Oriental brush painting exhibition draws attention


Students and faculty gathered to look at the various paintings at the Oriental brush painting exhibition in Sullivan Library on Nov. 18.

Students and faculty gathered to Sullivan Library on Monday, Nov. 18, to see Chaminade University of Honolulu’s semi-annual Student Oriental Brush Painting exhibition led by Sister YoungHee Benedicta Ha.

The event was from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Ha first started teaching Oriental Brush Painting in 2006, and every semester she holds an exhibition to showcase her students’ artwork from throughout the semester.  The 13 students in the class were awarded with certificates and candy lei in recognition for completing the course.

“They have been really good. They put their effort and do their uniqueness,” Ha said.

Ha explained that Oriental art is different from western art because it’s easier for the students to express their personal lives, especially when they’re able to select the landscape they want. She said that she teaches them the basics but afterward, they can go out and draw nature and do the technique of Oriental art.

“I actually really enjoyed the class,” said Max Kamm, who is a senior. “It was really nice. It’s like at the end of the day, and it is actually really relaxing.”

Kamm said the class is challenging, but it’s rewarding after understanding the movement and feeling when working. He felt that satisfied when his work came together and he saw improvement.

“This, I think, has probably the greatest variety of very good pieces. You know, the students are all learning, so you can see the levels of learning,” said Dr. David Coleman, director of the Humanities department. “But when you’re walking through the exhibition, you see the beginners who have gotten the beginning of the art, but you also see some beautiful pieces by the research group.”

According to Coleman, the research group has been working for five years. He said they’ve progressed greatly and are picking up the liturgical art question, “How do you use art as an expression of prayer?” He said he was fortunate and pleased that Ha has given time to nurture the students.

“I really enjoyed the class. The lectures and scripture reading help me deepen my reflections while creating my art pieces,” said Melody Anzai, who is a junior participating with the research group. “While painting I open my heart to God and invited the Holy Spirit to work through my heart and hands.”

Anzai is grateful for her work being displayed in the exhibition. She hopes that her painting brought joy to people and that they experience a liturgical and spiritual connection with the God through her work. She felt that her peers did a wonderful job and that each of them had a different message to share.

“It’s very interesting,” said Anzai. “The longer I look at the pieces they draw me in, creating a different connection each time.”

Erqi Wang, 26, who has gone to exhibitions in the previous semesters, thought the exhibition was a great way to allow students to share their ideas and imagination with others by using the oriental brush painting technique.

“I think the good part is that students in the oriental brush painting class can talk to other students about what they did in the class and what the class all about, so that more people can take the class in the future,” Wang said.