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“Flying Tigers: An Exhibition by Haoqin Gong” comes to Downtown Museum
Haoqin Gong’s aviation art captures the strong connection between the Chinese people and a special group of American pilots during WWII. His sepia, monochromatic paintings and drawings tell the story of the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, known as the Flying Tigers, and their relationship to China during 1941-42.
On exhibition at the Radford University Art Museum Downtown from Oct. 13-Nov. 16, museumgoers will experience Gong’s visual storytelling. He spent five years collecting historical data and photographs about the Flying Tigers, learning about when retired U.S. Army Corps officer Claire Lee Chennault brought 100 outdated Warhawk fighter planes to China, along with 99 American pilots and ground crew. They joined the prolonged Sino-Japanese war in 1941 and were greeted by the Chinese with love and esteem.
Today, the Flying Tigers are a symbol of two cultures on both sides of the Pacific working toward a common goal in war and peace. Both China and the United States praise these fighter pilots as a valued national memory. On Aug. 1, 2016, the Flying Tigers celebrated their 75th anniversary.
Gong is a guest artist of the Radford University Department of Art, working with master watercolorist Z.L. Feng. Gong is an associate professor at Beihang University.
Born in Suizhou, Hubei province in China in 1973, he graduated with a doctorate from the Academy of Art and Design in Tsinghua University in 2007.
In recent years, Gong engaged in aviation paintings and published multiple collections: “Look Up At The Starry Sky, Wondering Brush Stroke” and “academism elite.” He is well-known for his painting exhibition on China's space exploration, “Flying with the Wings of Art,” displayed during the 58th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
“In the spirit of international exchange and relationship building, it has been a very enriching experience for the college to have Dr. Gong as guest artist for this year,” said Margaret Devaney, dean of Radford’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. ”The exhibition continues to strengthen the ties between our two universities and the college enthusiastically looks forward to working with Beihang University on collaborative art projects in the not too distant future!”
“Flying Tigers” was recently shown at Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C. The exhibition featured his work along with pieces by students and alumni from the graphic design program.
Gong will be at the artist reception Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, at the Radford University Art Museum Downtown at 1129 East Main Street, Radford, Virginia. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is open to the general public. Admission is free. For more information, please contact the museum at 540-831-5754.