Essence of Contemporary Chinese Art
28 May - 22 June 2013
Zao Wou-ki (1921 Beijing China-2013 Switzerland) was recently passed away on 9 April in Switzerland and Chu Teh-chun (born 1920 Jiangsu China), both are Chinese-French artists. They were students of Lin Fengmian, (1900-1991) the pioneer of modern Chinese painting. Zao and Chu both studied at the National College of Art in Hangzhou in 1935 and left for Paris in 1948 and 1955 respectively. While drawing from their Chinese roots, they became the exponents of Lyrical Abstraction in oil painting after being inspired by Western art. Their glowing and colourful oil on canvas are world renown and are collected by major museums around the world. Alisan Fine Arts is the first gallery in Hong Kong to exhibit Zao’s works on canvas and paper in 1993, then in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2009. For Chu Teh-chun, the gallery held a solo exhibition in 1999 and another one at the Museum of Hong Kong University in 2004.
Chao Chung-hsiang (1910 Henan China-1991 Taiwan) and Walasse Ting (1929 Wuxi China-2010 New York) both left for New York in 1958. Their works display the aesthetic beauty of Chinese ink brush stroke on rice paper yet at the same time reflect a Western influence with the use of acrylic colours. Chao's subjects include flowers, fish, birds, Yin-Yang, the cosmos and abstraction while Ting favours women and flowers. Like Zao, Chao was also a student of Lin Fengmian’s while studying at the National College of Art in Hangzhou. Walasse Ting on the other hand studied briefly at the Shanghai Art Academy in 1948. Alisan Fine Arts has organized four major solo exhibitions for Chao Chung-hsiang since 1992, including two travelling shows in 2000 and 2004, and FINE ART ASIA 2009, ART HK 12. For Walasse Ting, we have held numerous solo exhibitions, the first show was in 1986, the latest in 2010, also FINE ART ASIA 2009, ART HK 2010 and 2012.
Gao Xingjian the 2000 Nobel laureate (born 1940 Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China) and Yang Jiechang (born 1956 Foshan, Guangdong, China) are both Chinese Paris-based artists. Gao moved to France in 1987 while Yang left for Paris in 1989. Gao learned to paint at the age of eight, and published his first novel at ten. In 1987 he moved to France, became a French citizen and has lived there ever since. Gao reveals himself as both a scholar and painter whose work is deeply rooted in Eastern and Western traditions. Gao admits he is steeped in two-dimensional traditional Chinese painting, and yet he is also very attracted by the depth of Western painting. This explains his use of ink, and his powerful sensuous strokes in creating spatial depth pitching black against white, and stillness against movement. He has been working on his new media Chinese ink on canvas since 2006. Since 1994 Alisan Fine Arts has been representing Gao Xingjian, organizing his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 1996, and subsequently in 1998, 2002, 2008 and 2004 in New York. His works were also shown at FINE ART ASIA in 2009.
Yang Jiechang studied art and Taoism in Guangzhou before moving to Paris in 1989. Taoism has deeply influenced his art, particularly the theory of “sublimation in meditation.” His most famous series “Hundred Layers of Ink” which he uses multiple layers of ink on paper to create large textured black spaces both shiny and matt (recalling the dualistic Taoist principle) into which the spectator is drawn, successfully breaks through traditional constraints using ink. The effect upon the viewer is to produce a feeling of contemplative tranquility. Stillness and liveliness coexist in his work, though seemingly simple, they are in fact highly complex. Alisan Fine Arts organized his solo exhibition at the Museum of University of Hong Kong 2001 and also showed his works at FINE ART ASIA 2009 and ART HK 2010.
Wang Tiande (born 1960 Shanghai, China, currently living in Shanghai), an innovative Chinese avant-garde ink painter and scholar from Shanghai, is a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, Dean of the School of Communication & Design at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. Wang's burnt calligraphy series has been exhibited at the “Brush and Ink: The Chinese Art of Writing” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Sept 2006 to Jan 2007) and his works have been collected by the British Museum, London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Hong Kong Museum of Art and museums in China.
