I found this display of contemporary Chinese works fascinating, especially after seeing Modern Chinese Ink Paintings at the British Museum last summer. While that show spanned the breadth of the 20th century, this show focuses mainly on works from the 1970s to the present day – works by living artists acquired in the last 10 years by Professor Michael Sullivan (represented in a portrait by Qu Leilei) and his wife Khoan. The classical landscape tradition is invoked in works such as Zheng Zaidong’s Wandering in the Woods (2004), where the placing of discrete landscape elements references Ni Zan (1301-1374), or Li Xubai’s Landscape No. 5 (2000), with its stylized cascades and miniature hermit’s hut. Other works play more freely with the notion of landscape, such as Wang Huaiqing’s Walking (2006), inspired by the gondola poles of Venice, or Nancy Choo Woo’s Glorious Sunset (2007), a riot of colour and refracted light.
Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sullivan Collection
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
24 July 2012 to 27 January 2013
The exhibition is also available in an online version.
Above: Wang Huaiqing, Walking, 2006. Etching. Height 74cm; width 96.8cm. Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection. Image: Wang Huaiqing, at http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/object/LI1486.23.