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IN INK - Contemporary Chinese Ink Art


Curators: Betty Lutyens-Humfrey  Chen Lin

Academic Director: Zhao Li

Artists: Chen Jun  Hang Chunhui  HaoShiming  Ma Lingli  PengJian XuHualing

Panel talk£º7th Sep 2016 5pm.

Opening: 7th Sep 2016 6:30pm.

Duration: 7th ¨C 13th Sep, 2016

Venue: Royal College of Art Gallery

Organiser£º Z ART

Co-organisers: East & West Fine Art Consulting, London; Ningbo Qianzimu investment management partnership

Academic Support: Chinese Modern and Contemporary Art Document Research Center £¬ Art Nova 100

Online Exhibition Partner: Google Cultural Institute


Chinese ink art has a time-honored tradition, a tradition that has, since the day itwas born, been going through relentless changes, mainly driven by its intrinsicmovements before the 20th century as there was neither desire norchannel for the Chinese culture to interact with those of other countriesagainst the backdrop of China¡¯s self-closed cultural environment.


The beginning of the 20th century witnessed the most dramatic changes inhistory to China, which led to, among others, ruptures and fragmentation ofChinese cultural traditions with the increasing influence of the west on China.The ink art, as one of the symbols of Chinese cultural traditions, since thenembarked on a path of the so-called ¡°transformation¡±, with modernization as thepurpose and learning from the west the approach.


Hang Chunhui <Daily life - blue and white porcelain> plate Color on paper, wooden relief 62x52cm  2016


This transformation has been accompanied by disputes until the 1980s, a period that sawthe prominence of a contemporary sense of questioning in the creation ofChinese ink art. The creators, while stressing the ¡°micro-times¡± and¡°micro-trends¡± in the context of ¡°macro-times¡± and ¡°macro-trends¡±, began toshow diversities and personalities. What remained the same about the inkartists then were the principles of ¡°I¡¯m expressing my own inner world¡± and¡°harmony but not conformity¡±, although some of them tended to envy theunrestrainedness of western expressionist art, and some others preferred to goback to the traditional ¡°brush and ink play¡± of ancient Chinese literatipainting.


It is undoubted that the Chinese ink at of the early 21st century willbe nothing but a flash throughout its tremendously long history. It is nowshowing more enhanced diversities and personalities with the involvement ofyoung ink artists. The tradition of Chinese ink art has been more inclusivethanks to the efforts of the past generations of ink artists, and it is basedon this inclusiveness that Chinese ink art is starting to be experimental andavant-garde.


Ma Lingli <Spy No.1> 48¡Á58cm  Painting installation  2015


For theyoung artists, ink is either the material they feel comfortable with, or anapposite medium they use to express their own opinions, or a route of timetravel for them to connect with ancient artists. That¡¯s why they have been socaptivated by the creations and experiments of ink art, which count as the mostdirect and easiest modes to express themselves as well as their attitudes aboutthe current era.


It is our pleasure to bring the creations of such a group of young artists to London,the culturally diverse metropolis where we would like to unveil thecontemporary Chinese ink art. Belonging to the new generation of contemporaryChinese ink artists, the several young artists featured in this exhibition, whoare known for their practice art out of unrestrained will, have all chosen inkart as if by prior agreement. For them, ink art is where the vitality lies, andtheir mission of artistic creation is to tell the story of ¡°themselves¡± orreveal the spirit of their generation in the contemporary cultural context,instead of continuing the tradition of ink art.


Xu Hualing <Aroma 2015 No.1>  240¡Á130cm  Color and ink on silk  2015