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Ink Asia Booth K1 Private Preview & Vernissage: Brushing Nature Landscape Paintings

Exhibition details

3 October, 2019
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:
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Ink Asia Booth K1 – Brushing Nature Landscape Paintings

Fang Zhaoling, Lee Chun-yi, Li Huasheng, Lui Shou-kwan, Nan Qi, Tai Xiangzhou, Zhang Yu

Private Preview (By invitation only): 3 Thurs 3-9pm

Vernissage (By invitation only): 3 Thurs 6-9pm

Lecture: 4 Oct, Fri 4-5pm, Lecture Hall Ink Asia

Dialogue between Liu Kuo-sung and Lee Chun-yi: The Cultural Inheritance of Contemporary Ink Art (in Putonghua with simultaneous translation into English)

Moderator: Lesley Ma, Curator of Ink Art, M+ Museum, Hong Kong

Public: 4-6 Fri-Sun 11am-7:30pm; 7 Mon 11am- 6pm

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

In addition to Ink Asia, photographs by New York celebrity photographer Markus Klinko will be displayed in the public area of Fine Art Asia

Alisan Fine Arts is proud to participate in Ink Asia for the fourth time since the fair’s inception in 2015. Our booth this year focuses on the genre of landscape painting (山水畫), whose history within Chinese painting traces back for more than 2000 years. Through this presentation of masterpieces by seven artists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, we aim to demonstrate the evolution and development of contemporary Chinese landscape painting in recent years.  Represented artists include two late Hong Kong ink masters, Fang Zhaoling and Lui Shou-kwan, the late Sichuan painter Li Huasheng, and four artists working within the New Ink Art movement – Beijing-based Nan Qi, Tai Xiangzhou, Zhang Yu, and the Taiwanese artist Lee Chun-yi, who studied under the renown “Father of Modern Ink Painting,” Liu Kuo-sung.

Thirty years ago, when the international art scene was still dominated by Western art, Alisan Fine Arts understood the potential of contemporary ink painting and actively pushed for its advancement, curating the important landscape exhibition Modern Chinese Painting: Selected Works of Beijing, Hangzhou and Sichuan Painters at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1989. This exhibition introduced seven well-known ink artists from Mainland China to the Hong Kong public, including Peng Xiancheng, Zeng Mi, Nie Ou, Jia Youfu and Jiang Baolin – all important painters of “New Literati Painting” (Xin Wenren Hua).  At that time, another new trend “Experimental Ink” was gaining momentum in the Mainland. From that time on, diversification of styles within Chinese ink painting has become mainstream to contemporary Chinese art. Among these styles, contemporary landscape painting stands as a noteworthy category with a broad range of approaches and nuanced techniques.

Lui Shou-kwan

A highlight at our booth is the extraordinary landscape painting created by Lui Shou-kwan in 1969, depicting Hong Kong’s famous countryside resort Guanyin Grotto in Tsuen Wan. Lui Shou-kwan is the pioneer of the “New Ink Movement” in Hong Kong and arguably the most important Hong Kong artist of the 20th Century. Born in Guangzhou in 1919, Lui moved to Hong Kong in 1948. He advocated the innovation of traditional Chinese painting, merging elements of East and West, to open up a new direction for Chinese ink painting. Lui Shou-kwan’s intent however was not revolutionise or subvert tradition, instead he was determined to maintain the legacy of Chinese ink art and leaned upon his foundational training in linmo, the copying of ancient masterpieces. While still in Guangzhou Lui studied under the important early modern master of literati Huang Binhong (1865-1955), from whom he learned the importance of sketching the landscape en plein air, as the ancient ink painters created landscape painting in their studio only after first visiting the actual outdoor location. Over his many years of service at Yaumatei Ferry Company, Lui took every opportunity to observe and sketch the mountains and sea vistas of Hong Kong. In the semi-abstract vertically staged composition Guanyin Grotto, the colour and vibrancy of the ink perfectly captures the uplifting and serene atmosphere of the nature reserve. Although now best known for his “Zen Abstractions” created from the 60s forward, Lui continued painting traditional literati landscapes and fine delicate works (Gongbi Hua) up until his death in 1975.

