Paintings show draws London closer to Chinese contemporary art

LONDON, Sept. 2 — The paintings of 100 Chinese contemporary artists, which began to be exhibited here on Monday, have attracted great interests and praises among visitors.
“It shows the high level of contemporary Chinese artists,” Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said at the opening of the exhibition, namely “Blue & Yellow: swift transition of self”, in the Mall Galleries near Trafalgar Square.
“The young painters are expressive of their thoughts over the fast transition of Chinese society,” he said. “While learning western techniques, these artists bear distinctive Chinese characteristics in their painting.”
The artists are professors and students from four prestigious art schools in China.
Many British visitors were interested in the paintings, like David Paskett, former president of the Royal Watercolor Society.
One of his favorite paintings was an oil painting from Kang Yi. On the yellow background, black and white brush marks made it look like figurative painting. “But looking closely, you can see figures borrowed from traditional Chinese paintings and roof of the old Huizhou building,” he said.
“Looking at these paintings, one might feel like swimming in the Chinese contemporary art. There is a lot of energy here,” said Paskett, who has been to China many times in the past 25 years.
“I was always asked what Chinese paintings were like, but it was difficult to answer,” he said. “Chinese artists of different ages came from different traditions.”
“For example, the professors may be influenced by Russian style, while the younger artists who hadn’t gone through the Cultural Revolution were more open-minded,” he added.
Lewis McNaught, director of the Mall Galleries, said the exhibition is “closing the gap between Chinese and British art.”
“These artists reinvigorated western painting with Chinese value and culture,” he lauded.
Yang Ming from southwest China’s Sichuan Province brought three oil paintings to the exhibition. The biggest one, called The East, shows a red sun rising from the end of choppy sea, where a man rowing a boat on the crest of the waves.
“Oil painting was a western form of art, but I added Chinese elements such as the red sun to the painting, and the strokes of the sea were like traditional painting,” he told Xinhua.
“When Westerners talk about Chinese paintings, they always mean traditional Chinese paintings. In fact, they know little about Chinese contemporary painting. Hopefully this exhibition could give them a chance to see the change of Chinese artists,” said the 45-year-old painter. This was the first time his works came to London.
Ren Daqing from the Nanjing University of Arts had four traditional watercolors on display. “I added some modern elements into the traditional paintings, and the sceneries I painted reflected my inner world.”
Ren, 43, had exhibitions in Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea in the past, but never in Britain. “I hope that these works could be welcomed by British visitors,” he said.
The 106 paintings on display will be auctioned on Saturday.
Li Qiangsheng from the Nanjing Yourun Property Investment and Management Co. Ltd, which sponsored the exhibition, said that they have got inquiries about the paintings from potential buyers.
He estimated the prices could be several thousand or tens of thousand pounds.[db:内容2]