Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 14 News List

Different strokes for different folks

By Diana Freundl  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese brush paintings by Jessica Lin, an instructor at Yi-Jhan Gallery. The gallery is now offering classes in English and Chinese.

PHOTO: DIANA FREUNDL, TAIPEI TIMES

A Chinese brush painting (中國水墨畫), like calligraphy, tests an artist's skill. In landscape painting, for instance, there are over 30 different stroke styles and depending on the amount of ink used, each carries a different meaning.

It sounds complicated, yet for many Chinese, painting can be considered a form of meditation or a relaxing hobby. For others, it's a means to learn about Chinese arts and culture.

There are numerous schools offering art classes in Taipei and understandably most are in Chinese. Brush artist and instructor Lin Hong-jia (林鴻嘉), however, has decided to offer classes in English at his newly opened Yi-Jhan Gallery (藝展畫廊) in Tianmu.

Lin's daughter Jessica Lin (林悅如) has given up her weekends to teach the Chinese brush painting classes to beginner and intermediate students in English. The 22-year-old fine arts major has been teaching children and adult classes part-time for the last five years and she has been painting "ever since I could hold a brush."

Clearly, understanding Chinese is not a prerequisite for taking an art class.

"Because so much of the class is visual, a lot can be learned by just following along. As you study the technique, you can also study the

language," the elder Lin said. In addition to his Tianmu location, he has been offering Chinese and Western oil painting classes for more than 30 years at his gallery in Zhongxiao East Road area.

Lin said that many of the students have little, if any, background in painting. "We teach people of all ages, mothers, their children, even businessmen. It doesn't matter how old someone is when they start."

"Some of best students are those with no previous training. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the class," he said.

Those too shy to partake in group classes can arrange for private lessons through various art schools or with instructor and graduate students in university departments.

An average class-size is between two to 10 students and is priced at NT$5,800 for 24 hours (12 two-hour classes).

Lin's prices are comparable to others around town. Classes are ongoing and those interested can either call to register or stop by the gallery. Many studios offer instruction in Chinese only.

Class Information:

Classes in English and Chinese

Tianmu: Yi-Jhan Gallery (藝展畫廊) 306, Zhongshan N Rd,Sec 6, Taipei (台北市中山北路6306) Tel: (02) 2835 6250.

Community Services Center :

25, Ln 29, Zhongshan N Rd, Sec 6, Taipei (台北市中山北路613 25) Tel: (02) 2836 8134 www.community.com.tw.

Classes in Chinese only

Zhongxiao: Yi-Jhan Gallery Fl 2, 7 Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 6, Taipei (台北市忠孝東路672)

Tel: (02) 2786 5858.

Yonghe: Hippopotamus Art Studio (next to Fuhsing Mei Gung Art College) 191, Xiangliang Rd, Sec.1, Yonghe (秀朗路1191)

Tel: (02) 2233 1718.

Private or small group classes with Chinese brush artist

Peng Kang-long (彭康龍)

Tel: (0911) 831 212.

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