3812 Art Space
10/F, 12 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong
3812 Art Space
Li Xin speaks of his creation as ‘paint rooted in water ‘. Thus he distances himself from traditional scholars who were mostly concerned with the handling of brush and ink. For his part, Li Xin uses very little ink, only leaving a few smudges that look like water stains. If one compares his work to the eminently physical one of Pollock’s, it should be noted that apart from the involvement of his whole body, the painter also tries to appropriate the water marks left so naturally and so pleasantly on Xuan paper – something he shares with Chinese traditional scholars.
After spending time in France and creating abstract pieces for a few years, Li Xin returned to ink. This decision, resulting from a lengthy personal artistic maturation, may also be seen as a cultural choice, a desire to create a new form of ink wash, unheard of in the Chinese tradition, and which aimed to reposition an ancestral tradition into the contemporary world. This choice belongs neither to recent Chinese artistic trends nor to a particular international context.
Water may not be capable of being fixed, but the ink embodies it, forming images on the paper. Ink keeps the shape of the water, leaving its print on paper. Only the memory of it remains, because the water itself has disappeared. Li Xin juggles with water, with ink and paper, retracing his thoughts in the ink wash. He manages to transpose this mental process with an ease freed from techniques and liberated from conceptualization. Whether it wants to advance or to seek artistic truth, to progress and modernize itself, Chinese ink wash must not only accept a technical but also a cultural renewal.
Li Xi, ‘Livre de l’eau’,
39.5cm x 58.6cm x 12, Ink on rice paper, 2014
Li Xin, ‘2014.11.7. Shēn’,
68cm x 69cm, Ink on rice paper, 2014
Li Xi, ‘28.9.2014’,
185x185cm, Oil on canvas, 2014
Li Xin, ‘2012 E 28, 29, 30′ (A set of Three),
59.5cm x 175.3cm x 3, Ink on rice paper, 2012