Artist Zhang Xinjian exhibits new paintings, combining Chinese ink wash and Western techniques in Beijing

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/5 20:17:28

Painting Mysterious Place Photo: Courtesy of Wendy

A series of paintings by Chinese artist Zhang Xinjian are being showcased at Beijing's Art Attitude Space, prior to going on European tour. 

At first glance, Zhang's paintings seem to be in the style of abstract expressionism or Chinese ink wash painting. However, he is not aiming at the continuation of any particular school or form of expression. "I have never thought about such questions. As an artist, I need to make some kind of innovation, to extend on the accomplishments of my predecessors," he told the Global Times. "I hope to present the spirit of today and people's lives through both Chinese ink wash painting and oil painting."

Abby Dean, professor with Drexel University, commenting on Zhang's paintings, said, "Building on his lifelong immersion in both Eastern and Western cultures, Zhang has created a body of deeply personal, lushly rendered ink paintings, whose inspiration stands at the intersection of Eastern calligraphic brushwork and pure abstract expression."

Zhang's lyrical gestures and redacted natural forms apparently tread the line between the canon of classical literati-inspired composition and a personal metaphysical landscape. 

The artist also holds that modifying China's traditions with something that overseas audiences are familiar with represents a universal means of telling China's stories.

The exhibition is set to run until February 27 before moving to France and other European countries. 

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