Since the 1960s, Lui has held more than 50 solo exhibitions at museums across the UK and the US, including three solo exhibitions at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK, including a recent Centenary retrospective (2018-19). After his death in 1976, Lui’s works have continued to be presented in major international exhibitions, including Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, the United States; Vancouver Art Museum, Canada, and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. At our booth, highlighted works include Guilin Landscape (1956), Hong Kong Landscape (1960s), and a Taiwan Landscape inspired by his travels in 1971.

Fang Zhaoling

Another famed Hong Kong artist, Fang Zhaoling stands out as a female master within the history of Chinese painting and calligraphy. She is especially celebrated for her landscape paintings depicting the Vietnamese boat refugees of the 1970s, as well as rugged mountain vistas, expressing her connection to the Chinese motherland and an optimistic spirit of struggle. Like Lui Shou-kwan, Fang was born into a scholarly family. In her early studies, Fang studied landscape painting under Qian Songyan (1899-1985) at the Wuxi Painting Institute. In 1950, she moved to Hong Kong, and learned from Zhao Shao’ang (1905-1998), a second-generation artist of the Lingnan School. In 1953, Fang became an understudy to Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), master of 20th century Chinese painting. Later, she travelled throughout the mountain and lake regions of Europe and the United States. In the 1960s, she returned to Mainland China, visiting the famous natural wonders, such as the Yellow Mountain and Yangtze River, from which she drew inspiration. At their peak, her landscape paintings were described by artist Zhang Daqian as “innocent” and “raw.” She studied the calligraphic brushstroke techniques of Wu Changshuo (1844-1927) and Qi Baishi’s (1864-1957) while also probing the sensibilities of Western modernism and abstraction. Her artistic style is typically described as simple, expressive, and childlike, and her paintings are often thematically based on social and cultural events of historical significance. Fang passed away in 2006, at the age of 92. Her 50- plus years of creative devotion was recorded in over 50 exhibitions held in overseas major art museums, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco– Chong-Moon Lee Centre for Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco, USA; Scottish National Museum of Modern Art, Edinburg, UK; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China. After her death, her works have continued to be exhibited in various museums and art institutions, including Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University, Cambridge; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; West Lake Art Museum, Hangzhou, China; Asia Society, Hong Kong. For Ink Asia, we have selected Fang’s masterpieces across a variety of themes, including the commemoration of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, and a scenic rising sun.

Li Huasheng

The Sichuan painter Li Huasheng, who passed away last year, is an exemplar of an artist who experienced the evolution of ink art theories in Mainland China. After training in oil painting, traditional ink painting and seal carving, Li came under the liberating influence of Chen Zizhuang, developing expressionist ink paintings (chiefly landscape) for which he is best known. After his work was exhibited by the National Art Museum of China, Beijing in 1981, Li gained recognition in the international art scene. Since then, he has exhibited in exhibitions worldwide in major museums in Europe and America, including Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibition: From the People’s Republic of China, travelling to eight institutions in the United States from 1983 to 1986, from the Asia Society in New York to the University of Minnesota; Tradition and Innovation (1995), travelling to the British Museum, Museum in East Asia in Germany, Singapore Art Museum, National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and Hong Kong Museum of Art. In addition, the University of Washington published the academic monograph on Li Huasheng Contradictions in English in 1993, detailing Li’s artistic creation during the era of Mao Zedong. Later in his career, after a visit to Tibet in the 90s, Li, inspired by the ritualistic prayer of the of Dali Lama, elected to forego landscape painting completely and turn to minimalist ink painting. For the fair, early works of Li’s hometown Sichuan landscape painted in the 1980s and 1990s will be on display. These rare compositions are outlined with expressive bold lines in combination with bright colours.

Among the new generation of artists of contemporary landscape, Beijing painters Nan Qi and Tai Xiangzhou, and Taiwan’s Lee Chun-yi are incorporating different techniques into traditional practices. Both Nan Qi and Tai Xiangzhou experienced the Cultural Revolution as young men.

