect with many wonderful people, including award-winning artist Lan-Chiann Wu. Ms. Wu is one of the few women working professionally in the medium of Chinese ink brush painting and was kind enough to contact me after viewing my blog entry of the "Fresh Ink" exhibit at the MFA earlier this season. With Ms. Wu's consent, I have posted some images from her website, www.thetranquilstudio.com

But Lan-Chiann's big news is her participation in "3 Paths to Expression" at the Sam Maloof Foundation, www.malooffoundation.org, from March 3 through September 3, 2011. Sadly, I have no plans to visit the Los Angeles vicinity this year, but the exhibit looks well worth a trip if you're in the area. A MacArthur "genius grant" recipient, Sam Maloof (1916 - 2009) was, along with Wendell Castle and George Nakashima, one of the foremost furniture craftsmen of the 20th century. Maloof's work is in many museum collections, including Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

Ms. Wu's work reminds me of another MFA-related artist, Childe Hassam. As in Hassam's views of city life, there is a tenderness in her renderings of people in city scenes and village landscapes that is appealing without being overly sentimental. Both artists also use the color red judiciously to establish depth and to create a spark of tension in the scene.

Snowflakes Quietly Descending, Lan-Chiann Wu.

Snowstorm in Madison Square, Childe Hassam.
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Childe_Hassam_Snowstorm_Madison_Square.jpg

In addition to painting and drawing, Ms. Wu, like Mr. Maloof, also works in furniture design, creating delightful lacquer vignettes for casegoods. I hope that some of her work will come to the East coast in the near future!

Design for furniture, Lan-Chiann Wu.

Lacquer design on casegoods, detail, Lan-Chiann Wu.

Credenza with finished lacquer decoration, Lan-Chiann Wu.