2018-11-02 11:56:55 China Minutes
Open Spaces, Liu Guofu
3812 Gallery, one of the foremost contemporary Asian art galleries in Hong Kong, has announced an ambitious expansion into Europe by opening its first outpost in London art district St. James’s on 6th November 2018 with a solo exhibition of Liu Guofu, Vibrating Double Shadows, showcasing 11 new paintings by the Nanjing-based artist. The opening of 3812 London Gallery coincides with 2018 Asian Art in London, in which the gallery will also participate.
Co-founder and CEO of 3812 Gallery Mark Peaker said, “We are very excited to announce the opening of our new gallery in London. As the opening exhibition, we believe that Liu Guofu’s work showcases a unique blend of Eastern and Western art elements that represents a spirit of oriental origin in contemporary expression, a vision that our gallery has been trying to hold onto for years. With our new location, we look forward to continuing to create new aesthetic experiences for our collectors and visitors around the world in the future.”
The Cold Mountain, Liu Guofu
Liu Guofu’s ‘Phantom Brushstrokes’ gives us a whole new perspective on artistic language. His works have been displayed in public in many exhibitions and have acquired a high reputation. Liu has his idiosyncratic style in creation – he tends to retain every stroke and dash of oil paint applied during the painting process, then covers them up with new layers without hiding the original traces. The fragmented brushstrokes and the transparent layers are handled with patience and persistence as the process bides much of his time. Those black and ochre oil glazes possess an aura that tradition did not; the scattered brushstrokes begin to take on a sacred solemnity of holy chants.
Dr. Xia Kejun, acclaimed philosopher and art critic, once described Liu Guofu’s oil paintings as a magical spectacle: “Among Chinese contemporary oil painters, I have yet to see a single one who is so richly imbued with the dejected and pessimistic qualities of modernity, or can convey the lofty desolation of Chinese landscape painting with such clear form and spiritual power. This is truly an ‘otherworldly landscape’, the most magical spectacle of the soul.”
In his essay “Surfacing Colour: On Liu Guofu”, world-leading philosopher Andrew Benjamin wrote: “Every time we come before the painting of Liu Guofu, the space opened up by the surface of the painting retains the many shadows of time's passing. Through countless brushstrokes, the painter stacks their imprints onto the painting. Those layers and layers of beautiful, transparent shadows are like the appearance of the spirit.”
Liu Guofu’s handling of Chinese classical landscape painting is unprecedented. In the overlapping brushstrokes, the trace of clouds and hills from ancient landscape painting emerge imperceptibly, yet just a glimpse and quickly dispersed, like the shadow of a veil depicted in Su Shi’s inscription on Wang Shen’s painting Stacking Mountain Peaks, “On the river, the mind is drawn to the stacked peaks, floating in the emptiness like jade in the clouds.” Liu’s works have the connotation of abstractionism, but not exactly. He neither falls into the abstract thinking of the West nor follows the tradition of Chinese imaginary semblance, maintaining the natural elements and variation in forms.
3812 Gallery, St. James‘s
Liu Guofu’s Solo Exhibition will be open to public from 6 November 2018 to 12 January 2019 at 3812 London Gallery (address: G/F, 21 Ryder Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6PX).