by Yosley Carrero
HAVANA, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Luis Enrique Camejo, a 49-year-old painter, has found in Chinese culture an incentive to develop his work from a rooftop studio in Havana's Cerro district.
He honed his skills as a visual artist during a three-month stay at the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, where he learned Chinese painters' techniques in the use of watercolors and calligraphy.
Camejo brought rice paper, Chinese ink and stones when he came back from China in August 2011. Since then, he has embarked on a thrilling ride to depict Chinese daily life and customs.
"Chinese painters contributed greatly to the development of the world painting. During my travel to China, I learned many things that I am putting into practice nowadays," he told Xinhua.
With depictions of cyclists riding on congested avenues, bamboo forests defying gusts of wind, and plum blossoms in winter, the artist captures the essence of modern life in China.
Chinese people are also part of the artist's new exhibition, which includes more than 100 pieces of art work made with coffee pigments after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic on the island in March.
Opened in late November at Collage Havana gallery, Camejo's Coffee Time exhibit explores coffee time rituals in modern societies, and reveals how Chinese lifestyle and traditions impacted the artist's work.
"China embodies the symbolism of the lotus flower, which blooms in the most diverse scenarios," he added.
Cuban museums and galleries in the country's capital reopened in early October after being closed for more than seven months during the lockdown as a precautionary measure to slow the nationwide spread of the pandemic.
Curator of Camejo's exhibition, Meira Marrero, said the Cuban artist got insights into the use of calligraphy in Chinese painting, adding that strong cultural links unite the two countries.
"Chinese painting style has influenced not only the work done by famous Cuban painters of Chinese descent such as Wilfredo Lam and Flora Fong, but also those by other young artists as well," she said.
At present, social distancing measures are in place at Cuban galleries and museums, and visitors are provided with disinfectant solutions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 contagion.
However, Camejo's work is also promoted thanks to the Behart online platform, which makes Cuban fine arts visible through new technologies of information and communication during the health emergency.
"People from Beijing, London or New York who want to make an online tour around the exhibition will be welcome. Fine arts share a common and universal language," said 22-year-old Adrian Fonseca, who operates the online gallery.
"Painting has no borders," he added. Enditem