In partnership with Chambers Fine Art, we present an immersive exhibit of modern Chinese masters alongside historic objects to explore the question: how do you find peace during turbulent times?




"Great art invites you to another place, offering you space to imagine and move within."

—Betsy Nathan, Founder of PAGODA RED





Grounded in questions about calm amidst disorder, the pairings of past and present art consider process, history, culture and philosophy.




Objects from centuries past are coupled with the work of seven leading artists:


Lu Hui finds his creative focus in the “micro-landscape,” inspired by the subtle and exquisite details found in the natural world if one only looks closely. Constantly refining his own stylistic approach to traditional ink painting, Lu captures the minutia of his subjects with a combination of photorealistic accuracy and expressive, freehand brushwork.

Taca Sui uses his camera to carefully conjure the past within a fleeting present. Seeking locations that resonate in Chinese history, he travels throughout the country documenting sites that allow him to trace the ancient past through geologic time.

Yan Shanchun was among the first of a generation of artists who emerged from the academies when they were reopened after the Cultural Revolution. His abstract compositions emit a quiet emotion and aim not to describe but to evoke through carefully observed details. His paintings are informed by traditional Chinese art forms and Western abstract painting.

Wei Jia creates paper collages of lingering memories and ambiguous feelings. Informed by the traditional Chinese arts of calligraphy, painting and poetry, he layers fragments from his past in simple, abstract forms. His works reveal the artist’s own experiences and presents his heart in a straightforward and improvised way.

Xie Xiaoze paints photo-realistic works and each are a monument to the preservation of human knowledge. Deeply aware of “the vulnerability of culture,” he memorializes archival materials from libraries around the world, examining the effacement of historical memory and the decline of printed matter today.

GAMA grew up within a nomadic tradition in Mongolia, where shamanism and the supernatural continue to play an important role. Through his colorful oil paintings of surreal subjects, he subverts the conventions of his medium and offers insights into those worlds of imagination explored in his childhood.

Lao Tongli incorporates imagery of blood vessels into his work, each work is laboriously painted as a meditative exercise in patience. This series of colorful ink paintings began as a way to cope with his father’s long battle with heart disease. Each work is meticulously painted as a meditative exercise in patience.




“Those who must exist amidst the bustle of market noise need have their studios and retreats quiet and peaceful, their pavilions broad and spacious in spirit, and their studies filled with an atmosphere of remote tranquility.”

 -Wen Zhenheng, Ming Scholar, Painter & Garden Designer


Visit the exhibition at PAGODA RED

March 30 – May 21

1740 W Webster Ave, Chicago
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm