Farnham Features

Farnham Features

by Kari Koehler

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With the current art show by Hu Hung Shu in the Farnham gallery in Mary Berry Hall, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the beauty in these magnificent paintings.

At first glance, the paintings seem somewhat dismal, but full of meaning. When walking into the gallery, the paintings have a dark personality, abstract and capable of conveying all kinds of emotions in a person.

All of the paintings are black and white and therefore leave more to the imagination. Many may think of art as something to entertain, but while it should entertain at on some level, the more enjoyable aspect is being able to find meaning in the art. Shu’s paintings allow the viewer to make their own interpretations.

For example, with the painting “Seclusion,” the viewer sees a descent, with white color at the top slowly changing into the black at the bottom. It could be a descent into seclusion, or even depression or insanity. But there is a light spot in the darker colors, and it could seem like rolling hills with a secluded cave beneath the white sky.

What really makes the paintings distinct, though, is the simplicity.

Simple shapes, patterns and an abundance of layers evoke impressions of what Shu is trying to portray. A simple black shape can take on many different meanings depending on how one looks at it.

For example, in the painting “Abstruse” one may see white paint flowing into the black in the middle.

The paintings show off Shu’s technical abilities also. In many of the pieces, layers upon layers of paint accentuate a deep vibe and confirm the emotion or meaning Shu wants to convey.

David Richmond, assistant professor of art, had Shu as an instructor at the University of Iowa and was excited to bring Shu’s art to Simpson.

“He prides himself in not specializing in anything; you could call him a Renaissance man of sorts.”

A reception will be held Oct. 17 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Farnham Galleries to allow people to meet Shu. There is also a public lecture scheduled for Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in Camp Lounge.