Li Huayi

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Li Huayi (Chinese: 李華弌; born 1948) is a contemporary ink artist whose admiration for the monumental landscapes of the Northern Song dynasty with his training in both traditional Chinese ink and Western art, inspired him to create his own style of ink painting.[1] Li currently lives and works in Beijing.[2]

Li has established a distinct connection between contemporary and traditional, and nature and humanity, by integrating his contemporary perspective with the eternal values of traditional literati painting.[3]

Li Huayi's works are collected by museums worldwide including the British Museum, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harvard Art Museums, the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Suzhou Museum, M+ Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.[1]

Early life[edit]

Li Huayi was born in 1948 in Shanghai, China. At the age of six, he learned the art of traditional ink painting under the tutelage of Wang Jimei in private. When he was sixteen, Li began his studies of Western art with Zhang Chongren, who had studied at the Belgian Royal Academy and who was known for his realistic watercolors.[4] During the Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976), Li was exempt from being sent to the countryside and allowed to remain in Shanghai to paint Soviet-style propaganda murals as a result of his dexterity with brush and ink, and his training in Western art.[3]

In the late 1970s, after the Cultural Revolution, Li Huayi traveled throughout China's significant scenic, historic and cultural sites including the monumental peaks of Huangshan in Anhui Province, which are often depicted in many of his paintings. In Gansu Province, Li studied the Buddhist cave temples at Dunhuang, teaching himself the early history of Chinese painting and gaining an understanding of religious painting. In 1978, Li traveled to Beijing where he saw his first Northern Song landscape painting and first major exhibition of modern Western art; both of which left him with deep and lasting impressions.[3]

Move to the United States[edit]

In 1982, Li Huayi and his wife immigrated to San Francisco. There, he enrolled at San Francisco's Academy of Art University to study Western art and he completed his master's degree in 1984. In the same year, Li held his first one-man exhibition in America at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, featuring a combination of his Dunhuang-style paintings and his 'Abstract Expressionist' works. His abstract paintings received critical acclaim from the art historian and scholar of Chinese painting, Michael Sullivan.[3]

Artistic development[edit]

Inspiration and early works[edit]

The following decade, Li experimented with abstract forms of splash-ink, combining some elements of collage.[4] During this period, he discovered his artistic calling to create something new in the most important traditional Chinese painting theme: landscape.[5]

The Northern Song School tradition kept looming over Li Huayi. The first Northern Song painting he saw was Fan Kuan's Scene Under Snow, in 1978 at the Beijing Palace Museum. In 1989, Li visited the National Palace Museum in Taipei, where Guo Xi's Early Spring left lasting impressions.[4]

Monumental landscape[edit]

Li’s works of the 1990s evoke the landscape imagery of Li Cheng (919-967), Fan Kuan (active 990-1030), and Guo Xi (after 1000-ca. 1090).[5] The faceted cliffs and gnarled pines in his compositions remind many of Huangshan's mountain peaks in Anhui Province. However, instead of the traditional mountain landscape paintings depicted at a distance, Li provides close-up details and places his viewers intimately within the landscape. By pulling the cliffs and pines in the center of the composition close to the viewer, he or she directly feels the monumentality of nature.[5]

Multiple screens installation[edit]

Since ancient times, painting on screens has been common practice in the East, providing a bridge for the artistry of two-dimensional surfaces to three-dimensional works in physical space.[6] Having considered the viewing experience of his audience, Li aimed to produce greater visual impact through the format of a screen. By placing a landscape hanging scroll in front of a backdrop of large, ink-and-brush filled panels, Li creates works of three-dimensional space in the form of installation art. This combination of traditional brush-and-ink painting with a contemporary presentation, suggests Li’s innovative approach and opened up the potential of physical space in his art.[5]

Gilded Screen series[edit]

