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Pearl Lam Galleries
Pearl Lam Fine Art
No. 181 Middle Jiangxi Road, G/F
Shanghai, China 200002   map * 
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Beyond Colour: Contemporary Abstract Art
by Pearl Lam Galleries
Location: Pearl Lam Galleries Shanghai
Artist(s): GROUP SHOW
Date: 27 Nov 2013 - 15 Feb 2014

Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to present ‘Beyond Colour: Contemporary Abstract Art’, a group exhibition showcasing the work of five cross-generational abstract artists including Andre Kneib, Juju Sun, Lan Zhenghui, Li Lei and Qiu Deshu.

In contrast to ‘Beyond Black and White’, a group exhibition held at the gallery earlier this year, ‘Beyond Colour’ is a vibrant, visually arresting snapshot of the current epoch through colour in abstract painting. 

It is unmistakably contemporary, yet also indicative of a thoughtful engagement with past developments in the use of colour across Chinese painting history. The works of these five artists demonstrate their diverse, unique relationships with colour, evoking a varied spectrum of educational backgrounds, schools of thought, cultural influences and time periods. Collectively, these artists envisage a contemporary abstract painting practice that inventively employs colour as a means of expression.

The exhibition features eighteen works combining both Eastern and Western artistic practices. Andre Kneib is a French artist who works in the traditional Chinese medium of ink on xuan paper. Kneib injects colour to a calligraphy style that is traditionally monochromatic, a feature derived from Western visual culture. ‘Friend’ and ‘Landscape at Puberg-11’ are two such paintings, which combine Eastern medium with a Western palette creating truly transcultural works. In contrast, Juju Sun, the only female artist exhibited, chooses the Western medium of acrylic on canvas as a vehicle for expression. The works in this exhibition, No. 1214 and No. 1201, are characteristically bold and robust, reflecting her dynamic energy and enthusiasm.

Qiu Deshu is an artist who developed his own signature style of works called “fissuring” (lie bian). This style turns the traditional medium of Chinese ink on rice paper on its head. Qiu transforms the language of landscape into a contemporary idiom of creative expression, using ink colour and paper in a collage-like process.

In the context of this exhibition, each of the artists’ use of colour is situated within a broader innovative spirit. This spirit is captured in works that embody their varied formal concerns, philosophies and epistemologies, and that acknowledge indebtedness to the rich heritage of Chinese artistic culture. Mapping out a wide-ranging discourse that goes beyond just the inventive use of colour, these works gesture at new frontiers in the field of contemporary abstract painting.

*image (left)
© Juju Sun
courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries

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