Ink Printmaking

View All

You are here

Liu Qinghe

Liu Qinghe’s Terms of Endearment: Tally Beck

Liu Qinghe explores new subject matter in his latest series Bao Bei Er. Generally noted for his monumental, sensual ink wash paintings of larger-than-life adult subjects, Liu has shifted his attention to a subjective catalogue of rural and urban children. He paints them on a smaller scale, emphasising their diminutive stature and vulnerability.

Bao Bei Er literally means “precious shell” and refers to the ancient Chinese practice of using cowry shells as currency. In modern Chinese parlance, it has become a term of endearment reserved for children and loved ones. Liu Qinghe’s choice of title effectively forecasts the tenderness and emotion that his delicate ink wash paintings evoke.

There is a palpable sense of pathos in his depictions – particularly in the infants.
Tally Beck

Liu was inspired to address this theme after seeing media images of children in the countryside that spotlight rural poverty and seek to shock the urban population, inspiring donations. He was also aware of the practice among urban children of donating their pocket money directly to rural families. Noting that the media concentrated on a few images of select children in the countryside and that this presentation was too myopic, Liu sought to extrapolate on this imagery as well as portray the sociological connection between the urban and rural children.

The series of paintings is formally cohesive, yet each is autonomous. Far from being portraits, Liu paints them from his imagination. He gives them attitudes and attributes that comment on their situations. The mischievous boy from the countryside wears a sleeveless T-shirt, a PLA cap and no pants. He wields a slingshot, and his eye narrows to focus on a target. In sharp contrast, a city girl stands primly and sports a colourful, frilly outfit. Her wide eyes suggest naiveté. Liu’s portrayals comment on socialisation with Rousseauesque romanticism: the partially nude but cunning rural boy is free and unfettered by societal restraints while the urban girl, encased in superfluous artifice, seems to be deprived of a carefree childhood.

Liu was executing these works when the catastrophic earthquake struck Sichuan Province in May 2008, and this tragedy affected his engagement with his subject matter. Some of the works had already been completed (such as the boy with the slingshot), but Liu embarked on many of the works with knowledge of the earthquake orphans fresh in his mind. These pieces illustrate the seismographic nature of Liu’s ink wash paintings. There is a palpable sense of pathos in his depictions—particularly in the infants.
 

Liu is able to achieve an astonishing degree of expressiveness in the medium of ink wash. His careful modulation of tones, light and shadow lent a salient sensuality to his previous work. In this series, he manipulates the medium to give his subjects softness, innocence and vulnerability. In his depictions of adults, the defining linear elements convey sexual tension with tactile vibrancy. Liu employs a completely different type of energy in his youthful subjects. He removes the linear tension and describes flesh with warm hues and tonal variations.

When explaining his choice of subjects, Liu emphasised his intrigue with the notion of predetermined destiny. While all children are the same, their futures seem laid out depending on where they are born. He does not allow this predetermination to add static elements to his depictions. Whether presenting adults or children, his subjects always seem to be in transition. The energy he imbues in the character defies a sense of permanence. In these youthful subjects, Liu augments this vibrancy with a brighter palette than he uses in his images of adults. He continues to measure and restrain his use of colour, but the saturated yellows and lively reds and pinks suggest a sense of optimism unseen in his images of more mature subjects.

It may have seemed that the power of Liu Qinghe’s work lay in its monumentality in many of his previous paintings, but we see in this recent series that the awesomeness of his imagery lies in its intimacy. His virtuosity in the ink wash medium allows intense expressiveness; he creates a kind of impressionism with psychological intensity. As he explores the characters of children of different backgrounds, he evokes our sympathy and underscores the universality of human experience.

 

1961

Born in Tianjin City

1981

Graduated from the Tianjin School of Arts and Crafts

1987

Graduated from the Folk Art Dept., the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing

1989

Graduated with Masters Degree from the Chinese Painting Dept., CAFA

1992

Residency at the Royal Academy of Fine Art (RAFA) studio in Madrid, Spain

Present:

Vice Professor, Chinese Painting Dept., CAFA

 

Solo Exhibitions

 

2017

The Time of The Year, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Beijing

2015

Traffic Controls, Meilun Art Museum, Hunan

2013

Sunflower – Liu Qinghe, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

2012

Floating by Liu Qinghe, The Opposite House, Beijing

2011

AGE – Liu Qinghe Art work Exhibition, K Gallery, Chengdu

 

Switching Lanes – Liu Qinghe, Red Gate Gallery

 

Somebody up There Likes Me – Liu Qinghe Recent Ink Painting works Exhibition, Nantong Central Art Museum, Nantong

