‘A Brush with Nature’ an exhibition of Chinese paintings opens at Enniskillen Castle; Fermanagh County Museum

12th February 2019

“A Brush with Nature”, an exhibition of contemporary Chinese paintings was officially opened by the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton at Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle on Saturday 9 February 2019.

The exhibition features a collection of Chinese watercolours by artist, Rong-Gen Yin. Originally from Shanghai, Rong-Gen Yin began painting in the traditional Chinese manner in the 1970s. He moved to Northern Ireland in 2003 and has continued to paint and teach traditional Chinese painting techniques since then. Rong-Gen’s work embraces the two main techniques of Chinese painting – Gongbi, where intricate brushstrokes form detailed coloured landscapes, which can include narrative themes and Xieyi, which is much looser using bold brushstrokes and watercolour wash.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton said:

“Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world and this exhibition by Chinese artist, Rong-Gen Yin not only showcases the inherent beauty of Chinese art but also reinforces Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Museum and Heritage service’s continuing commitment to engaging with all communities, cultures, abilities and faiths to promote inclusion, understanding and wellbeing.”

Commenting on his exhibition, Rong-Gen Yin said:

“The Chinese New Year is celebrated in many towns and cities in Northern Ireland and I am pleased to have my exhibition launched in the Fermanagh County Museum at Enniskillen Castle during the Lunar New Year fortnight. Chinese people are very proud of their long history and rich culture. Since settling in Northern Ireland, it has been my greatest dream to be able to intertwine Chinese art with western culture, making the world more beautiful through art. This exhibition, which showcases the exquisite nature of traditional Chinese painting, will attract new audiences across Northern Ireland when it goes on tour to various museums in 2019.”

Sinead McCartan, Director, Northern Ireland Museums Council commented:

“The Northern Ireland Museums Council is delighted to support the exhibition A Brush with Nature. We are very grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for providing funding to enable the exhibition to tour to four museums across Northern Ireland during 2019 and support free workshops.”

Traditional Chinese painting uses many of the same techniques as calligraphy, where gesture and control of the brush form part of the artistic method. Since earliest times nature, in particular the landscape and the creatures that inhabit it, has been the main source of inspiration for Chinese artists.

As part of the launch, guests were treated to a traditional Lion Dance and had the opportunity to avail of workshops in Chinese calligraphy and origami as well as authentic Chinese cuisine. This was made possible with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Council’s Good Relations service.

This exhibition continues at Fermanagh County Museum, Enniskillen Castle until 30 March 2019. Normal opening times and admission rates to the Museum apply. For further information please visit www.enniskillencastle.co.uk or telephone 028 6632 5000.