Sheer, gauzy tiffany silk is used as the "canvas" for abstract and impressionistic paintings depicting subtle, blurred landscapes, Shanghai landmarks and ladies in qipao.
Around 50 tiffany silk works by Sang Huorao are on exhibit at the Shanghai Art Museum through Wednesday.
Born in Zhejiang Province famous for its silk since ancient times, the artist uses tiffany gauze and colored ink. He works in the traditional gongbi method of realistic, meticulous Chinese painting, dot by dot, small stroke by small stroke, leaving irregular, hard-edged imprints all over the silk.
Tiffany is thin, glossy, transparent silk gauze that is highly permeable. The effect of paint and lustrous silk on the scroll-like paintings is impressive.
Sang studied traditional ink-wash painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province.
Viewed from a distance, the "Disappearing Landscape" series appears to be abstract paintings filled with small curves. On closer inspection, a vague landscape, a tree or a figure from ancient times emerges.
"Tradition is like a fast-disappearing scenery," Sang says. "In the current, multicultural environment, traditional 'literati' painting becomes more liquid in nature, appearing to dissolve into nothing."
He says he is trying to give tradition a "post-modern spiritual home."
The "Pink Shanghai" series reflects the artist's memories of old Shanghai in the early 1930s. Using pinks and rose tones, the artist creates nostalgic, shimmering scenes of classic architecture along the Bund, calendar pictures and a scene of young women in qipao playing mahjong.
Date: Through September 12, 9am-5pm
Address: 325 Nanjing Rd W.