Arthill Gallery is pleased to showcase the online exclusive show Ink: Speak works by Shi Rongqiang.
Shi Rongqiang was born 1973 in Shandong, China. He graduated from Qufu Academy of Fine Arts of Shandong Normal University and Nanjing Art Institute of Fine Arts where he was tutored by Professor Zhou Jingxin.
Currently he is teaching at Qufu Academy of Fine Arts of Shandong Normal University and he is a member of Nanjing Painting and Calligraphy Institute. His works are in numerous famous collections such as the Liu Haisu Art Museum, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art and Zhu Qizhan Art Museum.
Rongqiang uses traditional Chinese ink painting techniques to create two dimensional artworks with the addition of subtle lighting. Chinese ceramics from the Tang dynasty – the golden age – Ming dynasty, and Hung dynasty have all had an influence of the texture and colour of his work. This is most apparent in the prominence of the colours white, green and brown and the use of Gong Bi and Baimiao techniques throughout his work.
Rongqiang seeks to communicate human emotions through the actions and presentations of the animals in his artwork. His works are meant to be read as human portraiture, akin to an actor on the stage, performing for the audience.
Many of the pieces in the artists' collections communicate a feeling of magic. It is evident European fairy tales (most notable tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm Brothers) have influenced the concepts behind his work, especially the humanistic expressions of the animals depicted.
His older works are influenced by Japanese printmaking, called Ukiyoe. The composition of the painting is inspired by theatre and performance; the animals in the works are performing like real actors on the stage.
In his work, Rongqiang mixes two and three-dimensional aspects, and the spectator can watch the scene from an aerial perspective. Typical for a stage but unlike the traditional Chinese paintings, his works have subtle variations of light and shade.