In recent years, Li Huayi has experimented with painting landscapes on gold leaf. He has accepted the challenge of applying ink and pigments to the smooth polished surface of gold leaf, which is vastly different from the surfaces of absorbent paper and silk on which he previously worked. Li has even purchased unpainted antique Japanese screens surfaced with gold leaf in order to explore how earlier Japanese artists used their pigments and ink on such a surface. After experimenting for years, he has arrived at painting landscapes of ink brushwork on gold leaf.[5]

Recent developments[edit]

Since the 1990s, after Li Huayi’s artistic debut in 1984, he has held solo and group exhibitions on an international scale at Stanford University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Art Museum of China, and was part of China 5000 Years Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1999.[7]

His latest solo exhibition Fantasies on Paper and Enchantment in Gold was exhibited at the Suzhou Museum in China. The exhibition presented 18 paintings from different periods of Li's artistic endeavor, covering representative works selected from the "Monumental Landscapes series", the "Water Scenes series", the "Multiple Screens Installation series" and the latest “Gilded Screen Series”, offering audiences a comprehensive understanding of Li’s artistic developments over the past 15 years.[8]

In May 2018, international publisher Rizzoli and Kwai Fung Art Publishing in Hong Kong published a monograph on Li Huayi. The comprehensive publication includes more than 160 works of Li Huayi representing each major period from 1993 – 2017, together with insightful art analysis, and provides bird’s eye views as well as microscopic details of the artist’s career to present-day.[9]

In August 2019, the Honolulu Museum of Art in Hawaii will organize a solo exhibition for Li Huayi. This exhibition will trace the artist’s career over three decades, including recent works never before seen by the public, as well as highlights from various stages of his artistic growth, in formats from hanging scrolls and gold screens to installations.[10]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+, M+ Pavilion, Hong Kong, China, 2017[24]
  • Boundless: Ongoing - Chinese Ink Art 2017, Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China, 2017[25]
  • Different Paths: Explorations in Ink, S | 2 Sotheby’s, New York, the United States, 2017[26]
  • Shanghai Ever, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China, 2015[26]
  • China's Changing Landscape, the Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, 2015[26]
  • The Wondrous All: Leading Edge of Eastern Thought, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, 2015[26]
  • Shuimo: Ten Thousand Blossoms Spring, S | 2 Sotheby’s, New York, the United States, 2015[26]
  • China's Changing Landscape, Nordic Watercolour Museum, Skarhamn, Sweden, 2014[26]
  • Contemporary Ink, NanHai Art, San Francisco, the United States, 2014[26]
  • Meditations in Nature: New Ink, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, China, 2014[26]
  • Shuimo / Water Ink: Enchanted Landscapes, S | 2 Sotheby’s, New York, the United States, 2014[26]
  • The Moment for Ink, Silicon Valley Asian Art Center, California, the United States, 2013[26]
  • Illusion / Image: Contemporary Chinese Ink Art Series 1, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2013[26]
  • Shuimo / Water Ink: Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings, S | 2 Sotheby’s, New York, the United States, 2013[26]
  • Beyond Tradition - Chinese Contemporary Ink, Christie’s, New York, the United States, 2013[26]
  • Chinese Contemporary Ink – The Beginnings and Beyond, Christie’s, Hong Kong, China, 2013[26]
  • Ink: The Art of China, Saatchi Gallery, London, the United Kingdom, 2012[26]
  • The Chinese Scholar – Ink Painting and Works of Art, New York Asia Week, Fuller Building, New York, the United States, 2012[26]
  • Subtle Ink, Gallery 100, Taiwan, 2012[26]
  • Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the United States, 2010[26]
  • Beyond Reminiscence, Beijing Center for the Arts, Beijing, China, 2008[26]
  • The Third Chengdu Biennale: Reboot, New International Convention Center of Chengdu, Chengdu, China, 2007[26]
  • Infinite Shades, Art Institute of Chicago, the United States, 2007[26]
  • 20th Century Chinese Landscape, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2006[26]
  • The New Chinese Landscape, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, the United States, 2006[26]
  • Land_Scapes, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China, 2004[26]
  • The Second Contemporary Landscape Painting Invitational Exhibition, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2004[26]
  • Contemporary Landscape Painting Invitational Exhibition, Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2002[26]
  • Seven Chinese Artists from North America: An Invitational Exhibition, Duo Yun Xuan, Shanghai, China, 2001[26]
  • In Concert: Landscapes by Li Huayi and Zhang Hong, Kaikodo, New York, the United States, 1999[26]
  • China 5000 Years, Guggenheim Museum, New York, the United States, 1998[26]
  • Wege ins Paradies - Oder Die Liebe Zum Stein in China, Rietberg Museum, Zurich, Switzerland, 1998[26]

