Art at Ashman: East Meets West

Chinese Fine Art Association: East Meets West exhibit on display at Alicia Ashman Library from July-August 2017. 

Through thousands of years of development, ink painting derived its unique character from oriental art. It does not mimic or imitate nature, but is a process of observation, meditation and expression. The artist cultivates and contemplates with vitality and passion until the object and subject become inseparable and the images flow out as a wholesome one.  It is the art of using strokes of a brush or lines to capture object or scenery. This technique was developed in 4000 B.C. Three painting styles are known in China throughout the dynasties. 

The elaborate style began in the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD). It uses fine lines, carefully drawn elements and multiple layers of color to create subtly shaded detailed paintings on rice paper and cicada paper with Chinese pigments. The spontaneous style uses free flowing application of pigment or ink on paper to attain the feel of the subject rather than showing lifelike details. The landscape style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD) combines elements of both above styles to show misty mountains, rocky cliff, pines, lakes and waterfalls.


Chinese Fine Art Association (CFAA) is a non-profit organization located in Madison. It was established in 1999. The main focus of the Association is to provide an opportunity for members to share their interest in Chinese brush painting and to exhibit their art at local galleries, museum and many other facilities. Some of the members have participated in Japan’s Annual International Sumi-e contest and have received prestigious awards for scroll art. Please visit their website at for more information and to view art images.