A Sketch about Erjun
— Eargendgello · Erqian
After reading a book about the mystery of the universe, Erjun dreamed of becoming an astronomer who could watch starry skies from an ancient telescope. With the dream never ending, she became a good player of table tennis, which suited her vivacious character. She used to be a tomboy climbing trees and walls, running in sports ground like a fish shuttling in water. This concerned her dream of riding on a strong horse in the prairie or deserts, which she inherited from her nomadic ancestors. Erjun experienced sports career with flower, tear and sweat. She retired from table tennis at age of nineteen. She was still young and hated to see vulgar and corrupt social atmosphere. She decided to devote herself into art and would save the world, and swore her oath that she would not live over forty years old.
Our grandpa was an official. He left us an old house in a quiet courtyard in Chengdu City. Grandma was a Chinese painter, she left us an artistic gene. When I practiced painting, Erjun, seven years younger than me, was just a naughty little girl running after me for a picture with fairy maiden. She said her elder sister had a classical beautiful name – Erqian which made her pretty; she had a boy’s name Erjun Zhao which made her a tomboy. However, Erjun’s free, easy and forthright character made it easy for her to get along with people. She had high comprehension of painting, and always learned from each other by exchanging art views and skills. She had many art friends who have become famous, such as Wang Hai, Zeng Damao, He Duoling and Zhu Cheng. Those paintings exchanged with each other casually in those years have been invaluable today.
After leaving Chengdu in 1978, Erjun worked diligently and experienced joy from her art career in Shuzhou University, Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and Central Academy of Fine Arts. She migrated to the United States in 1991, held her first solo art exhibition in 1995, and began working at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU Arts) in 1996. At the university, she received high evaluations from her students, receiving a Teaching Mentorship Award,. From 1999 she began to paint the “East meets the West” series which gained great attention and news coverage from various news agencies. In 2000, Erjun got her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU Arts). In 2002, she received the Professional Artist Award from the Virginia Art Museum. She held solo art exhibitions nine times. She is on the board of the Virginia Branch of US – China Friendship Association, a member of US Oil Painter Artist Association, and was a contracted artist of Eric Schindler Gallery. Her artworks were collected by museums, foundations, corporations, galleries and individuals of China, Japan, Europe and USA.
Presently, Erjun commutes between the United States and China.. She contines to teach and opens fine art exhibition in United States. In China she receives support from her husband of 23 years and inspirations for her art. Meanwhile, she endeavors to bring culture exchange beteen the United States and China. Today, Erjun still enjoys playing badmitton, tennis, and table tennis, receiving first place in Richmond, VA, USA last year. Painting and sports are her life rhythm just like walking on two feet or like a pendulum on a clock. Now, she is going to live as long as allowed by God.
Infatuation with the mystery of the universe led Erjun to God. She talked to me about seeing a film in the Space Museum in Washington, DC. She was greatly moved by the scenes in the film, the nebula, billions and billions of light years away from the earth. She feels that mere humanity is so small compared to the greatness of God, and life is too short, but they still declared under the immense starry sky that humans were the yardstick as a master of the universe, which was a tragic comedy. She also talked about the shadow of the three bronze statues in the garden of Rodin’s former residence and the Gate of Underworld which might be incomplete forever. Then again, Gaogen’s ancient Question: Where are we coming from? Where are we going?
Eargendgello · Erqian
Master of Arts and Crafts Sichuan Provinc
Director of Arts and Crafts Association Sichuan Provinc