Nan Qi

After serving in the military, Nan Qi graduated from the Chinese Painting Department of the People’s Liberation Army Art Academy in Beijing with a passion for the painting of the Song and Yuan Dynasties. Drawing inspiration from the camouflage of military uniforms and repetitive patterns popularized in Pop Art, he invented his own “Nan Qi halo dots,”, dot-matrix-like technique of that allows viewers to experience the effects of 3-D visual imagery. In this way, his works represent the pinnacle of a merger between science and ink art. Important exhibitions in recent years include: China New Ink Painting Exhibition 1978-2018, Minsheng Modern Art Museum, Beijing and Being and Inking: Documenting Contemporary Ink Art 2001-2016, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou. His works have been collected by Luxe Art Museum, Singapore; National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China, to name a few. Works on display are based on the classical painting Early Spring by the Northern Song Dynasty ink master Guo Xi, which is in the collection of Taipei Palace Museum.

Tai Xiangzhou

Tai Xiangzhou is famous for visually arresting landscapes on silk based on the concept of Taoist universality.  Using a rich layering technique of monochromatic grey shades containing all 5 gradients of ink, he captures the mystical vastness of the universe. As a teenager, Tai studied calligraphy under the famous calligrapher Hu Gongshi (1912-1997) in Ningxia. After graduating from the Department of Digital Media at Media Design School, Auckland, New Zealand, he worked became a highly successful graphic designer. However, he elected to return to artistic studies, earning a Ph.D. in Department of Painting, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing. In recent years he has participated in several important international exhibitions, including Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Painting from the Collection of Akiko Yamakazi and Jerry Yang at The Cantor Arts Center of Stanford University, United States (2018), and was included in four different group shows at Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery in New York. Selected museum collections include Brooklyn Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, United States, to name a few.

Lee Chun-yi

Within the Taiwanese art scene, artist Lee Chun-yi is at the forefront of the ink movement. A former student of Liu Kuo-sung, Lee received a doctorate in Chinese art history at Arizona State University and currently teaches at Taiwan’s National Normal University in Taipei. He is famous for using Chinese engraving and stele rubbing techniques to create landscape paintings composed of the stamps of individual Chinese characters. Viewed from a distance, his mountain-scapes and sea views come to life. Approaching the painting, the viewer discovers that the vista is actually an amalgamation of characters, including Buddhist scriptures or poems, expressing a lofty artistic conception. In recent years, Lee has exhibited in many important international ink exhibitions, including Beyond Ink: 20th China Shanghai International Arts Festival Program at China Art Museum in Shanghai last year, and The Literati Within at Sotheby’s Gallery in New York. His work has been collected by Ashmolean Museum, UK and Arthur M Sackler Museum of Harvard University, USA.  On display are two new works created for Ink Asia.

Zhang Yu

Zhang Yu (China b.1959) is an internationally known mixed media and performance artist based in Beiing. Throughout his artistic career, he has been engaged with the language of art and experimental ink painting, contributing to and reforming the discursive boundaries of ink art. His early series, Divine Light, became internationally recognised when included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Ink Art: Past As Present in Contemporary China, in 2013. The Fingerprints series emerged from Zhang Yu’s fervent preoccupation to advance ink painting beyond his classical training and the expressive limitations of brush and paper into a novel contemporary format. The sculpture Fingerprints – Shoushan Longevity Mountain is one of his latest works created for our current exhibition at Alisan Fine Arts Central, Zhang Yu, Fingerprints: Boundaries of Time and Truth, on view through 9 November. Zhang’s works are collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco, US; Benetton Museum, Venice, Italy; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Chengdu Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, to name a few. His work is currently featured in the four-stop travelling show The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China which is travelling across the United States from the Los Angeles County Museum to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.


Markus Klinko

In addition, several iconic images by the award-winning international fashion & celebrity photographer Markus Klinko, will be featured in the public viewing area of Fine Art Asia. Since the 1990s, the New York-based artist has worked with several of the world’s most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, and Iman. His editorial clients include Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, and Interview magazine. Brands such as Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, Nike, Hugo Boss, Anna Sui, Pepsi, Skyy Vodka, and Remy Martin have hired Klinko to create advertising campaigns. His campaign for Keep A Child Alive raised over one million dollars for children with AIDS in just 3 days. In March of this year Alisan Fine Arts held a very successful, highly acclaimed solo exhibition for Klinko in support of the Adventist Hospital Foundation, marking the photographer’s first charity art initiative in Hong Kong.


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