‘The Chinese art market has tremendous potential for further growth with its booming economy,’ states gallerist Pearl Lam, who began promoting Chinese contemporary art in Hong Kong in 1993. ‘Chinese collectors are beginning to show more interest in Chinese contemporary art, whereas previously they were more focused on antiques,’ she adds. ‘With greater exposure to different types of contemporary Chinese art, including new media art and Chinese abstract, there is room for growth in the domestic market.’ Here, Pearl, who operates in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, picks five emerging Chinese artists that have caught her eye.
Born in 1984, Ren Ri works with bees to form sculptural works out of beeswax. The artist believes his sculptures represent the truth of how humans interact with nature, which involves harmony, destruction, moulding and interference, and can result in unpredictable, volatile but wondrous results.
Born in 1973, Juju Sun’s cross-cultural personal and artistic journey is reflected in her dynamic, robustly coloured abstract oil paintings. Exhibiting a bold painterly style and her love for the medium, Sun's recent abstracts, inspired by cityscapes and her reaction to urbanisation, introduce the use of a paint roller in juxtaposition with hand-painted layers.
Painter and printmaker Li Xiaojing (b. 1981) is a contemporary artist whose approach to abstraction manifests itself in ink. She believes the mind must be empty and the artist’s hands be connected to heaven, earth and heart in order to create. Her works explore the appearance and non-linear nature of time, its reversibility and chaotic nature.
Morgan Wong is a young artist from Hong Kong who focuses on durational performance and temporality. As a multi-discipline artist, his practice also includes performance, video, installation and works on paper. Many of his works are conceptual, including performances that require endurance, such as Filing Down a Steel Bar Until a Needle Is Made, 2013.
Born in 1971, Jun Jun Hu is an artist and poet who, like many of her peers in China, follows the Literati tradition. This means she works in a variety of disciplines and roots her art in traditional philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism, yet still succeeds in reinventing and modernising them.
Main image: Pearl Lam in front of Zhu Jinshi’s painting The river full in red, 2006
Zhu Jinshi, The river full in red, 2006. Oil on canvas. 290 x 400cm. © DACS 2014
Photograph courtesy of Julian de Hauteclocque Howe