Tina Keng Gallery at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2016
For the 2016 Art Basel in Hong Kong, Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present Eastern Narratives in Ink, a project that inquires into possibilities of ink wash through the merging of Eastern aesthetics and Western art theories, of diverse mediums and creative methods, of experimental expressions, artistic vision, and visual presentation, by highlighting five artists: Guan Liang, Zao Wou-Ki, Wang Huaiqing, Su Xiaobai, and Peng Wei.
The project unfurls with the planar works of Guan Liang, Zao Wou-Ki, and Wang Huaiqing, guiding viewers to Su Xiaobai’s sculptural paintings, onto Peng Wei’s landscape scrolls suspending in midair.
One of the forefathers of Chinese contemporary art, Guan Liang (1900-1986) was deeply influenced by Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism. A revolutionary grounded in the Western painting approach, he infused oils with the essence of ink, in free and childlike brushstrokes overflowing with artistic ideals of the times, hence changing the face of Chinese contemporary art.
Rendering serendipitous splashes of oil in Chinese traditional cunfa (shade and texture method), Zao Wou-Ki (1921-2013) forged vast abstractions in oil reminiscent of ink painting. Mottled traces left by his paintbrush rolling, twisting, and rubbing on the canvas, constellate into color subtleties interlaced with Eastern thought. The richness of his palette reinforced by the tone of oil paint, achieves a profundity that escapes the reach of traditional Chinese ink.
Continuing his Chinese Emperor series, which debuted at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2013, Wang Huaiqing (b. 1944) reinterprets the visage of an emperor by skewing figurative painting, accentuating the undulating relationship between composition, balance, and color. Emerging from the tip of his paintbrush is a grand portraiture redolent of history and legacy.
Inspired by the ink wash technique of layering, Su Xiaobai (b. 1949) mixes oil paint with lacquer, and through repetitive layering on wood or linen, creates an individual language of abstraction.
Peng Wei (b. 1974) centers her art practice on the history of art, delving into the wisdom, memory, sorrow, and sense of reality found in ancient work. She adopts traditional methods as she intertwines text with contemporary concepts on paper, capturing the serene aura of ancient landscape, while conveying the cultural heritage and history in her scroll installations.
As a pioneer of Chinese modern and contemporary art, Tina Keng Gallery presents Guan Liang and Zao Wou-Ki, old masters both critically acclaimed and highly sought-after, as well as contemporary artists Wang Huaiqing, Su Xiaobai, and Peng Wei, who are constantly in the spotlight of the art circle, all in an attempt to stimulate greater possibilities of visual experience as well as the art market at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2016. Eastern Narratives in Ink delves into the ink wash genre steeped in contemporary and Western influences, with the works of these five artists from the early 20th century and 21st century, beckoning viewers to reflect on Chinese tradition in our exploration of the art world today.