New York gallery launches series 15 New Chinese Ink artist solo shows – Yishu

Wei Ligang

Wei Ligang

CHINESE NEW INK

Goedhuis Contemporary will launch a series of 15 solo artist shows devoted solely to the modernist and avant-garde practitioners of the New Chinese Ink Painting with a special show of works by Wei Ligang (b. 1964 Datong City, Shanxi) at its New York gallery from September 25 – October 18.

A selection of Wei Ligang’s works will also be featured at Goedhuis Contemporary exhibitions in October at the Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, the International Art + Design Fair, and International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show in New York, and at two Miami shows in December, Art Miami and artAsia.

It is difficult for the West to realize how much courage is required for a Chinese artist to in any way tamper with the hallowed calligraphic formulae evolved by past masters over the last 2000 years. Wei Ligang’s paintings constitute no less than a new pictorial language in which his abstract characters allude to, but also have broken away from, the logic of tradition and emerge in beautiful, relaxed new structures of line and form.

While calligraphy has been the defining feature of Chinese culture, linked to music and dance and ranked alongside poetry as one of the highest forms of Chinese art, it is also a tremendously powerful vehicle for expression in these revolutionary times in China’s political and social history. Wei Ligang goes so far to claim that the only completely Chinese art form today is abstract calligraphy, written on Chinese paper in Chinese ink. Wei Ligang is among the leading artists engaged in a great aesthetic challenge to ensure that this most revered art form can develop so as to be relevant and meaningful not just to China, but throughout the world.

The emphatic Chinese-ness of Wei’s work, which springs in part from his desire to resist the overwhelming influence of Western art, derives from his concern to evoke echoes of the past by de-constructing and re-configuring ancient scripts while still alluding to them through his brush-work and fluctuating densities of ink. Wei Ligang’s objective is not to provide textural gratification but to stimulate the viewer to enjoy the magical transformation of a historical tradition with a continuous intellectual life of more than 3,500 years.

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