2010

Throbbing - Liu Qinghe, Red Gate Gallery

2009

Liu Qinghe, He Xiangning Art Museum

2008

Bao Bei Er, Red Gate Gallery

2007

Liu Qinghe, Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijng

 

Beyond the Bank, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

2006

Liu Qinghe, Dong San Bang Gallery, Korea

2004

River – Scape, Red Gate Gallery

2003

Wind Blowing on the Water, Red Gate Gallery

2000

On the Border, Red Gate Gallery

 

Liu Qinghe, Luoyang Museum

1999

Wind - Night, Red Gate Gallery

1998

The Shore, Red Gate Gallery

1997

Walk in the Clouds, Red Gate Gallery

1996
Guangzhou Gate Salon

 

Feelings, Red Gate Gallery

1995

Ink and Wash Paintings, Shenzhen Art Museum

1994

Recent Paintings, Red Gate Gallery

 

Liu Qinghe, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

1993

Liu Qinghe- Chinese Ink and Wash Paintings, RAFA, Madrid

 

Liu Qinghe, Sephira Galeria, Madrid

 

Group Exhibitions

 

2017

Red Gate on the Move, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing

 

Discordant Harmony, Inside-out Art Museum, Beijing

 

The 2nd Shenzhen Beinnale of Contemporary Art – City as Museum, OCT, Shenzhen

 

Tracing the Past and Shaping the Future, Powerlong Museum, Shanghai

 

More than 10 Feasibilities of Ink, Luxehills Art Museum

2016

Stories of the Life – Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, China Cultural Centre in Sydney, Australia

 

My Living Room 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing

2015

SHUIMO Meet Revolution The new Silk Road, Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing

2014

Dimensions of Concerns – Contemporary Ink Painting Exhibition of Six Artists, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

 

West Says East Says – Chinese Contemporary Art Research Exhibition, United Art Museum, Wuhan

 

Reshuffling the Past – China Contemporary Ink Art Tour Exhibition, USA

2013

Washing Painting New Dimension - 2013 Critics Nomination Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

 

Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Ink and Wash Painting 2000-2012, Today Art Museum, Beijing

 

The Origin of Dao - New Conception of Chinese Contemporary Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art

 

Illusion/Image - Contemporary Chinese Ink Art Series I, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

 

Portrait of the Time - 30 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Power Station of Art, Shanghai

 

Spectacle Reconstruction - Chinese Contemporary Art, Debrecen MODEM, Hungary

2012

Two Generations - 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art 2012 Australian Tour: City of Sydney Chinese New Year; Manning Regional Gallery; Damien Minton Gallery; University of Newcastle Gallery; Melbourne International Fine Arts (MiFA); Linton & Kay, Perth

2011

20 Years - Two Generations of Artists at Red Gate, Island6 Art Center, Shanghai

 

20 Years - Two Generations of Artists at Red Gate, Red Gate Gallery

2009

Matrix of Four Gates – Exhibition of Traditional Lineaged contemporary Inkwash, Today Art Museum

2008

Red Gate Stars, Red Gate Gallery

 

Visual Dialogue – Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting, National Art Museum of China

 

China – Facing Realism, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Art Museum of China

 

Beijing International Art Biennale, National Art Museum of China

 

Transforming Marks of Ink, Berlin Asian Art Museum, Berlin

 

 No Ink – Exhibhition of Chinese Contemporary Inkwash, Today Art Museum

 

Artists’ Exhibitions – Li Jin, Liu Qinghe and Wu Yi, Denmark Art Center, Beijing

 

Side by Side – Liu Qinghe and Li Jin, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles

2007

Contemporary Cultural Venation – China Version, Beijing Today Art Museum

2006

Contemporary Imagination,  China Millennium Monument Art Museum, Beijing

 

60 Sigh, Today Art Museum, Beijing 

 

Life, Yanhuang Art Museum, Beijing

2005

Contemporary Chinese Art, Mexico

2004

Oriental Space – 20th Century Chinese Paintings, Paris

 

Excellent Artists Nomination, Today Art Museum, Beijing

 

Chinese Cotemporary Ink and Wash, National Art Museum of China (NAMOC)

 

Chinese Contemporary Famous Artist, NAMOC

 

19th Asia International Art Exhibition, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan

 

Ink and Wash Figure Paintings in New Reality, Shanghai Art Museum

 

1st Fine Arts Documentary Nomination, Hubei Institute of Fine Arts

 

Nanjing Ink Painting Media Triennial, Jiangsu Art Museum

2003

New Freehand Chinese Ink – Paintings by Invited Artists, Beijing Yanhuang Art Museum, Yi Shu Lang Art Gallery, Singapore; Europe

 

New Generation and Post – Revolution, China Blue Gallery, Beijing

 

