Italian artist's works show influence by Chinese monk Shi Tao

( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-04 08:57:13

Italian artist's works show influence by Chinese monk Shi Tao

Italian artist Beatrice Caracciolo is displaying her works in Beijing inspired by Chinese ink painting.[Photo by Wei Xiaohao/China Daily]

Italian artist Beatrice Caracciolo's abstract works have long been inspired by Chinese paintings. Her debut exhibition in Beijing that opened on Tuesday seeks to show that influence.

The 61-year-old works with different media.

On show at Beijing's Temple gallery are seven large-size photo etchings from her Fire series.

Caracciolo appeared in a traditional Chinese dress at the opening of the Beijing show.

She says fire symbolizes creativity and energy-which, from her point of view, is an essential element of Chinese culture.

But her images of fire aren't in blazing red-they are black and white, the two major colors used in traditional Chinese ink painting.

"I deeply respect Chinese old art, especially the monk Shi Tao," Caracciolo says.

Shi Tao (1642-1708) was famous for his landscape paintings and calligraphy. The monk advocated the line that "what one painted came from what one saw in the mind". The idea echoed with Caracciolo, she says.

When she started etching classes at New York University decades ago, her Indian teacher introduced her to Shi Tao through a book. It has guided her creativity since.

Though the artist produces paintings, drawings, sculptures, etchings, installations and videos, her major works center on paintings that she began at the age of 8.

Many of Caracciolo's paintings are abstract.

"The amazing thing about Chinese painting is the beauty of lines or brushstrokes," she says.

A single line in Chinese ink painting can resemble a stone, a pond, a tree or anything its painter envisions, Caracciolo says. She has always wanted to understand and experiment with it.

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