Wang Dongling is one of China’s most highly regarded ink artists. Trained in classical calligraphy, he studied at the progressive Zhejiang Academy and became increasingly involved in China’s avantgarde movement in the mid-1980s. While continuing to work in traditional styles, he also explores the abstract potential of calligraphy in freely brushed works that can be compared with Western gestural abstraction. His latest Chaos Script series is considered a breakthrough in contemporary Chinese calligraphy, and he has been asked to perform this unique style of writing in a large scale format at institutions around the globe. His work has been collected by numerous institutions including the British Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Wang Gongyi was born in Tianjin, China in 1946, received her master’s degree from the Printmaking Department at Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now China Academy of Fine Arts) in 1980, and stayed on to teach after graduation. In 1986, she was invited by the French Ministry of Culture to study art and art education in France, and to participate in exhibitions. In 1992, she worked as an associate professor in the Department of Printmaking at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts and moved to the United States in 2001. From 2004 onwards, Wang Gongyi reached a climax in art creation, when new experiments and themes constantly emerged. She broke free from many physical and mental restraints. With the ambition, anger and grief of her youthful years gradually melting away, she has returned to her nature. In 2005, after accidentally painting exclusively with Windsor Blue, Wang became addicted to using the color in artworks that are sometimes abstract, sometimes landscapes, and sometimes floral. The subtle and pure beauty of her works is always able to touch the viewers’ feelings and take them to a peaceful and refreshing environment free of noise and restlessness.
Born in Hangzhou, China, Yan Shanchun graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou in 1983. He currently lives and works in Hangzhou and Shenzhen. Early in his career he worked as an ink painter before concentrating on scholarly and academic studies for a number of years. After a long hiatus he returned to painting in 2005 and since 2010 has been active as a printmaker. West Lake in Hangzhou, one of the most famous and beautiful landscapes in China and a source of inspiration to countless painters and poets for well over a thousand years, provides the thematic content of both his paintings and prints. West Lake has become an increasingly disembodied presence in Yan’s paintings over the last decade, culminating in the works of 2016. Rejecting the traditional media of oil on canvas or ink on paper, Yan evolved a hybrid technique in which the image emerges from multiple layers of sanding the layers of plaster powder on which he paints, allowing only glimpses of landscape motifs to emerge. His hommages to West Lake and all it stands for belong to a long tradition but it is the unfailing interest of the painterly surface, full of surprises and unanticipated effects including scratching, scraping and erasing, that holds the attention of the viewer.
Yuan Song has a particular interest in things that are in order Being borderline obsessive compulsive, he is easily stressed because the things around us are often in disorder and chaos. About a year ago, Yuan made the conscious effort to explore the non-orderly part of the world by collecting cheap materials either transparent or sparkling. He pieces them together to form a foreign, micro, luxurious world. The works are seductively magnificent on the outside, like a fragmented, highly concentrated view of the consumer world. In a network of colorful rays of light, diamond-like objects shine brilliantly in front of mirrors. Looking at these works is just like entering into a fantasy of desires. Everything looks very beautiful, but in fact we are not seeing anything real but transparent void and mirror images of a maze. What we see in those twisted mirrors are the passionate but confused faces of our own.