Li Huayi: Land­scapes From A Master’s Heart

Design Anthology - - Wanderlust - By Li Huayi, con­tri­bu­tion by Shen Kuiyi (Riz­zoli)

Pre-em­i­nent Chi­nese con­tem­po­rary ink pain­ter Li Huayi is 70 years old this year, so it is fit­ting that he is the sub­ject of such an au­thor­i­ta­tive mono­graph pre­sent­ing his work of the last 25 years.

The beau­ti­fully pro­duced pub­li­ca­tion is a de­fin­i­tive ret­ro­spec­tive of Li’s most cel­e­brated works of the pe­riod, doc­u­ment­ing his artis­tic evo­lu­tion through its most rep­re­sen­ta­tive pieces. The book re­veals how the great tra­di­tion of Chi­nese art, through the tal­ented hands and in­no­va­tive mind of the artist, is able to in­ter­act with Western con­tem­po­rary trends, thus pro­vid­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing visual in­sight into the uni­verse of a man sus­pended be­tween two cul­tures.

‘I do not paint real land­scapes, places in China or Cal­i­for­nia,’ says Li. ‘The land­scapes I paint ex­ist only in my mind. Nor am I paint­ing in a sin­gle an­cient style or copy­ing a sin­gle artist’s work. Land­scapes in gen­eral is my theme, as it has been in Chi­nese paint­ing for more than one thou­sand years. Land­scape paint­ing is a part of Chi­nese cul­ture; it has been said that land­scape in China was cul­tural be­fore it be­came na­ture.’

In ad­di­tion to its crit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tion by com­men­ta­tor and cu­ra­tor Shen Kuiyi, the book fea­tures a fore­word and com­men­tary by Li col­lab­o­ra­tor Cather­ine Kwai, founder of Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery in Hong Kong.

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