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Contemporary Landscapes: Li Huayi

Honolulu Museum of Art
August 24, 2019 - January 05, 2020  |  Official Website

Li Huayi is one of the leading innovators in Chinese ink painting, at a time when this field is experiencing a remarkable transformation. His intricate landscapes immerse the viewer in breathtaking environments that present a bold new vision of contemporary aesthetics.

Li’s identity as an artist was forged in the intense crucible of China’s emergence as a world superpower in the second half of the 20th century. Navigating the dramatic political and artistic upheavals of this time, his story is one of constant searching for a personal voice that could both fulfill the “great synthesis” of Chinese art sought by centuries of artists, as well as reorient ink painting within a contemporary international context. This search led him from early training in the traditions of his native Shanghai and academic European oil painting, to a first job as a teenager making Socialist Realist propaganda murals during the Cultural Revolution, to Abstract Expressionism after immigrating to the United States, and ultimately to the stunning monumental landscapes of his mature, uniquely individual style. 

This exhibition will trace the artist’s career over three decades, through 33 paintings lent from more than a dozen international private collections. It will include recent works never before seen by the public, as well as highlights from various stages of his artistic growth, in formats from hanging scrolls and gold screens to installations.

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