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You don’t always have to go to a world-famous museum to see a great art exhibition. That’s the message Cheryl McGinnis, chief art correspondent for Cheddar.com, eagerly relayed after visiting Connecticut College recently to see "Zhang Hongtu: Van Gogh/Bodhidharma,” which runs through April 15 in Shain Library’s Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room.
“This is a small show, but a very important show,” McGinnis said. “To see it in this setting within a college campus in a library is amazing."
Zhang, a New York-based Chinese immigrant who has earned international acclaim for his work in different media, is known for challenging the Chinese government and exploring themes relating to East-West cultural divides. His work was recently featured at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City as part of its exhibition, “Art and China After 1989: Theatre of the World.”
Most of the 39 ink paintings on display at the College are being shared publicly for the first time. Each painting blends van Gogh’s self-portraits with the style of classical Zen portraits of Bodhidharma, the first Zen Buddhist. Zhang has also created a new video installation specifically for the exhibition at Conn. The show is free and open to the public.