By Peter Frank
Kylin Gallery has been established to encourage this cross-fertility through education, marketing, and, most especially, presentation of and support for art and artists that consciously “build bridges” between East and West. By opening in BeverlyHill, KG has targeted the Pacific Ocean as the body of water it will span with its metaphorical bridge. But this spirit of bridge-building will lead the gallery in all appropriate directions. Its program will feature art by Eastern and Western artists alike who look across the geographic and cultural divides in order to marry and merge idea and practice. The results will be not simply hybrid, but fused: in the art at Kylin, it will be hard to tell where one civilization leaves off and the other comes in, but it will be easy to tell both are present.
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Chen Chi (1912–2005) was a renowned Chinese painter who became a United States citizen, where he lived and worked for much of his career.
Chi was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China in 1912. He taught painting at the Wu Pen and Huai Chiu high schools for girls from 1938 to 1944, and at the St. John's University School of Architecture in Shanghai from 1942 to 1946. He first began exhibiting his work in annual art exhibitions in Shanghai in 1940.
In 1947 Chi relocated to the United States through a cultural exchange program to paint and exhibit his work. His first one-man show in the United States was at the Village Art Center in New York City in 1947. Chi lived and worked at the National Arts Club in New York for 40 years, and in 1966 received the National Arts Club Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. In 1954 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician, and became a full Academician in 1964.
Chi's works have been shown extensively throughout the United States including at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1948); the Miami Beach Art Center (1952); the La Jolla Art Center and the Witte Museum (1953); and the Charles and Emma Frye Art Museum in Seattle (1955). He was the first living Chinese artist to be honored with a one-man retrospective of his oeuvre at Versailles, in conjunction with the first World Cultural Summit in June 2000.