Li Huasheng is seen as a representative of the ‘xin wenren hua’ (New Literary Men’s paintings) art trend of the eighties which focused on the reassertion of Chinese artistic values and the creative freedom of the individual. His heaving mountains, swaying trees and staggering cottages show not only his love for the countryside of his native Sichuan, but also influences from and studies of the art of Shitao and Badashanren. Indeed, Li weaves together poetry, calligraphy and painting as the traditional literati painters did in the past, and his paintings are steeped in the idea of ‘xieyi’ (expressing the idea rather than the form). The selection of paintings features in the present exhibition catalogue was chosen by the artist himself and represented the evolution of his art. Also included here are an essay written by Michael Sullivan which gives an introduction to the art of Li Huasheng, and a biography of the artist.
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