“Infinity in its Minutest Details”: The Art of Zhang Zhaohui, Eastover is thrilled to be showcasing the art of a Chinese modern master.
LENOX,, MA, US, May 18, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Eastover Estates and Eco-Village is thrilled to be showcasing the art of a Chinese modern master. Zhang Zhaohui is a Beijing-based artist who has been deeply involved in the explosion of new Chinese art and practices over the last three decades. In the last decade, ink art has emerged as a dynamic evolution of a traditional art form, with Zhang Zhaohui recognized as one of the outstanding practitioners active on the new Chinese art horizon. Based on his in-depth research of traditional art history/theory and world modern/contemporary art, Zhang gradually developed his own art language, which infuses Chinese ink painting with “selected elements of Western modernism, thus producing a hybrid form that revitalizes his culture’s single most representative medium.” His repertoire is an organic integration of abstract, optical, and minimal art, with ink-on-rice-paper, that is a refreshing contrast to stereotypical ideology-charged Chinese contemporary art.
The upcoming solo show, entitled Lubrication, is Zhang’s first major presentation in the US, showcasing 23 pieces over a span of 8 years. The exhibition can be roughly divided into three categories. The first presents an otherworldly pristine territory, a picture of Daoism’s key tenet: the world’s autonomous operating before and after humankind. The spirit-drenched landscape is reminiscent of the great German Romantic painter David Friedrich’s sublime open nature landscapes that “direct the viewer's gaze towards their metaphysical dimension." The second category is semi-abstraction inspired by poems during Tang Dynasty (618-907A.D): dialogues set within natural surroundings, such as wind, rain, bamboo, leafage, etc. The third and largest section consists of pure linear abstract works: patterns constructed by ink lines in different layers and with varied saturations of water. The grayish light penetrates the surface, softens conflict, shedding a moist luminosity: all images are a study of light, incorporating the various significant metaphors of light.
Critical Praise for Zhang Zhaohui:
“Zhang Zhaohui’s signature accomplishment is to bring…varied, and often conflicting, associations together in solidly composed abstract works that have an eidetic effect on the viewer’s mind. Quantum physics and Song Dynasty landscapes, fleeting impressions and enduring substructures, the cosmological and the microscopic, nature’s linear changes and its cyclical stasis, diffuse illumination and focused, penetrating beams—all these and more are encompassed in Zhang’s art. This painter considers ink art a key contemporary mode of art making. So what does he depict? Only infinity—and its minutest details.” —- Richard Vine, Managing editor of “Art in America” Author of “New China, New Art”
“Zhang Zhaohui opens our visible consciousness to a type of abstract visual vibration, elegantly mannered and focused on central imagery. His grids buckle, twist and turn through space, directing our eye toward a central source of light. Inevitably, Zhang’s ink paintings rest on his expertise in constructing optical forms through linear patterns that suggest ‘infinity’ insofar as these grids might open new doors to perception. His work focuses on the geometric in contrast to the intuitive, or possibly an overlay between the two. I have never quite understood why geometry should not be used in an intuitive way. Zhang appears to understand this. That artist’s use of geometry has the option to follow its own logic or to move into realm of the imagination. On the other hand, they have the option to do both. His ink paintings do precisely this.” —Robert C. Morgan, Art Historian
“Zhang’s works have built an entanglement of divinity and humanity, an integration of sensibility and rationality, and a convergence of abstract space and inner world, transcending the consensus of culture, geography and race. Compared with the optical effects of rational light, that is often straightforward, dazzling, solitary and stimulating, Zhang’s light is richer, more delicate, multi-dimensional and Oriental. Look at its modality: sometimes as solemn and silence; sometimes as flying between construction space; sometimes as lingering gentle; sometimes as sharp and direct; sometimes as a meteor passing by; sometimes as undulating ripples. This is not deliberately showing or depicting light, but a sequence of gray and a spatial trace that different rhythms and dimensions left behind. In respect to aesthetic characters of Chinese art, it is necessary to have both water and brush in the gray. Watermarks by a brush are essential elements to a painting’s structural frame, structure is not ink, but strokes. In the New York school of painting, strokes and ink (black) are confounded as one; in Eastern ink, light ink (gray) strokes can alone become the mainstay of a picture.” — Ping Jie Zhang, Art Critic
Zhang learned traditional Chinese ink painting and calligraphy as a child, and always dreamed of becoming an artist. His education at Museum Studies program at NanKai University allowed him, in 1988, to acquired an assistant curator position at the National Museum of Fine Art. During 7 years of in-service at China’s top art institution he acquired a great deal of first-hand experience, including the burgeoning Avant Garde art movement as well as international travel exhibitions.
A grant from the Asian Cultural Council brought him, in 1995, to study the curatorship at Bard College in up-state New York. Around the turn of the new millennium he came back to Beijing to start his new career as a freelance curator and independent artist. In 2016 he abandoned a PhD program at CAFA (Central Academy of Art in order to devote himself to the renovation of ink painting as a form of contemporary art expression.
At the same time, there will be a special exhibition of traditional Chinese inkstone, in addition to the inkstones on display year-round at Eastover Eco-village. A combined product of man-made and natural materials, inkstone is a medium for painting and calligraphy, found in art museums around the world. They embody the beauty and creativity of working with stone materials, in terms of their colors, their sculptural potential, and their ability to absorb the moistures of ink. This exhibition gathers handcrafted inkstones by different artists using a variety of stone materials. It will also help viewers to understand why brush and ink is an essential expression of Chinese Culture.
Chinese art district
Source: EIN Presswire