Beijing Abstract Keeping Quiet in a Noisy Neighbourhood
March is the busiest art season in Hong Kong, with the world's top galleries and institutions all trying to stake their place here by bringing their biggest and best shows to wow audiences. After a week of visual and physical impact, the noise is scattered, and the quiet of the empty space is just enough for people to look closely at each exhibition. When it comes to quiet, Parkview Art Hong Kong's Beijing Abstract exhibition is keeping a serene profile in the noisy neighbourhood.
Beijing Abstract is an art group initiated by eight artists living in Beijing - Mao Lizi, Ma Kelu, Ma Shuqing, Yuan Zuo, Tan Ping, Meng Luding, Feng Lianghong and Li Di. These artists originally engaged in representational art, later turning to abstract styles, which became the dominant discourse within Chinese art of the past 30 years. As such the sentiment within the ‘Beijing Abstract' exhibition is like a long-overdue style of painting: after three decades of maturation there is no declaration or constraint within the style, instead a unique kind of consciousness.
Abstract art in China is not like western abstract art; there is no ‘system' or academic definition. What we call abstract elements in Chinese art mostly refers to the unspoken parts of traditional art, with modern abstraction did not begin to appearing until the 20th century. In the beginning,
谭平从上世纪 80 年代初开始抽象探索，最初让他着迷的是蚀刻版画偶然的抽象肌理，后来他试图用绘画来探索控制与偶然之间的张力。展览中的作品，都延续了他对复杂与单纯的关系的探索。谭平的作品最终呈现的是单纯的平面，但透过反复的覆盖，单纯的平面背后暗藏复杂的涌动。 Fengmian Lin, Xunqin Pang and other artists studied in France, bringing expressionism to China with them. Later, Chu Teh-chun and Zao Wou Ki continued the exploration of abstract painting, integrated the artistic conception of Chinese aesthetics into modern painting, and eventually formed a lyrical abstraction with oriental charm. By 1981, the works of American artists such as Jackson Pollock were exhibited at the National Art Museum of China. The impact of western modern art caused Chinese contemporary art to explore the abstract painting trend, eventually developing into a distinctive abstractionism with roots in eastern philosophy and ideas – all of which occurred during a period of very limited external information. Several of the artists whose works were on display were freed from the barriers that beset their predecessors, leading each to develope a very different creative direction. However, they also have experienced significant changes in China over the past 30 or 40 years. Some have been living abroad for some time, ultimately forming a unique artistic language that formulates the unique painting styles seen in ‘Beijing Abstract.'
The exhibition included works created in the 1980s, such as Mao Lizi's 1980 work Abstract. Another piece of Mao's, Floweriness, was created in 2017. Although the materials and methods of the two are different, their temperament still has similarities that show the artistic conception of Chinese traditional aesthetics. In the 1970s, another artist, Ma Kelu, started to pursue abstraction in a variety of styles, producing work closely related to his
孟禄丁 80 年代中期开始抽象探索，从一开始他就对运动着迷，这在他 80 年的作品中已见端倪。本次展出的《元速》创作于 2015 年。它们不是对速度的再现，而是作画速度的记录。孟禄丁力图将绘画还原为纯粹的视觉经验，他在探索一种生物学意义上的绘画，一种适合全球化时代的创作。
Tan Ping began abstract exploration in the early 1980s after dabbling with the occasional abstract texture of etchings. After this, he then reverted to painting as a means to understand the tension between control and chance. His works in three stages in the exhibition continued this exploration of complex and simple relationships.
Having been fascinated by sports since the his early years, Meng Luding's abstraction began to take shape in his work during the 1980s. In this exhibition, his piece Yuan Rate was created in 2015. They are not a representation of speed, but a record of the speed of painting. Meng Luding seeks to restore painting to pure visual experience.
Ma Shuqing, on the other hand, is modernist to the end, focusing on building his own art world composed of colorific breathiness, charm and light.
The combination of abstract works from different artists form a powerful but gentle aura, with the entire exhibition space giving the audience enough space to breathe. In the noisy Central of Hong Kong after the craziness of art week, there is a place for meditation, and you can carefully admire the works and feel the world inside the paintings.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT PAGE《再见江南》袁佐
Back to Jiangnan Yuan Zuo展览现场 Exhibition Site《啊打深紅》马可鲁
Ada in Crimson Ma Kelu《方凳研习》马树青Study of a Square Chair Ma Shuqing