Pan Yu Lin

Galerie Lamoi

When Honolulu’s newest art gallery, Galerie Lamoi, opened its spanking white basement quarters downtown last December, its ambitious plans included showings of Paris and Chinese artists. The first exhibit to arrive from the French capital are oils and watercolors by Pan Yu Lin, veteran painter of Chinese ancestry and training now residing in Montmarte. (Mrs. Char, the gallery’s director, describes Pan Yu Lin “as a very well known personality there”).

In this showing of 16 oils and 14 watercolors (a combination of Chinese ink and watercolor done with the soft Chinese brush), the artist concentrates on the nude female figure. At first it is somewhat of a shock to be surrounded by so many voluptuous nudes with Oriental faces, as the Western tradition and fondness for the female nude is completely opposed to the Eastern presentation of women. In the East they are rarely subjects for entire compositions and are usually relegated to secondary positions. In addition, the sensual implications here are also clearly outside Far Eastern painting traditions.

However, once this shock is past, a few of the works, especially the watercolors, have a certain attractive delicacy. Pan Yu Lin’s efforts to adopt Western techniques in the oils are not as successful.

––Joanna Shaw Eagle