Su Dongping (b. 1958)

Su Dongping was born in 1958 in Shenyang, Liaoning province. He taught painting and art history for over 20 years after graduating from the department of oil painting at Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. His revolt against the traditional education model has led to his deviation as an abstract artist.


Su Dongping’s father, a devotee of calligraphy, is Su’s mentor and has had a great impact on his artistic practice. Through his father, Su Dongping learned the concept of “bu miao”, which means not to follow rules docilely when writing calligraphy, but to let the spirit and thought flow on paper spontaneously and decisively. Su Dongping’s artistic language is based on the principles of calligraphy. He employs the measure and spirituality of calligraphy in his abstract painting. It is casual fortuity and instantaneity that contribute to the ideal state of “bu miao”, which according to the artist is the highest realm of painting.


The restraints from traditional education, family, and his social environment awakened Su Dongping’s inner impulses and aspirations, which had been repressed for a long time. Su Dongping layers his works with thick paint day after day, impregnating them with strong emotional and visual tension while infusing them with his life experience, which reflects his self-sentiments at that very moment. The insight is beyond there and then, beyond the relativity of time, between instantaneity and eternalness, and beyond spatial relativity. His works are cathartic, having escaped from the constraint of time and space, and enter into a state of purity.