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Visions of Vietnam explored in new exhibition at the Kennedy Museum

Hoi-an by Frederick HarrisATHENS, Ohio (April 5, 2004) -- A new exhibition of watercolor paintings, "Frederick Harris: Traveling with a Brush in Vietnam," opens at the Kennedy Museum of Art on April 16. This exquisite exhibition includes 50 masterful sumi and watercolor paintings produced artist Frederick Harris between 2000 and 2002 in Vietnam. A resident of Japan, Harris traveled throughout Vietnam painting on-site from the north border with China down to Hoi-an and Hue in central Vietnam. With graceful movements of his brush, he has created an astonishing body of figurative works, and captured the timeless beauty of the landscapes, architecture and commonplace scenes of Vietnam.

The public is invited to a gallery talk with the artist on April 15 at 5:30 p.m. and to a public reception on April 16, at 6:30 p.m.; the artist will be in attendance. The exhibition will be on view through June 13.

Harris writes: "What makes my work different from a Chinese or a Japanese painter? I am, after all an American and Japan is my adopted country. Also I was trained in European traditional methods and thinking. First of all, my outlook towards the subject is different. What seems so common and matter of fact to the Japanese can be very attractive to me. Scenes such as back streets or village rooftops excite me visually."

Frederick Harris"I am still dependent on the sun for light and shadows, which do not interest Japanese artists very much. I like picturing shadows which almost never appear in Japanese art. Depth and three-dimensional space is also a very important part of my visual language. The Western sense of perspective based upon Renaissance theory is very different from Japanese and Chinese attitudes towards landscape painting."

Frederick Harris was born in New York in 1932. He studied art at several schools including the High School of Music and Art, the National Academy of Design in New York, and taught at the Art Centre School in Los Angeles before he joined the Japan Artists Association in 1964. With his wife Kazuko, Harris has lived in Japan for the past 46 years. In 1967 he established The Design Studio, one of Japan's most respected interior design firms. He was a visiting professor of art at Ohio University in 1996 and in 1997 received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Ohio University. Since 2001, Harris has been a visiting professor at the Hanoi Fine Art College. He is the author of numerous books including "My World of Japanese Art" and "My Journey with Sumi-e Art."

"Frederick Harris: Traveling with a Brush in Vietnam" is organized in association with Ohio University's Bicentennial Celebration and is made possible with support and assistance from the Office of the President, Ohio University.

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