Collections[edit]

Li Huayi’s works are widely collected by worldwide museums and institutions including:[26]

  • British Museum, UK
  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, USA
  • Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, USA
  • Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii, USA
  • Harvard Art Museums, USA
  • Art Institute of Chicago, USA
  • Spencer Museum of Art
  • University of Kansas, USA
  • Suzhou Museum, China
  • M+, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Museum of Art

Publications[edit]

  • KWAI Catherine and FUNG Edward, Li Huayi: Landscapes from a Master’s Heart, Monograph, Milan, Italy: Rizzoli International Publications Inc., First Edition: June 2018 and Hong Kong: Kwai Fung Art Publishing, 2017. ISBN 978-88-918163-7-5.[9]
  • FUNG Edward, Exotica: Latest Works of LI Huayi, Publication, Hong Kong, Kwai Fung Art Publishing House: March 2016. ISBN 978-988-15623-7-1.[27]
  • Waterfalls, Rocks and Bamboo by Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue, London, UK: Eskenazi, 2014. ISBN 978-1873609361.[16]
  • Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue for “Associated Exhibition of Contemporary Ink Painting by Li Huayi and Li Jin”, Taipei, Taiwan: Gallery 100, September 2012.[28]
  • Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue, Hong Kong, Beijing Center for the Arts Publishing House: 2011. ISBN 978-988-18150-6-4.[18]
  • LI Huayi, The Twelve Animals of the Zodiac, London, UK, Eskenazi: 1 November 2011. ISBN 9781873609347.[19]
  • Trees, Rocks, Mist and Mountains, Exhibition Catalogue, London, UK: Eskenazi, 2010. ISBN 978-1873609323.[20]
  • MAUDSLEY Catherine, Li Huayi at 60: Paintings in the Yiqingzhai Collection, Exhibition Catalogue, Hong Kong: The Ink Society, 2008.[21]
  • Mountain Landscapes by Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue, London, UK: Eskenazi, 2007. ISBN 1-873609-23X.[4]
  • KNIGHT Dr. Michael J., and LI Huayi, The Monumental Landscapes of Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue, San Francisco, USA: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2004. ISBN 978-0939117260.[3]
  • In Concert: Landscapes by Li Huayi and Zhang Hong, Exhibition Catalogue, Hong Kong: Kaikodo, 1999. ISBN 962-795-22-8.[29]
  • The Landscapes of Li Huayi, Exhibition Catalogue, Hong Kong, Kaikodo: 1997. ISBN 962-7956-07-4.[23]
  • Suzhou Museum, Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold, Exhibition Catalogue, China: Jiangsu, 2017.[6]
  • SMITH Thomas E., Li Huayi Landscape Paintings (1993-95), Anthology, Hong Kong, Wu’s Studio, Artlink: 1996. ISBN 962-7287-30-X, OCLC 62142782.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Li Huayi". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  2. ^ "Li Huayi Timeline". Li Huayi. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Li, Huayi, 1948- (2004). The monumental landscapes of Li Huayi. Knight, Michael, 1953-, Tsuruta, Kazuhiro., Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. San Francisco: Asian Art Museum--Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture. ISBN 0939117266. OCLC 57209588.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Mountain landscapes by Li Huayi. Eskenazi London. 2007. ISBN 978-1-873609-23-1.
  5. ^ a b c d e Li, Huayi. Li Huayi. Shen, Kuiyi, Kwai, Catherine (First ed.). New York. ISBN 889181637X. OCLC 1012679124.
  6. ^ a b Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold. China: Jiangsu: Suzhou Museum. 2017. p. 76.
