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Poetic Rainbow: The Calligraphy of Wang Dongling

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
15 September, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
27 October, 2017
Event Category:
Calligraphy Performance and  Artist’s Reception Friday, 15 September 2017, 6 to 8pm
Exhibition Period 15 September – 27 October 2017


Hanart TZ Gallery is honoured to announce the opening of Poetic Rainbow: The Calligraphy of Wang Dongling, a solo exhibition of works by eminent calligraphy master Wang Dongling, on Friday, 15 September 2017. In celebration of the exhibition, the gallery has invited Wang Dongling to undertake a live calligraphy performance at the opening. We hope to bring everyone together to celebrate this special moment; please join us!

The theme Poetic Rainbow refers on the one hand to the use of colour in descriptions of nature and life in the writings of Tang and Song poets and in popular lyrics of the period. It also alludes to the unusual way Wang echoes the poetic themes through the use of colour in his calligraphy, employing colour pigments instead of ink, and often writing on coloured paper. The exhibition showcases the many facets of Wang Dongling’s exploration and practice in the art of calligraphy, whether in terms of spirit, medium or display.
The exhibition will feature a range of Wang Dongling’s latest pieces, including his unique Entangled Script. Entangled Script is the culmination of Wang Dongling’s lifelong pursuit of an art that is both universal and Chinese, forward-looking and firmly grounded in the past. Wang Dongling breaks away completely from the implied grid of traditional calligraphy, interweaving individual characters and entire columns into an amorphous field. As the text verges on illegibility, its linguistic meaning becomes an open question. The calligraphic lines take flight in their variations in texture and rhythm, and yet remain tenuously tethered to the text as musical performance is to score and meter.

Another highlight of the exhibition is a set of calligraphies written on transparent coloured sheets measuring two meters in height. Through interaction with the lighting of the space, the lines, texture, rhythm and momentum of the calligraphy are transformed into an encompassing realm of aesthetics, allowing the audience to experience the tension inherent in the “Entangled” calligraphy and its impact in public space.

The exhibition runs from 15 September to 27 October 2017.


Artist Biography

WANG Dongling (b. 1945, Jiangsu province, China)

Wang Dongling is currently Professor in the Calligraphy Department of the China Academy of Art (CAA), and Director of CAA’s Contemporary Calligraphy Research Centre.

Wang’s work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions internationally, including ‘China: Five Thousand Years’ (1998), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; ‘Brushes with Surprise: The Art of Calligraphy in Modern China’ (2002), British Museum, London; ‘Brush and Ink: The Chinese Art of Writing’ (2006), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; ‘Lanting Pavilion Review: China Calligraphy Exhibition’ (2010), Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussel.

His recent solo exhibitions include ‘Wang Dongling: The Bamboo Path’ (2017), OCAT Shenzhen; ‘Between Heaven and Heart: Wang Dongling’s Calligraphy’ (2016), Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing China; ‘Wang Dongling: Contemporary Calligraphy’ (2016), Gus Fisher Gallery, New Zealand.

Wang Dongling’s calligraphy public performances have been acclaimed internationally, and have taken place at a number of major institutions, including Abu Dhabi Art (2016); British Museum, London (2016); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2016); Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing (2016); Vancouver Art Gallery (2016); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015); Universität Hamburg, Germany (2015); Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2014); City University of Hong Kong (2013); Hong Kong Museum of Art (2013), etc.

In 2014, the Apple Computer company commissioned Wang Dongling’s monumental calligraphy as a main image feature of the Apple Store in Hangzhou China. In 2016, Apple Computer’s new i-Pencil on iPad Pro was launched with Wang’s calligraphy.

Wang Dongling has expanded the ground for ‘modern calligraphy’ and transformed traditional elements, making them sympathetic with contemporary experience. What Wang Dongling has achieved with his monumental calligraphy is more than a technical breakthrough; he has galvanized the visual experience of calligraphy and reconstructed its image as a form of ‘contemporary’ art.


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