Wang's new landscape paintings combines traditional ink medium with burn marks to create landscape images in a new and exciting way. Consisting of two layers of rice paper, the landscape on top is “painted” with a cigarette instead of ink and brush, revealing glimpses of the real landscape underneath. By carefully burning the contour and shades of mountains, trees, the digital inscription, and combining the stele rubbings of Qing Dynasty in his new series of 2013, the artist reveals his talent and training in Chinese traditional landscape painting. Thus the unique burnt landscapes stand out with their distinctive quality. We have organized his solo exhibitions in 2003, 2007, and brought him to FINE ART ASIA 2009 and ART HK 2010.
Wei Ligang (born 1964 Datong City, China, currently living in Beijing), one of the most significant artists of the post-modern calligraphy movement in China during the last 20 years, attempts to transform Chinese calligraphy into contemporary abstract ink painting. In 2005, as a fellowship grantee from Asian Cultural Council Hong Kong, Wei travelled to New York to do research on recent developments in contemporary art.
As an art based on Fushan's cursive calligraphy, Wei Ligang's ink work has a close relationship with Chinese characters and writing. He adds cursive to the already complex seal script to make his work illegible, resulting in paintings of non-semantic forms. Other times borrowing from Japanese modern calligraphy and Western Abstract Expressionism, his strokes entwining, tangling, penetrating, overlapping, sometimes combine with metallic colour, creating a visual complexity of magical power and metamorphic unpredictability.
Since the1980s, he has exhibited in New York, London, Sydney, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xian, Chengdu, Hong Kong, and Taipei. His works are collected by the British Museum, UK; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Today Art Museum, Beijing and He Xiang Ning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China. We have done a solo exhibition for him in 2006 and brought him to FINE ART ASIA in 2009, ART HK 2010.
Yu Youhan (born 1943, Shanghai China) is a major figure in the Shanghai Minimalist movement in the mid-1980s and has been a strong influence on the Chinese avant-garde art scene ever since. He graduated from the Central Institute of Technology in Beijing in 1970 and has been teaching at the Shanghai Institute of Industrial Arts since 1973. Although better known for his political pop Mao series, he began painting abstract art in the 1980s after visiting a Zao Wou-ki exhibition in Hangzhou and an abstract art exhibition organized by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in China in 1985. In 2012, for the first time in his illustrious career, Yu Youhan took up the challenge of extending his artistic expression to lithography. These works follow the tradition of his earlier abstract paintings and represent a continuation of his “Circles” created in the 1980’s, inspired by his immersion in Laozi’s Tao Te Qing. Yu has had numerous exhibitions around the world including France, Italy, UK, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, Australia and China. We have brought him to ART HK 2010.
Man Fung-yi (born 1968 Hong Kong), Hong Kong woman artist focuses on sculpture and installation work. Her works are executed in brass, bronze and steel. She graduated from fine arts department, Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1990 and established Chic Studio in 1995. She got her Master of Fine Arts in 1999 and Master of Arts (Daoism), Cultural & Religious Studies in 2008 from Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was also awarded the Winner of Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition in 2003. In this exhibition, we will include her most recent works of “Weaving series” depicting the traditional Chinese outfits which are based on her mother or her own clothes. Her works are unique. Man has held several solo exhibitions in Beijing and Hong Kong since 1990. She has participated in numerous local and overseas exhibitions, including a travelling exhibition by Louis Vuitton in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in 2011-12. Her works are collected by Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, China International Cultural Association, Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Hong Kong Housing Dept., Hong Kong Airport Authority, MTR Corporation, international hotels, banks, private corporations and private collectors. Alisan Fine Arts has been representing her sculptures since 2007 and has brought her to ART HK 2010 and FINE ART ASIA 2012.