Li Huasheng was born in Yibing, Sichuan Province in 1944. He is a Chinese contemporary Maximalist artist. A student of the well-known Chengdu painter Chen Zizhuang, Li’s early ink works followed the style of traditional literati painting. In the mid-1980s, he became influenced by modern Western painting and began to pursue a more subjective painting style. Later in the late 1980s, he abandoned his earlier style in search of a more rational form of expression. Around 1997, Li began to give up any reference to image, and his structure became simpler, leaving only works composed of short lines. His process is comparable to Zen meditation, where the brushstroke is a reflection of one’s soul. He draws lines on Xuan paper every day, focusing on the composition in relation to the lines in ink, overlapping one over another. It is through this repetition that he creates a form of “writing” that is neither performance nor reproduction. His individual style of writing has become a diary, as dots and lines act as a kind of creation timeline. Thus, Li always names his artwork by date and time, e.g. 995-997 was completed from May to July in 1999. Unlike Western abstract art, Li’s grid drawings do not focus on the grids per se, but rather on the process of forming them, because he feels that they cannot represent the spiritual order of the external world or the objective existence of a material object. The traces of grid are a record of his daily meditation.Read More
In 1981, Li participated in the Chinese Painting Exhibition – 10 Artists at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. Since 1998, Li has held a series of exhibitions related to “abstract” art, including the Experiment of Chinese Ink Painting in 2001 at Guangdong Art Museum, Chinese Maximalism in the US, 2003, Yi Pai – Thirty Years of Chinese Abstraction (2008) in Beijing, Barcelona and Madrid, Water and Color Contemporary Ink Art Show (2009) in Beijing Today Art Museum, The Great Celestial Abstraction – Chinese Art in 21st Century (2010) in National Art Museum, the Reshaping History — Chinese Art from 2000 to 2009 (2010) in Beijing Today Art Museum.