Our friends at Beijing Today swing by now and then to introduce art and culture in the city.
Using simple lines and traditional ink, Xu Li brings ancient ghosts and ladies to life on xuan paper.
Xu is a representative of China’s “grassroots” artist movement, a group of classically educated artists who have given up on academics to focus on creating art that is closer to everyday life.
Born in 1961 in Fujian province, Xu is the vice chairman of the province’s Association of Artists and an active figure in its literary association.
Xu brings his classical training into each of his pieces, using confident lines and powerful manipulation of ink to instill Zhong Kui, Laodao and other popular symbols with life. In his landscapes, the lines becoming flowing rivers and strong trees.
His ancient ladies are composed of complicated lines that, while mysterious up close, come together to create beautiful images when viewed from a distance.
“Xu Li’s work has been a turning point in the modern history of Chinese ink painting,” said Yan Tan, curator of the solo exhibition.
Since the late 1980s, he has been donating his works to museums around the world. His creations are currently exhibited in the Museum of Macao, the US Oriental Museum, Helsingor Museum and Wellington Museum.
Art Bridge Gallery
D09-1, 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District
Through April 28
(010) 6433 1798
This post originally appeared in Beijing Today.