Gao Xingjian 高行健
Chinese-French, born 1940
Selected exhibitions
Gao Xingjian – Layers of Light, Ink in Mind,
Alisan Fine Arts
Calling for a New Renaissance : Solo Exhibition of Gao Xingjian,
Asia Art Center
GAO XINGJIAN. Retrospective,
Musée d'Ixelles

Chinese playwright, critic, and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gao Xingjian also produces poetic and complex ink-on-paper paintings. Neither figurative nor abstract, his paintings play with light and shadow and point toward narratives, often including the silhouette of a figure travelling into the distance. Monts et cours d’eau (Mountains and Streams) portrays distant mountain ranges, with various shades of ink wash suggesting different terrains and hues found in nature. Xingjian has described his ink works as “more than self-expression, self-purification.” After suffering political persecution and being forced to destroy his paintings during the Cultural Revolution, Gao fled China to begin a life in exile in 1987, later becoming a French citizen. His paintings have served as the covers for various editions of his books.