(Portland, ME) Inspired by the historic “elegant gatherings” (雅集) of the Song Dynasty, where artists, poets, sages and scholars would come together to drink tea and contemplate art and life, Ya Ji is a modern day salon focusing on the new waves of Chinese and Asian contemporary art and culture as they intersect with New England.
Ya Ji East/West Cultural Gatherings brings China to Portland, Maine Hosted by Portland-based Fox Intercultural Consulting, this first Ya Ji gathering includes an exhibition and a talk, Journey to the East, by Portland artist, Mei Selvage. The title of the exhibition refers to a famous Chinese novel, “Journey to the West” (西游记), published in the 16th century. The novel describes a monk and his three mythical students who went on an odyssey-like pilgrimage to the Western Pure Land where they obtained sacred texts and fulfilled their life missions. Ms. Selvage used this story as an analogy for her own inner journey, searching for her artistic and spiritual home.
“My art is my way to tell stories and compose visual poetry,” explains Ms. Selvage. “I love to use words, colors and images to reveal the interplay of hidden and perceived realities. To engage and tell meaningful stories, I continuously integrate diverse techniques and materials from the East and West, both ancient and contemporary.”