LIU QI (B. 1979)
Mr. Li Hao Hao
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
169 x 90 cm. (66 1⁄2 x 35 3⁄8 in.)
One seal of the artist
Post lot text
Ink Art in Motion: The Post-70s Generation
The post-70s generation born in mainland China is perhaps the luckiest in the twentieth century. Historical events in the first half of the 20th century, such as the dynastic transition and warfare with foreign powers, were only the stories in their textbooks. In the 1960s, political movements have become key themes in Chinese art and literature. These movements eventually progressed to a new stage and gradually dwindled. The generation thus grew up in a period when the society was reconstructing knowledge. People enjoyed an unprecedented openness as China sought a new political ideology and a functional economy. As we entered the 80s and the 90s, the youngsters held much enthusiasm for exploration, with a strong desire to participate in the globalization discourse unfamiliar to them. For them, the ability to express individuality has become their foundation in artmaking, reflected in their unique artistic styles and perspectives. Freedom is undoubtedly the main characteristic of the era.

The group of artists presented here painted different faces in Chinese ink paintings. Wu Qiang and Zhu Xiaoqing adhere to the proxy of traditional Chinese landscape paintings. They strive to instil contemporary elements to make landscape works more relevant to our times. Lu Junzhou, Lu Hui, and Chu Chu, inspired by different aesthetic origins, explore abstractionism, near-abstractionism and realism. The riveting works by Tong Tianqing, Sun Hao, Qiu Jiongjiong, Liu Qi, and Huang Hongtao are unique in their own right and share a refreshing, lighthearted visual pleasure with the viewers. The works by female painters such as Peng Wei, Xu Hualing, Pan Wenxun, and He Hongyu exude a peaceful and gentle appearance compared to their male counterparts, but they manifest a quiet, restrained power upon a closer look.

The three Hong Kong artists have distinct characteristics compared to their Mainland Chinese contemporaries. Having grown up in an economically fast-developing society, these artists experienced the end of British Colonialism and the implementation of the One Country, Two Systems policy. The small urban space has made them further explore the city and reflect on their identities. Therefore in their painting, Hong Kong often appears to be the primary feature, both implicitly and explicitly.

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Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

Liu Qi’s figures are often emotionless, with loosely defined faces, bodies and poses. Instead, the artist focuses on stylistic accents, like the hairstyles and clothing of the figures. In the process, he explores how figures have been represented over time and across different cultures. Wall paintings, reliefs, and sculptures from various past civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Han dynasty China, are all incorporated into Liu’s unique style, which transforms ancient concepts and systems of figuration into a contemporary cultural icon by depicting scenes of contemporary daily life through Chinese ink.

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