DSFederal Business Process Analyst Jessica Chen is also an accomplished artist who has studied Chinese painting for over 15 years. Jessica is a member of the Harmonious Art Group, whose work is currently on display at the Annual Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy Exhibit at Bohrer Park Activity Center in Gaithersburg. As Jessica recently explained, traditional Chinese artists typically work in ink and watercolor, on rice paper. Although artists are free to choose and interpret subjects, the most traditional form of Chinese painting focuses on birds and flowers, landscapes, animals, or people. Flowers include all plants, especially the “Four Gentlemen:" Bamboo, Plum, Orchid, and Chrysanthemum. These four, while inherently beautiful, are also especially meaningful. Bamboo, flexible and strong, represents resilience; while the plum tree, which blooms in winter, symbolizes hope. Chrysanthemum, an autumn plant that is a reminder of the coming winter, symbolizes strength and endurance in harsh conditions; and the orchid represents spring and new life.
Traditional Chinese painters, Jessica explains, paint “the spirit of what they see,” so artists are taught to look beyond form and color to find symbolic meaning. “You write your painting,” Jessica says, “and paint your writing.” If the artist is successful, the observer will see not only the work of art, but the thoughts and emotions that inspired its creation. Jessica, who is also a writer and jewelry designer, is naturally suited to this expressive and story-driven form of art.
The Harmonious Art Group’s work will remain on display at Bohrer Park until June 25. Visitors are welcome during community center hours—Monday through Saturday, 8 AM to 9 PM; and Sundays from 8 AM to 5 PM. For a preview, click through the slideshow, above. We are proud of Jessica, and all of DSFederal's multi-talented people!