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Imaginative oil paintings on view at Chelsea gallery

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A collection of lush, dreamy oil paintings, and a couple of drawings by artist Cai Jin, are currently on display in Chelsea. The show, titled Return to the Source, is part of Jin’s larger Landscape series and her paintings feature colorful designs, many of which appear to be unique creations of Earthly beings such as birds, insects, and flowers. Jin has described these works as “landscapes of the mind,” acknowledging that they are not landscapes in the conventional sense.

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When creating these works, Jin relied solely on her intuition, letting her mind, and her brush guide her. To her these paintings are personal journeys through imaginary landscapes, an activity she finds gratifying and therapeutic. Serving as a counterpart to her paintings, are black and white drawings she did of pears, where she draws the fruit in a very focused, deliberate manner.

Cai Jin is one of the most prominent female artists in China. She gained recognition in the early 1990s for her paintings of meirenjiao (translating to “banana plant”), where she got the idea for after coming upon a dying plant in her native city of Anhui. Since then, she has painted about 400 variations on the theme.

At Chambers Fine Art, 522 W. 19th St., through May 24th. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 10 a.m.—6 p.m.

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