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Alisan Fine [email protected] Basel Hong Kong 2016-Contemporary Landscapes: From Modern Classics to the New Vanguard

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
23 March, 2016
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
26 March, 2016
Event Category:

Booth 3E15

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

1 Expo Drive, Level 3, Wanchai, Hong Kong

22-26 March 2016

22,23 Private Preview & Vernissage

Alisan Fine Arts is pleased to present “Contemporary Landscapes: From Modern Classics to the New Vanguard” at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, featuring 8 contemporary Chinese artists. Our display will seek to examine the shifting currents in landscape painting within the ink tradition, and showcase three new emerging artists: Chu Chu, Yao Yuan and Hao Shiming.

A student of the prominent calligrapher Wang Dongling, Chu Chu attained her PHD in calligraphy from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2015, her recent works are a combination of photography and ink, and further investigates the concept of xieyi (freehand brushwork in traditional Chinese painting characterized by vivid expression and bold outline). In her pictorial world, simple text is situated against the painted lines of the image and the sharpness of the photographs. Together they form introspective landscapes that draw the viewer into a state of repose. In contrast, Yao Yuan, retains the use of traditional ink and brush techniques, but abandons conventional compositional structures. She is currently the director of Landscape Painting Research Institute at Nanjing Painting and Calligraphy Academy. She plays with perspective and scale, while featuring auspicious symbols and signifiers from Chinese culture, allowing the viewer a glimpse into a boundless image. Also born in the 1970s, Hao Shiming, a Beijing artist, innovates upon ink art concepts, and attempts to extract the most pure elements from traditional ink painting -such as lines, transforming and reconstructing them. Within his paintings, scattered lines build together a landscape of monumental mountains and elongated rivers, almost like the brush is dancing unconstrained. Along with light colours, they express a powerful leaping rhythm, as if the spirit of ink itself flows.

Our display will also introduce three artists who are challenging orthodox Chinese landscape painting: on display will be works by the celebrated artist Wang Tiande, who re-imagines the traditional landscape by examining the medium of shuimo (water and ink painting), while demonstrating an interest in the fragility and ephemerality of cultural forms. His works utilize burn marks, which resemble Chinese poetry, but are formalistic in nature rather than signifiers of language. His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the British Museum, London. Similarly, Qiu Deshu collages together small pieces of torn rice paper, showcasing the unique textural quality of rice paper, and simultaneously expressing the difference in light and shading with each layer. The artist believes that shanshui (mountains and rivers) painting is the highest form of Chinese traditional art, so his works find their origins in tradition, and after being torn apart and recombined, they express a raw and unfiltered nature, and the return to a simple truth. We will also feature works by the acclaimed artist Xu Jianguo, who combines ‘traditional’ aesthetics and formats, reminiscent of court paintings from the Southern Song Dynasty, with contemporary buildings and landscapes, complicating the relationship between past and present, tradition and evolution. His demure painterly landscapes confront the viewer with a simple question of how the progressive urbanization of landscape is influencing our conception of real and perceived landscapes; do we embrace this new nature afforded by the cityscapes, or will we strive for the sublime landscapes depicted in “Travelers among Mountains and Streams” by Fan Kuan (c.960-1030)?

Taking note from the exhibition “New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond”, curated by Director Alice King, our exhibition will also present artworks that question the boundaries of ink painting, as defined exclusively by medium or philosophy. Mok Yat-san, a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and recognized local and international sculptor, piece “Listening to the Breeze”, follows the formats of a traditional Chinese hanging scroll, but turns this format into a three-dimensional work. In doing so the viewer is taken beyond the mere representational threshold of a painting’s frame, and resembling a shanshui work is able to move freely about the work. Relatively new to the art scene is photographer Stephen King, whose works are created in the spirit of the ink tradition, but like Mok Yat-san, complicate the rigid definition of ink as product of medium.

Each artist –whether consciously or unconsciously– represents a trend in the hope to ‘modernize’ or ‘revitalize’ the Chinese tradition of landscape painting, recalling tropes from the Song dynasty in form and content, or seeking new inspiration from artistic traditions in and around the East/West dichotomy. We hope this curated selection of works will attest to the pluralism existent in modern and contemporary ink painting.


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