Lamar University students, faculty, and staff got a unique lesson recently, as leading Chinese artist and critic Charles Liu gave a cultural seminar on Chinese brush painting.
The free lecture, “An Introduction and Demonstration of Chinese Brush Painting” was held in the Spindletop Room on the 8th Floor of the Mary and John Gray Library on Lamar University campus and was open to the public. Following a brief introduction, Liu demonstrated the Chinese art form of brush painting.
In a mere 40 minutes, Liu turned a blank sheet of rice paper into a beautiful painting. Beginning with black, Liu painted the outline of a tree and other natural elements. While he painted, Liu explained each paintbrush he selected. Brushes made of wolf hair, horsehair or deer hair create different effects on the rice paper. 
Liu stuck with the basic colors of Chinese artwork–brown, yellow and blue–and painted a natural landscape that is true to traditional Chinese art. He told seminar-goers that although Western art uses lots of reds and other bright colors, Eastern landscape art tends to focus more on browns in order to reach a sense of peacefulness.
Contemporary artists with expertise in both traditional Chinese and Western art are difficult to come by, but Liu was a perfect fit for our students,” said Julie Chen, lecturer of Chinese. “The audience was attentive to each step of the painting, and it was great to have him at Lamar.”
Liu is recognized for his artwork, as well as his critiques. He serves as the art columnist for World Journal Weekly, the largest Chinese daily newspaper in North America. He has been invited by international art exhibits numerous times, has published more than 200 articles and has conducted more than a dozen solo exhibitions in the U.S., Spain and Taiwan.
Born in China and raised in Taiwan, Liu is one of the most respected Chinese brush painters in his generation. He graduated from the National Taiwan Art Institute and then attended Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain. Upon his arrival in the U.S., Liu began teaching at North Central College in Illinois. Liu resides in Houston.
This was the first event for the Lamar Chinese Club, which formed in January. The club works side-by-side with Chinese language and culture courses to introduce fellow students to diversity of thought and experience, while promoting intellectual and personal growth.
The Chinese club officers are President Brandon Robinson of Sour Lake; Vice President Shellen Richardson of Bleakwood; Historian Jada Guo of Beijing, China; Secretary Nick Fadley of Van; and Treasurer Haley Addison of Port Neches.
 For more information, contact Chen at or (409) 880-8565.