22 May–13 July, 2013

The Reality of Paint

Zhu Jinshi Solo Exhibition

Hong Kong


HONG KONG – Pearl Lam Galleries brings to Hong Kong for the first time a major exhibition of the work of Chinese Abstract Master: Zhu Jinshi, who participated in The Stars first-ever show of contemporary art in China in 1979, and debated Abstract Expressionism with Robert Rauschenberg. Zhu Jinshi: The Reality of Paint will be curated by Paul Moorhouse, Abstract Expert and Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery London and will feature 26 new strikingly dense and abstract oil paintings. The exhibition will open to the public on Wednesday 22 May 2013.

During the Cultural Revolution, Zhu Jinshi was an active participant in underground cultural and literary activities and in the late 1970s emerging as a member of the renowned and groundbreaking ‘Stars’ (Xingxing) avant-garde artist group alongside Ai Weiwei and Ma Desheng. Working in Berlin in the 1980s and influenced by Kandinsky, Zhu began his lifelong commitment to the language of pure abstract form. His involvement with abstract expressionist painting is not simply a desire to emulate Western antecedents however, but to invest that art form with characteristics that are specific to Chinese traditions of free brush (xie yi) and ink painting. In 1985, Zhu recalls having a heated debate with Robert Rauschenberg, who was exhibiting a retrospective of his work at the National Art Museum in Beijing, as Zhu attempted to explain that the theoretical bases of Abstract Expressionism, such as gesture and the expressive nature of the brush, were not new and actually had been part of Chinese aesthetic theory for centuries. Zhu’s paintings are a visceral means of expression and whilst being embodied with preoccupations of his own culture the works take on a physical presence of their own. Moorhouse has described Zhu’s paintings as dense tapestries of interconnected experience, in this respect their thickness is essential, giving tangible form to the fleeting and ephemeral.

Selected works


News & Press

02 Aug 2013