Facing today's Contemporary Chinese Art scene, I'd much rather observe, from an elevated vantage point, in order to understand why a traditional artist, even if he possesses extremely high painting skills, must not become an "elitist" artist of the 21st Century.
I want to stand, high up on the mountain top, with supporters of traditionalism to create and investigate the golden age of our era.
Gao Huijun 2014
On September 13, 2014, “High Up on the Mountaintop – Recent Works by Gao Huijun 2014” will be unveiled at Longmen Art Projects. This solo show will showcase more than 20 of the artist’s latest works, including several acrylic on canvases that he is noted for. A few Chinese ink paintings on rice paper will also make their debut. The gallery is expected to take on a refreshing appearance with simple and elegant layout. Gao Huijun has extensive and profound knowledge of Chinese traditional painting and culture, which enables him to convey the spirit of China’s contemporary art with unique skills and techniques.
Gao Huijun, born in Hebei Province in 1966, graduated from Central Institute of Arts and Crafts in 1992 and set up his own studio in Songzhuang, Beijing in 1994. Fellow artist Yang Shaobin describes him as a scholarly critic by nature, although he tends to cover his real opinions with symbolism, which has become his motif. For instance, he plucks out the tail feathers of the birds in his paintings, taking away their ability to control their direction of flight, which is a perfect allegory of the awkward situation in Chinese society. Through the recessive rebellion of the kind, the artist tries to pass on his personal viewpoint to the audience and enlighten them with his reflection on the crux of China’s cultural dilemma. “This series of symbolism paintings aim at the fact that China’s contemporary culture seems to have lost its sense of direction. It’s neither Chinese nor Western. Sometimes it wants to fly north and ends up going south”. The exhibits of this solo show focuses on that subject. The audience will find it easy to identify with the artist’s pessimistic view towards Chinese declining cultural spirit.
It is worth mentioning that this solo exhibition will unveil several of his latest Chinese ink and color paintings on rice paper for the first time. Gao Huijun believes that the philosophy of Taoism is a proper approach for the audience to really appreciate Chinese landscape paintings and the realm that lies beyond the scenery. Using a deeply rooted humanistic approach, Gao Huijun has returned to the intrinsic nature of traditional Chinese painting; applying the most simplified techniques and artistic language to carry on the essence of Chinese art, and broadening the prospect of Chinese contemporary landscape paintings.
Gao Huijun has always been searching for a breakthrough within traditional conceptions, trying to establish the humanistic spirit of our generation. “I try to stand at the commanding heights to see the whole picture of China’s contemporary art and understand the concept of tradition. However, we should avoid having another ‘ Four Wangs ’ (a artistic school of the Qing Dynasty which is obsessed with copying ancient waters and mountains masterpieces), no matter how highly skilled we become.” Said him. As he said, Gao Huijun always tries to stand on higher elevation to overlook the state of our culture and bring about the “peak” of this era. When immersing ourselves in the classic elegance of his art works, we may have become the witnesses of the sublimation of the artist’s understanding for Chinese contemporary art.
“High Up on the Mountaintop – Recent Works by Gao Huijun 2014” solo exhibition will last until October 25. Longmen Art Projects sincerely invite art lovers and patrons to the exhibition and experience the delight of Gao Huijun’s landscapes.