News Release - Monumental Site-Specific Installation by Contemporary Chinese Artist Tang Qingnian Will Go on View June 22

Posted on Wed., May 15, 2019
Artist will discuss the work and his residency at The Huntington on May 19

SAN MARINO, Calif.— A special installation of a new work by visual artist Tang Qingnian 唐慶年 will to go on display in The Huntington's Chinese Garden on June 22, continuing through Sept. 23. "Tang Qingnian: An Offering to Roots" 唐慶年:根之祭 will feature full-size prints of five monumental banner paintings, the largest of them 18 feet in length, suspended from a bamboo framework above the water of the Chinese Garden lake. Two years in the making, Tang's series of ink paintings memorializes the devastating wildfires that ravaged California in 2017 and 2018.

In addition to the banner paintings, which have been printed on weatherproof material for outdoor display, a small selection of original handscrolls and albums by the artist will be on view inside the adjacent Waveless Boat Pavilion.

Tang is the 2019 Cheng Family Foundation Artist-in-Residence at The Huntington. He will discuss the new work he is undertaking during his residency in a free public program on Sunday, May 19, at 2:30 p.m., in Rothenberg Hall. Tang will offer an overview of his approach to art-making, explaining especially how he uses traditional calligraphy and painting in contemporary contexts. The artist will be joined in conversation during the program by Phillip E. Bloom, the June and Simon K. C. Li Curator of the Chinese Garden and Director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies at The Huntington.

“Tang felt compelled to respond to California’s wildfires, taking brush in hand to sketch roots and wood torn from the earth,” said Bloom. “In creating An Offering to Roots, he also drew inspiration from historical Chinese poetry that likens the fate of trees to the fate of humans—a message with particular resonance as society confronts the effects of climate change.”

During his year-long residency at the Huntington, Tang is also creating an original video artwork—a “moving ink painting,” as he describes it, inspired by the four seasons in the Chinese Garden. The work will be screened as the culmination of his residency in spring 2020, during The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration.

The Beijing-born artist was one of the first supporters of China’s “New Wave” art movement in the 1980s, serving as a member of the organizing committee for the “China/Avant-Garde” exhibition held in Beijing in February 1989. Since relocating to the USA in 1991, Tang has been engaged with visual creation in various media, including painting, sand drawing, sculpture, and screen printing.

For additional information, call 626-405-2100 or visit

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Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140,

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. In 2008 The Huntington established its Chinese Garden—Liu Fang Yuan 流芳園, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance—which is one of the largest and finest classical-style gardens outside of China. Through its Center for East Asian Garden Studies, The Huntington uses the Chinese Garden as the focal point for a wide variety of lectures, symposia, exhibitions, and performances that promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.

Visitor Information
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, Calif., 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Information: 626-405-2100 or