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LI HUAYI (B. 1948)
LI HUAYI (B. 1948)

Snow-covered Mountains

Details
LI HUAYI (B. 1948)
Snow-covered Mountains
Scroll, mounted and framed
Ink and colour on paper
136 x 68 cm. (53 1/2 x 26 3/4 in.)
Post Lot Text
LI HUAYI (B. 1948)
Selected exhibitions
2011 Beijing Centre for the Arts, Beijing, China (solo)
2010 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA (group)
2007 Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, China (group)
2006 Shanghai Art Museum, China (group)
Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts, USA (group)
2004 Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California, USA (solo)
1998 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (group)

Notable collections
Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California, USA
British Museum, London, UK
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA
Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts, USA
Museum of Fine Art, Boston, USA

Li Huayi, born in Shanghai, studied traditional Chinese paintings as a child with Wang Jimei, the son of artist Wang Zhen. He worked as a propaganda artist during the Cultural Revolution and in 1982 he left China for San Francisco to study at the San Francisco Academy of Art University where he received training in Western art. Li's subject matter is primarily landscape with intricate details of trees and rocks set against an expressive splashed-ink background. His imagination is fuelled by his interest in Buddhism and the scenic landscapes he saw during his travels in China. Whilst inspired by Northern Song landscape paintings he continually modernizes his style, employing methods such as splashed ink and abstract expressionism. His works contrast meticulous (gongbi) and expressive (xieyi) brushwork within the same composition, embodying the elegance and subtlety of classical Chinese ink paintings with flashes of light, space and energy rarely seen in the genre.

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Carmen Shek Cerne
Carmen Shek Cerne

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Lot Essay

Li Huayi's intricate landscape work uses experimental techniques to blend the new and the old, creating a work reminiscent of the monumental Northern Song painting in spirit. Beginning with splashes of ink on paper which create a free-form formation of grotesque mountains and cliffs, a technique most often associated with Zhang Daqian, Li then adds photo-realistic details to depict jagged rocks and looming pines, using the gongbi technique and often taking several months over the process. The artist's meticulous approach creates an image at once monumental and intimate, portraying a vast mountainscape, radiating quiet energy, obscured by lofty clouds and bathed in dramatic light.

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