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U.S. artists exhibit paintings inspired by Chinese culture

2015-03-12 14:23 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Dozens of oil paintings portraying the life of ethnic minorities in southwest China, which are on display at an art gallery in Haikou, have been drawing positive responses from local viewers.

The show, themed "Chinese minorities-American perceptions", is being exhibited at the Christ Church Cathedral's Cloister Gallery located in downtown Houston.

Vicky Gooch, 58, told Xinhua Wednesday the show is the fruit of a recent culture appreciation trip to China's Yunnan, Guangxi and Guizhou by herself and her fellow painter Mary Frankel.

Traveling through the lush jagged countryside of southwest China, Gooch and Frankel took note of the rich cultural diversity amid the colorful and picturesque villages dotting this region.

Both of them chose to relive the experience through painting after the two-week trip in 2012. And it took them more than two years to do so.

Frankel, who had never been to China until that trip, said she was "pleasantly surprised" in her trip.

"I was astounded by the natural beauty and the cultural diversity. The Miao, Dai and Bai ethnic groups, to name just a few, and their elaborate costumes and extricate handicraft are incredible," she said.

Gooch said she was impressed with the Chinese government's efforts in helping to preserve those cultural traditions.

"I am happy to see those cultures are being cherished and preserved by the people and Chinese Government," said Gooch.

She was also a witness to the changes that took place in those far-flung villages.

"Roads are being built. Airplanes are coming in. People are getting a better life. You can definitely see the changes," she remarked.

Ellen Harrison, who manages the gallery, told Xinhua the exhibition has been warmly received by native visitors.

"It is an educational and inspirational experience for them," Harrison said. "The only sad thing is that we don't know more about those people and their culture."

"We often think of China as being on the opposite side of the globe from us. The language, both spoken and written, is about as different as you can get. It seems a challenge to move past our preconceived ideas of people with such different ways. And yet, when we stand close and look into the eyes of a (Chinese) child we see that we all have dreams, dreams for a happy life with peace, prosperity and special people to love," Gooch wrote in her blog.

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