LOS ANGELES—Rarely seen on this scale outside of Asia, The 2019 LA Art Show will be showcasing a diverse and comprehensive array of Pan-Asian ink paintings throughout the fair, featuring artists from China, Japan and South Korea. Ink painting originated in East Asia as the tradition of using carbon-based black ink and calligraphic brush painting techniques, and has continued to evolve as the basis for much contemporary works in the region. Ink is as synonymous with painting in the East as oil is with painting in the West. From traditional and historical, to contemporary, to avant-garde, these eight galleries offer us an opportunity to appreciate the rich spectrum of ink painting styles.
“The ink painting style from the East is one of the most important movements in art history, but in the West we know almost nothing about it,” says LA Art Show producer Kim Martindale . “We need to understand ink painting better, and with LA’s position on the pacific rim, we are in the ideal position for it. This is the only showcase of its kind to be exhibited outside of Asia with this volume and prestige of work.”
From traditional and historical, to contemporary, to avant garde, the full spectrum of ink painting styles will be exhibited by these eight galleries.
Michael Goedhuis , who was the first dealer in the west to recognize the significance of these radical innovations in Chinese culture, has concentrated on identifying the artists who are in the process of shifting the axis of Chinese aesthetics. He will be exhibiting the works of the ten best contemporary ink painters from China, where the art form emerged from calligraphy over 1,000 years ago. Featuring work by Gu Wenda, Li Xubai, Lo Ch’ing, Qin Feng, Qiu Deshu, Wang Dongling, Wei Ligang, Tai Xiangzhou, Li Huayi, and Liu Dan, this Chinese Contemporary Ink Art showcase will explore how Chinese contemporary culture is being transformed via a profound understanding of Chinese historical civilization. These artists are creating a new pictorial language which expresses the fundamentals of Chinese aesthetics and culture in ways which are relevant to today’s society in China and also to the developments in the West.
From Beijing, East Art Center will exhibit a handful of artists who, in various ways, incorporate the techniques of calligraphy into their pieces. Bian Hong is a pioneer in the New Abstract Calligraphy movement originating in China. Her work subverts the Chinese artistic convention that calligraphy is more important than visual painting, and in her work, she approaches them as equivalent. The result is neither painting nor calligraphy, but a different creation altogether; pulled from modes of Chinese tradition and Western aesthetics and abstraction. Li Huichang is a master in oil painting, ink arts, and calligraphy, and has enjoyed a prolific career in China. His works feature his mastery in ink, creating mysterious and ghostly images through traditional techniques such as po-muo (splash ink). Due to its difficulty to master, he is one of the only artists to continue practicing this technique. In “Realm,” Fan Peng’s body of work is a ritualistic comment on, and response to, the natural chaotic and social forces that shape much of the world. Li Zhihong uses traditional Chinese ink as his medium to present viewers with his inner perception of life, which he perceives as consisting of particles.
CM2 Space from Los Angeles will be presenting the works of Wang Fei , one of the leading figures in Chinese experimental ink painting. Fei balances conflicting principles of aesthetics from traditional Chinese ink painting, violating certain rules to elevate and align the work with contemporary principles. Highly emotional, his art presents dichotomies and travel between joy and anger; laughter and tears as well as life and death. He challenges established rules to create images that reflect the internal struggle of the human experience, the push and pull between rebellion and complicity.
Cospace from Shanghai will be exhibiting the work of Yu Qiping , who uses meticulous craft and style to create ancient and modern landscapes and figures with surreal and ironic elements.
“Ink is the foremost medium in Chinese art, with roots deeply tied in reflecting Chinese language, philosophy, and social change,” explains Weimei Chen , LA Art Show ’s Director of Chinese Art Affairs. “It has a history that spans over two thousand years, with endless techniques and various schools of style. The tradition of ink painting has endured for centuries. In the 1980s, artists began to reexamine ink art as a medium with contemporary potential. Over the decades, there has been a surge of advancement in ink art, no longer just a traditional form, but a medium and practice with a solid foothold in the contemporary art world and market.”
From Japan, Kamiya Co,. LTD will be exhibiting the work of the late Yu-ichi Inoue , who gained an international reputation through the course of his career for his avant-garde calligraphic work. Robert Motherwell called him one of the few great artists from the latter half of the 20th century. Inoue’s paintings depict calligraphy character-based subject matter, as well as his radicalization of traditional calligraphic techniques and styles. The gallery will also be exhibiting the work of Shiro Tsujimura and Morihiro Hosokawa , who incorporate Zen teachings into their art practices and aesthetics.
Gallery Kitai will be exhibiting three artists who all use Japanese calligraphy as the basis of their current form of expression. Mizuho Koyama is making a name for herself as a pioneer and liberator of sho (calligraphy) from the restrictive framework of the technique—creating a style different from past liberators such and Inoue and Shinoda . Reiko Tsunashima has exhibited all over the world, and is best known for her body of abstract landscape “Scene of Sumi,” which she characterizes as a true collaboration with nature. Miwako Nagaoka is a born calligrapher who is recognized as a pioneer in using it as a basis for an avant-garde aesthetic.
Shumoku Gallery will exhibit the work of Nagoya-based artist, 90 year old Shoen Tominaga . In the early 1950s, Tominaga rose to fame as a member of the avant-garde calligraphy group, Bokujin-kai (lit. “Ink Man Group”), formed by Yu-ichi Inoue , Morita Shiryu and others. His work is characterized by exquisite balance of black and white achieved through extraordinary compositions and brushwork honed from decades of experimentation.
Based in Los Angeles and Seoul, Baik Art will be exhibiting the work of South Korean artist Chuni Park . Inspired by natural landscapes, he recreates abstract paintings from memory of the places he’s explored and populates them with a cast of symbolic, often-recurring characters.
Featured in the showcase will be Park’s large-scale, multi-panel installation, “Black Landscape,” which draws the seasons in black ink derived from pine soot. This will be the first time it is exhibited outside of South Korea. In the months leading up to the LA Art Show, Park is also traveling through California and the American West, visiting national parks like Yosemite for inspiration. He will be premiering several new pieces inspired by his exploration of the Southwest, joining iconic landscape artists like Hockney who have tackled similar subject matter. This will be Park’s first time depicting American landscapes—opening a whole new world for his work and starting a new chapter in his creative career.
OPENING NIGHT PREMIERE
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | 7pm – 11pm
Thursday, January 24, 2019 | 11am – 7pm Friday, January 25, 2019 | 11am – 7pm
Saturday, January 26, 2019 | 11am – 7pm Sunday, January 27, 2019 | 11am – 5pm
LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER – WEST HALL
1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015