VIP Preview: 8 October, 5–10pm
Vernissage: 8 October, 6–9pm
General Opening Hours: 9–10 October, 10am–7pm; 11 October, 10am–5pm
China National Convention Center, Halls 3 & 4
No. 7 Tianchen East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Left: Zhu Jinshi b. 1954, Dark Mountain, 2011, Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm (23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.)
Middle: Ren Ri b. 1984, Yuansu Series II #6-53, 2014–15, Acrylic box, natural beeswax, natural pigments,
40 x 40 x 40 cm (15 3/4 x 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.)
Right: Qin Yufen b. 1954, In Search of Lost Time—East 3, 2015, Mineral pigment and ink on Xuan paper,
250 x 195 cm (98 3/8 x 76 3/4 in.)
Beijing—Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to return to the 11th edition of the China International Gallery Exposition (CIGE) in Beijing, having previously participated in 2011. The fair, which will take place from 8–11 October, will feature nearly 50 leading galleries from China and the rest of Asia as well as a few select European galleries, plus special projects and artist solo exhibitions. With China being the second largest art market in the world, this year’s fair promises to be a dynamic event.
At stand A15, the Galleries will present 16 paintings, mixed media works, and sculptures by 10 Chinese artists from different generations—Li Tianbing, Pan Jian, Qin Yufen, Qiu Deshu, Ren Ri, Shen Chen, Su Dong Ping, Zhang Jianjun, Zhou Yangming, and Zhu Jinshi—with the majority of these artists creating contemporary Chinese abstract art.
Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to promoting Chinese abstract art, which has recently been gaining more international attention, in the West and East. The art form has its origins in literati ink painting and calligraphy and is rooted in traditional Chinese philosophies such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, which stresses the importance of mankind’s harmonic relationship with nature and the cultivation of the inner self through meditation.
Several of these Chinese artists have at one point or another lived abroad in the West, which has impacted their work in different ways. Zhu Jinshi and Qin Yufen spent decades living in Berlin and between Berlin and Beijing before moving back to Beijing in 2010. While their abstract works contain both Chinese and Western influences, with Zhu citing Michel Foucault’s theories of modernity as one of many sources of inspiration, they also transcend cultural expectations.
Beijing-based artist Zhu Jinshi will present Back Mountain and Dark Mountain (both 2011), two heavily impastoed abstract oil on canvas paintings that contrast black with white/off-white, fullness with emptiness, as well as dark with light. Zhu uses an excessive amount of paint, which may not have completely dried in the inner layers, resulting in works that may shift over time with the pull of gravity. While Zhu’s paintings explore temporality and the limits of oil paint, the highly visual gestural works primarily convey emotions and elicit visceral responses. Zhu often writes notes on the backs of his canvases to describe his state of mind while creating his art. The artist’s solo exhibition Performance in Painting will open at the Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing on 14 November, 2015 and will run for three months.
Qin Yufen repeatedly applies ink and mineral pigment on Xuan paper to create unexpected marks like those found on the walls of the ancient Dunhuang Caves. Belonging to nature as well as the shape of the object, the marks’ beauty comes from the integration of history, time, and culture, as seen in her painting In Search of Lost Time—East 3 (2015).
The Galleries will also exhibit two works by Shanghai-based artist Qiu Deshu from his Fissuring series (2009 and 2014). Trained in traditional Chinese painting, Qiu has developed his own unique technique where he applies ink and colour onto Xuan paper, tears it up, reconfigures the pieces, and mounts them on canvas to form images. He also rubs and carves the Xuan paper to show the material’s pliability, water permeability, exquisiteness, and other features.
In addition to Chinese abstract paintings, the Galleries will also be exhibiting figurative oil paintings with three-dimensional detailing by Li Tianbing entitled Lonely Monkey #1, #3, and #5. Li uses expressive, aggressive strokes to paint monkeys that are symbolic of alienation in post-modern societies.