  7. ^ "Li Huayi Solo Exhibitions". Li Huayi. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  8. ^ "Exhibition - Special Exhibition - SUZHOU MUSEUM". www.szmuseum.com. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  9. ^ a b Kwai, Catherine. "Li Huayi: Landscapes from a Master's Heart - Rizzoli New York". www.rizzoliusa.com. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  10. ^ "Honolulu Museum of Art » Contemporary Landscapes: Li Huayi". honolulumuseum.org. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  11. ^ "Event: Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair - Solo Exhibition of Li Huayi". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  12. ^ "Exhibition - Special Exhibition - SUZHOU MUSEUM". www.szmuseum.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  13. ^ "Event: Art Basel Hong Kong - Solo Exhibition of Li Huayi". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  14. ^ "Landscapes in New Dimensions • Li Huayi | 21 March - 21 April 2017". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  15. ^ "Exotica • Recent Works of Li Huayi | 22 March - 21 May 2016". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  16. ^ a b "Waterfalls, rocks and bamboo by Li Huayi | Eskenazi". www.eskenazi.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  17. ^ "Images of the Mind - The Ink Painting of Li Huayi | exhibition | ARTLINKART | Chinese contemporary art database". www.artlinkart.com. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  18. ^ a b Li, Huayi, 1948-; 李華弌, 1948- (2011). Li Huayi. Weng Ling., Shen, Kuiyi, 1954-, 翁菱., 沈揆一, 1954-. Beijing: Beijing Tian'an shi jian dang dai yi shu chu ban she. ISBN 9789881815064. OCLC 753321946.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ a b Li, Huayi, 1948- (2011). The twelve animals of the zodiac. Eskenazi Ltd. London: Eskenazi. ISBN 978-1873609347. OCLC 758001610.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ a b Trees, Rocks, Mist and Mountains by Li Huayi. London, UK: Eskenzai. 2010. ISBN 978-1873609323.
  21. ^ a b MAUDSLEY, Catherine (2008). Li Huayi at 60: Paintings in the Yiqingzhai Collection. Hong Kong: The Ink Society.
  22. ^ Li, Huayi, 1948- (2007). Mountain landscapes. Knight, Michael J., Eskenazi Ltd. London: Eskenazi. ISBN 978-1873609231. OCLC 184907256.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ a b Li, Hua-i.; 李華弌, 1948- (1997). The landscapes of Li Huayi = Li Hua-i shan shui tso pʹin chan : exhibition and sale, May 19-June 7, 1997. Kaikodo (Gallery : New York, N.Y.). New York, N.Y.: Kaikodo. ISBN 9627956074. OCLC 39463802.
  24. ^ Keepthinking. "The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+ | Curatorial Statement". www.westkowloon.hk. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  25. ^ ""Boundless: Ongoing – Chinese Ink Art 2017" Opening April 25 in Chongqing | CAFA ART INFO". Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Kwai, Catherine (2018). Li Huayi: Landscapes from a Master's Heart. Milan, Italy: Rizzoli International Publications Inc. pp. 288–289. ISBN 978-88-918163-7-5.
  27. ^ "Publication: Li Huayi - Exotica". Kwai Fung Hin. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  28. ^ Li Huayi (Exhibition Catalogue for "Associated Exhibition of Contemporary Ink Painting by Li Huayi and Li Jin"). Taipei, Taiwan: Gallery 100. 2012.
  29. ^ In Concert: Landscapes by Li Huayi and Zhang Hong. Hong Kong: Kaikodo. 1999. ISBN 962-795-22-8 Check |isbn= value: length (help).

External links[edit]