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b. 1929, China

Chinyee Biography

Chinese-American artist Chinyee (青意) combines basic elements of the pictorial language—space, line and colour—to create lyrical abstract oil paintings and watercolours.

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Born in 1929 in Nanjing, China, Chinyee was awarded a four-year scholarship to study in the United States in 1947, where she received her BFA from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and MA from New York University. She began working in the accounting department of the United Nations in 1956 while continuing to paint, and held her first solo exhibition at the Mi-Chou Gallery in New York in 1965.

With an academic background in traditional Chinese calligraphy, figurative illustration and painting, Chinyee began experimenting with Abstract Expressionism at its peak in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. Her early abstract works reveal traces of figuration, such as Markings (1965), a watercolour painting in which the circular form on the top left evokes the moon and the purple and horizontal black forms below hint at the mountains and streams. Over time, Chinyee adopted a technique of loose and spontaneous brushwork that draws from both calligraphic traditions and methods shared by other AbEx artists such as Joan Mitchell. In her oil painting Joy (2013), broad and energetic brushstrokes cut across a pear-green ground punctuated by shocks of pink, while in the oil painting Longings (2013), thin strokes of purple and black blend into a vibrant pink background.

After more than five decades of painting, Chinyee is still a prolific artist. For Dances of the Inner Being, her 2018 solo show at Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong, she presented a body of newly created works in addition to earlier paintings. The title is derived from her vision of painting, which, in her artist's statement, she describes as 'a process of discovering, shaping and reshaping [her] inner being.' In the exhibition, the artworks on display showcased her propensity for producing lyrical harmony among chaos and invoking a diverse range of emotions. The vertical arrangement of softly painted rectangles in Untitled (2017), for example, recalls the subdued colour field paintings of Mark Rothko; Chinyee, however, inserts an element of surprise to her painting by marking its surface with a thin stroke of red. Vitality replaces calmness in June A (2018), where gestural strokes of blue and green encapsulate the heat of summer engulfed in the saturated yellow and orange background.

Chinyee's solo exhibitions include Rhythms of Creation at Alisan Fine Arts (2013), and Chinyee's 50-year Retrospective: A Lyrical Journey at Shanghai Art Museum (2007). Her artwork was included in the group exhibition Asian Tradition/Modern Expressions: Asian American Artists and Abstractions 1945–1970, which travelled through the United States, Japan and Taiwan between 1997 and 1999. In 1989, Chinyee was named the 'Artist of the Nineties' by Manhattan Arts Magazine. Her works are in the collections of UNICEF, Shanghai Art Museum and Nankai University in Tianjin.

Chinyee lives and works in New Jersey.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Chinyee
featured artworks

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Red Budding by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting
Chinyee Red Budding, 1984 Oil on canvas
101.5 x 152.5 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Portal #1 by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting
Chinyee Portal #1, 1995 Oil & acrylic on canvas
152.5 x 91.5 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Blue Rain 1 by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting
Chinyee Blue Rain 1, 2012 Oil on canvas
91 x 122 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Two Spaces by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting
Chinyee Two Spaces, 2013 Oil on canvas
168 x 168 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Pizzicato by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Chinyee Pizzicato, 2013 Oil on canvas
168 x 168 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Harvest Moon by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Chinyee Harvest Moon, 2012 Oil on canvas
122 x 152 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Untitled (AS) by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, photography, print
Chinyee Untitled (AS), 1998 Watercolor and collage on paper
25.5 x 20.5 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Request Price & Availability
Reunion 10 by Chinyee contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, photography, print
Chinyee Reunion 10, 2012 Watercolour & collage on paper
29 x 23 cm
Alisan Fine Arts Contact Gallery
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Chinyee
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Alisan Fine Arts contemporary art gallery in Central, Hong Kong
Alisan Fine Arts Hong Kong, New York

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