Besides paintings, Pearl Lam Galleries will also feature three beeswax sculptures by up-and-coming Beijing artist Ren Ri from his Yuansu Series II. The artist believes his sculptures represent the truth of how humans interact with nature, which involves harmony, destruction molding, and intervention. He creates his works by placing a queen bee in the middle of a box and allowing the other bees to build around her. Every seven days, a reference to the seven days of creation, Ren randomly changed the position of the box by rolling dice to create the shape of the sculpture. The artist’s works are currently on show in a solo exhibition at Mönchehaus Museum Goslar in Germany as part of the Kaisserling Award for Young Artists.
About Li Tianbing
At 22, Li Tianbing (b. 1974, Guilin) moved to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Here he developed a distinctive visual language with which to express his own cultural origins that draws on both traditional Chinese techniques and contemporary Western references.
Li has held solo exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; L&M Arts Gallery, New York; Galerie Albert Benamou, Paris; Galerie Loft, Beitou; and Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Zurich. The artist currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.
About Pan Jian
Pan Jian was born in 1975 in Shandong Province. He received his BA from the Oil Painting Department at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. Pan currently lives and works in Beijing and Xi’an, China. Having grown up amongst natural landscapes before moving to the bustling metropolis of Beijing, Pan has a different perspective on urbanisation and psychological detachment. He creates a sensational, poetic world on canvas with his uninhabited deep forests painted with loose brushstrokes. Pan explores themes relating to anxiety, depression, and sadness, which, to him, is the way to true beauty.
Solo exhibitions include Shadow of Light (2015) at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong; The Edge of the Shadow (2013) at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong; and Strange Image—Pan Jian (2010) at Today Art Museum, Beijing, China. He recently held a duo exhibition with Cang Xin entitled Space and Nothingness (2015) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore.
About Qin Yufen
Qin Yufen (b. 1954, Shandong, China) began to create abstract art in the late 1970s. In the mid-1980s, she moved to Germany where she was influenced by Western painting. Her works from this period used both Western and traditional Chinese ink painting techniques, while still depicting Oriental aesthetics of tranquility and ethereality embodied by Zen meditation. Qin Yufen has held solo exhibitions in Beijing, Tokyo, and Berlin, among other international cities.
About Qiu Deshu
Qiu Deshu (b. 1948, Shanghai) reimmersed himself in ink painting after the Cultural Revolution and co-founded the Grass Painting Society (Cao Cao Hua She), one of China’s first post-Mao experimental artist circles. In the early 1980s, Qiu developed his signature style of works called ‘fissuring’ (lie bian), which literally means tearing and changing in Chinese. It is a pictorial metaphor for the artist’s life and artistic career, both of which have experienced dramatic disruptions and setbacks.
Among other institutions, Qiu’s works have been collected by the National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Shanghai Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
About Ren Ri
Ren Ri (b. 1984, Harbin, China) studied Fine Art at Tsinghua University before receiving his Masters at Saint-Petersburg Herzen State University in Russia. He also holds a PhD in Fine Art from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. Ren Ri’s understanding of bee psychology and nature helps him to create mesmerising sculptures in collaboration with insects. His series Yuansu I, II and III, are all related to his intimate experience with bees as both an artist and a beekeeper. Yuan means element, while su means mold—Yuansu can be translated as ‘a comprehension of the gestalt of life’. Ren Ri: Yuansu Projects (2015) was Pearl Lam Galleries’ inaugural show at its SOHO space in Hong Kong.
About Shen Chen
Shen Chen (b. 1955, Shanghai, China) studied Fine Art at Shanghai Academy of Theater. In 1988, Shen received a fellowship from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He then went on to receive his MFA from Boston University in 1991. Shen now lives in New York, where he creates abstract paintings that combine expansive Colour Field esthetics with timeless spiritual themes. His paintings manifest both refined facture and emotional subtlety.
Shen Chen’s work has been exhibited across the USA and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include SHEN CHEN—Paintings (2014), Galerie Frank Schlag, Essen, Germany; and Between the Lines—Paintings by Shen Chen (2013), Canvas International Art, Amsterdam, NL.
