Su Dongping (B. 1958)

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’s father, a devotee of calligraphy, is his mentor and has had a great impact on his artistic practice. Through his father, Su 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’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’s inner impulses and aspirations, which had been repressed for a long time. The artist 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 constraints of time and space, and enter into a state of purity.

Important solo exhibition include Su Dongping (2018), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong; Landscapes of the HeartThe Abstract Art of Su Dongping (2015), Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China; and Instant Measure: Paintings by Su Dongping (2013), Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, China. Important group exhibitions include Quotidian (2017), Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China; Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition (1993), National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; and Contemporary Paintings from Su Dongping and Jalaiyyih Quinn (1992), Consulate General of the United States, Shenyang, China.