Huang Yuanqing is a leading figure of Chinese calligraphic abstraction—a genre of art that combines the aesthetics and techniques of traditional Chinese calligraphy with those of Western Abstract Expressionism. He graduated from the Oil Painting department of Shanghai Normal University in 1989 and currently lives and works in Shanghai.Read More
As a contemporary literati artist, Huang's practice is heavily indebted to the Chinese ancient theory regarding the homology between calligraphy and painting. He abnegates the inherent ideographic function of calligraphy, and transforms its visual elements—lines, strokes and momentum—into abstract paintings. The rhythms of his paintings are not in perfect harmony and often embody conflicting qualities, suggesting elusive narratives beneath their surfaces. Contrary to the principles of calligraphy, his works are created over a period of time, sometimes taking months or even years. Hence, temporality and spontaneity are considered key elements in the development of his works.
Huang's early canvases are dominated by white and neutral tones. The graffiti-like scribbles and scratches in some pieces are reminiscent of Cy Twombly's works. In recent years, he has used increasingly vibrant colours as he searches for more drama and zeal. For example, in Untitled 2016-10, stipples and strokes in varying shades of red, yellow, grey and brown are densely layered against a light pink background. Through its mesmerising composition, the contradictory senses of lightness and heaviness are conveyed simultaneously.
Sophia Bingqin Cao | Ocula | 2017