About Su Dong Ping
Su Dong Ping (b. 1958, Shenyang) began abstract painting as a revolt against the traditional education model after teaching painting and art history for over 20 years at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. His artistic language is based on the principles of calligraphy, which he employs in his abstract works. Su Dong Ping layers his works with thick paint day after day. His works are cathartic, having escaped from the constraint of time and space to enter into a state of purity.
Su Dong Ping’s recent major solo exhibitions include Landscapes of the Heart—The Abstract Art of Su Dong Ping (2015) at Pearl Lam Galleries in Shanghai, and Instant Measure: Paintings by Su Dong Ping (2014) at the Inside-Out Art Museum in Beijing.
About Zhang Jianjun
Zhang Jianjun (b. 1955, Shanghai) lives between Shanghai and New York. His work consists of various mediums, from photography, ink installation, and video performances to painting, embodying a sense of change and process of time. His works are representative of ‘Rational Painting’, a genre of art that concerns itself with issues of existence, time, and space. He has exhibited in solo shows in New York, Japan, Singapore, and China, including at the Shanghai Art Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, and the Asian American Art Centre in New York.
About Zhou Yangming
Zhou Yangming (b. 1971, Taizhou, China), one of China’s most distinctive Chinese abstract artists, has been living and working in Beijing for over 20 years. While studying in Beijing in 1996, he joined Xu Beihong’s studio to improve his artistic practice. Later, he moved to Songzhuang artist village, and recently organised several exhibitions dedicated to this place. Zhou’s works are all based on line and space, which ultimately reflect his thoughts and ideas at that specific moment. By drawing and painting line upon line, he creates a colourful surface which shows great training of both the hand and mind. Zhou Yangming has exhibited in solo and group shows in China, Europe, and the USA.
About Zhu Jinshi
After living in Germany for decades, where he completed an artist-in-residency and taught in the Architecture Department at Berlin Technical University, Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954, Beijing) returned to Beijing. He began painting abstract works in the late 1970s, and participated in the Stars group exhibition, the first post-Cultural Revolution avant-garde art show. Zhu’s exhibitions include Zhu Jinshi: Boat (2015), a Yi Pai installation, at Exchange Square, Hong Kong; Simplicity (2014), Pearl Lam Galleries, Singapore; 28 Chinese (2013–14) at The Rubell Family Collection in Miami, travelling to Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and San Antonio Museum of Art (2015–16); Zhu Jinshi: The Reality of Paint (2013) at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong; and Zhu Jinshi (2012) at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles.
About Pearl Lam Galleries
Founded by Pearl Lam, Pearl Lam Galleries is a driving force within Asia’s contemporary art scene. With over 20 years of experience exhibiting Asian and Western art and design, it is one of the leading and most established contemporary art galleries to be launched out of China.
Playing a vital role in stimulating international dialogue on Chinese and Asian contemporary art, the Galleries is dedicated to championing artists who re-evaluate and challenge perceptions of cultural practice from the region. The Galleries in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore collaborate with renowned curators, each presenting distinct programming from major solo exhibitions, special projects, and installations to conceptually rigorous group shows. Based on the philosophy of Chinese Literati where art forms have no hierarchy, Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to breaking down boundaries between different disciplines, with a unique gallery model committed to encouraging cross-cultural exchange.
Contemporary Chinese abstract art is heavily represented in the Galleries roster. Influential Chinese artists Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai, who synthesise Chinese sensibilities with an international visual language, are presented internationally with work now included in major private and public collections worldwide. The Galleries has also introduced leading international artists such as Leonardo Drew, Jenny Holzer, Carlos Rolón/Dzine and Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) to markets in the region, providing opportunities for new audiences in Asia to encounter their work. Pearl Lam Galleries encourages international artists to create new work which engages specifically with the region-collaborating to produce thought-provoking, culturally relevant work.