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The Illustrated Word: Artwork Inspired by Calligraphy

Asia Week Special Presentation

NEW YORK (Greenwich Village)

March 12 – 19, 2020

Cui Fei 崔斐

Cui Fei 崔斐
Tracing the Origin IX_I_iii 溯源之九_一_三
2012
Silver gelatin print photogram 明胶银盐物影摄影
61 x 41 cm (24 x 16 in)

Fu Xiaotong 付小桐 (b.1976)

Fu Xiaotong 付小桐 (b.1976)
135,207 Pinpricks 135,207 孔
2019
Handmade paper 手工宣纸
65.5 x 116 cm (25 3/4 x 45 1/2 in)

Guo Hongwei 郭鸿蔚

Guo Hongwei 郭鸿蔚
The Study of Inscription - Harmony, Independence, Balance and Preeminence 题字学研究-亲爱精诚
2019
Watercolor and calligraphy on paper 纸上水彩与书法
76 x 58 cm (30 x 22 7/8 in)

Qiu Zhijie 邱志杰

Qiu Zhijie 邱志杰
Forever Night (Green) 夜末央 (绿)
2005
C-print 彩色印刷
100 x 100 cm (39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in)

Wang Dongling 王冬龄

Wang Dongling 王冬龄
Wei Yingwu - Chu Zhou Xi Jian 韦应物·滁州西涧
2018
Acrylic on plexiglass panel 丙烯、塑胶玻璃板
Panel: 190 x 110 x 3 cm (74 3/4 x 43 1/4 x 1 1/4 in)
Stand: 61 x 115 x 32 cm (24 x 45 1/8 x 12 3/4 in)

Wang Dongling 王冬龄

Wang Dongling 王冬龄
Serenity in the Moonlight 花间词·月华如水
2015
Ink and xuan paper 墨和宣纸
180 x 96 x 3 cm (70 3/4 x 37 3/4 x 1 1/4 in)

Wei Jia 韋佳 (b. 1975)

Wei Jia 韋佳 (b. 1975)
No. 19243
2019
Gouache, ink and Xuan paper collage on paper 纸上水粉,墨与宣纸拼贴
145.5 x 77 cm (57 1/4 x 30 1/4 in)

Wei Jia 韋佳 (b. 1975)

Wei Jia 韋佳 (b. 1975)
No. 19239
2019
Gouache, ink and Xuan paper collage on paper 纸上水粉,墨与宣纸拼贴
119 x 43 cm (47 x 17 in)

Wu Jian'an 邬建安 (b.1980)

Wu Jian'an 邬建安 (b.1980)
500 Brushstrokes #14 五百笔 #14
2016
Ink, watercolor, paper cut and collage on Xuan paper 纸上水墨拼贴
200 x 250 cm (78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in)

 

Xie Xiaoze 谢晓泽

Xie Xiaoze 谢晓泽
Chinese Library No. 62 中国图书馆62号
2017
Oil on linen 亚麻布油彩
152 x 152 cm (60 x 60 in)

For Asia Week, Chambers Fine Art is pleased to present a selection of artworks that take their inspiration from the calligraphic tradition of China. The exhibition features the work of eight artists, each of them deeply familiar with the tradition of writing with brush and ink, and yet influenced by it in a wholly unique manner.

Perhaps the most celebrated and important calligrapher alive today, Wang Dongling is known for his highly personal style of writing called luanshu (chaos script), an expressive method of calligraphy that is so fluid that it becomes pure abstraction. He bases each of his calligraphic works on an ancient poem or text, and yet is more interested in illustrating the emotion of the lyrics than the legibility of the characters. Similarly, the ‘characters’ of Cui Fei’s Manuscript of Nature series is not meant to be read – although in her case they are completely abstract, appearing in the form of grape vine tendrils that she gathers herself. The tendrils are clipped and arranged in such a way that they are evocative of Chinese calligraphy.

Wei Jia is a highly accomplished calligrapher who similarly has embraced abstraction, although he explores it not through his writing, but rather through the use of collage. His methodical process of layering torn pieces of colored and stained Xuan paper is tied to his daily calligraphy practice, and he often notates his works once they are finished, providing context to the abstract forms. In complete contrast are the photo-realistic oil paintings by Xiaoze Xie, whose thematic focus is the preservation of human knowledge. In his Chinese Library series, he depicts rare and ancient texts in various states of conservation, stored in university libraries in China. Guo Hongwei also paints representational works, although he is best known for his mastery of watercolor. In 2019 he began a collaboration with his father, who wrote several well-known sayings by Chiang Kai-Shek, Mao Zedong, and others in highly stylized forms of calligraphy. For his part, Guo Hongwei rendered each authors’ hand as they were in the act of writing, rendered in his unique style of ‘isolated’ watercolor brushstrokes.

Qiu Zhijie is well known for fusing traditional Chinese calligraphy with modern media. In his "light writing" photographic series, he used an electric torch to write words in the night air that were captured by a digital camera on a prolonged exposure, and then digitally superimposed onto another photograph. The artist calls the process "calli-photo-graphy." In contrast, Fu Xiaotong and Wu Jian’an both focus on the traditional materials involved with calligraphy and ink painting, although with completely different results. In his 500 brushstrokes series, Wu Jian’an seamlessly combines the traditional materials of ink and xuan paper with paper-cut and collage techniques. Fu Xiaotong on the other hand does away with ink completely, and instead focuses on Xuan paper, piercing the paper with a needle to create landscapes and abstract forms based on nature.

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