An Opening Era – 40th Anniversary of the Founding of NAGC, NAGC

 
Chinese Art Today, China Millennium Monument Art Museum

 

1st Beijing International Art Biennale, NAGC      

 

 International Art Expo- Chinese Exhibition, Seoul

 

Dot, Radiation and Penetration –Visual Expressions through Paper and Ink, Malaysia Art Museum, Guangdong Art Museum

 

Chinese Contemporary Art, Seoul

2002

Artists Across the Straits, Taiwan National Art Gallery, Taipei

 

China - Korea Artists, Seoul Sejong Art Museum; Suwon University Gallery

 

Artists’ Home Art Gallery, Vienna

 

Sketches and Drawings, Tuancheng Gallery, Beijing

 

Urban Creation, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Gallery

 

3rd International Ink Painting Biennale, Guan Shanyue Gallery, Shenzhen

2001

The Distinct Color of Ink, China Contemporary Ink Paintings, NAGC

 

Extending the Ink, China Contemporary Ink Paintings, NAGC

 

1st National Ink Paintings Invitational Exhibition, Dalian

 

Clues to the Future – Red Gate Gallery’s 10th Anniversary

 

Living, Hamburger Bahnhoff, Berlin

 

Paper / Ink, National Gallery of Korea, Seoul

 

100 Years of Chinese Painting, NAGC

 

Experimental Ink and Wash, Guangdong Art Musuem

2000

Gate of the Century, 1979 - 1999 Chinese Art Invitational Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu

 

New Chinese Painting, Shanghai

 

Shenzhen 2nd International Ink and Wash Biennale, Shenzhen

 

 Shanghai Art Museum’s Collection, Shanghai

 

Between the Lines, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney

1999

Urban Yearnings: Portraits of Contemporary China by Liu Qinghe, Su Xinping and Zhang Yajie, Chinese Cultural Center, San Francisco

 

Chinese Ink & Wash Portraits, NAGC

 

The Tree of Life, Qing Ping Gallery, Boston

 

A Collection of Contemporary Experimental Ink / Wash Drawings, Guangdong Art Museum, Shenzhen Art Museum

 

Asian Art, Seoul

 

Contemporary China, Berlin

 

9th National Fine Arts Exhibition, Guangdong

1998

Retake: A Selection Reviewing Red Gate Artists’ Signature Works,

 

Red Gate Gallery  

 

Chinese Watercolors by Teachers of CAFA, NAGC

1997

Guangzhou International Invitational Art Fair, Guangzhou

 

‘97 Chinese Contemporary Art Invitational Fair, Shanghai

 

Works by Famous Contemporary Chinese Artists, Zhuhai

1996

National Exhibition - Trends in Chinese Ink Painting, NAGC

 

Figurative Chinese Painting, Gallery of International Art Palace, Beijing

1994

8th National Fine Arts Exhibition, NAGC

1993

1st National Exhibition of Chinese Painting, NAGC

1992

20th Century - China, NAGC

1991

New Generation Art, History Museum, Beijing

1990

Chinese Figure Painting, Chinese Painting Research Institute, Beijing

 

Chinese Painting, Sino-Japanese Exchange Center, Beijing

1988

Four Painters, CAFA

1985

Academy Show, CAFA

 1981

2nd National Exhibition of Young Artists, NAGC

 

 

Awards

 

 

1994
Gold Prize of Beijing, 8th National Fine Arts Exhibition

1985

Second Prize, Academy Show, CAFA

1981

Second Prize, 2nd Tianjin Youth Exhibition

 

 

Collections
 

BHP Beijing; Australian Embassy, Beijing; Beijing Traditional Chinese Painting Research Institute; Shenzhen Art Museum; Guangdong Art Museum; Shanghai Art Museum; China Art Museum; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Spain; Sephira Galeria, Spain; numerous private collections.

 

My recent work is about a return to nature, which takes the form of a couple of fruit trees or a mountain. I feel that only by being in nature will one feel extremely peaceful; where one can find a serenity that emanates from the inner self. It is a place free of slogans and there is nothing to fathom. By returning to this boundless inner sanctum, one can access a life force. Perhaps it is just that for me? I feel closer to myself as I channel this internal energy into my painting.

Liu Qinghe

 

 

VISIT US
10 am - 6 pm, Tuesday - Sunday
 
798 Art District,
No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
 
北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路2号
798艺术区院内
SEND US MAIL
Beijing International Post Office
Box No. 9039,
Beijing, China 100600
CALL / EMAIL
(+86 10) 5762 3032
[email protected]
FOLLOW US
      
 
 WeChat QR
 

Follow Red Gate Gallery on Artsy

MAILING LIST