Age no barrier for dream-chasing Hangzhou artist

His solo exhibition of ink-wash paintings and calligraphy work, along with a series of art derivatives varying from silk scarves to furniture, porcelain wares and costumes, is underway at the National Museum of China in Beijing until October 15.

“Four years ago, I was invited by Lu Zhangshen (director of the museum) to hold a solo exhibition here. Now I have made it,” Chen said excitedly at the opening of the exhibition, without showing any stress and fatigue. “I have worked (on the show) for four years. I feel fortunate that I was born in such a great era!”

Chen expressed his feelings for his motherland with masterful brushstrokes on rice paper, whether the massive landscape featuring the West Lake or famous mountains. All of them reflect his vitality and energy for art.

He also donated 10 large works to the National Museum of China.

Born in Hangzhou in 1937, Chen rose to fame in the late 1980s, first gaining attention for the “Lotus” series, which fused traditional ink-wash techniques with modern flourishes.

Chen is an innovator when it comes to applying impressionist and abstract techniques to traditional Chinese ink-wash painting.

Lotus flowers have long been a stock subject among Chinese artists, but Chen’s depiction of them in light hues and smooth curves has distinguished him from his peers.

“I prefer the lotus flowers because their beauty is born out of mud,” Chen says. “A famous Chinese essay says, ‘Lotus is unsullied by the mud it's grown from and remains plainly charming after washing in clean water’.”

Sign In or Register to comment.