Daily Archives: September 3, 2016

An Ink Trio of Abstraction

An Ink Trio of Abstraction By Mo Chen 亚洲艺术研究所\Research House for Asian Art (RHAA)is pleased to show recent works of 张隆\John Long, 张朝晖\Zhang Zhaohui and了了\Liao Liao on September 16th, 2016. Is innov…

Source: An Ink Trio of Abstraction

An Ink Trio of Abstraction

An Ink Trio of Abstraction

By Mo Chen

亚洲艺术研究所\Research House for Asian Art (RHAA)is pleased to show recent works of 张隆\John Long, 张朝晖\Zhang Zhaohui and了了\Liao Liao on September 16th, 2016.

Is innovation possible in Chinese ink painting, a fine art form grounded in an aesthetic and cultural tradition of more than 1000 years? The recent works of three Chinese artists all explore the new possibilities of abstraction in contemporary Chinese ink art, experimenting with foreign elements from western modern art and contemporary theories. All three exhibiting artists had practiced fiercely in different mediums and subject matters before being finally drawn to ink abstraction, and their fresh perspectives bring excitements in the pursuit of modernity in an old art form.


张隆\John Long was born in Chengdu, Sichuan in 1961 and grew up in Kunming, Yunnan. During his early career years, John Long caught attention in 1985 as the organizer of “The New Representational Image Exhibition” [新具像画展],an influential exhibition in the history of Chinese contemporary art, and it was a part of the famous ’85 New Wave movement [85新潮]. Later in 1986, Long and his fellow artists 张晓刚Zhang Xiaogang, 叶永青Ye Yongqing, 毛旭晖Mao Xuhui, 潘德海Pan Dehai established the Southwestern Art experimental Group [西南艺术研究群体],an avant-garde art community in southwest China. Long’s radical social and artistic activities were not tolerated by the authority, as a result he was put into prison for the crime of “bourgeois liberalization”[资产阶级自由化] in 1988. Long was able to continue his art practice in the prison, and soon after his release in 1991, he curated a big event of performance art Interpretation of Apple [苹果的阐释]in Shanghai. Many leading artists based in Shanghai participated that event to show their supports. Long migrated to US in 1993, and he is currently living and working between Los Angeles and Hangzhou China.




Water and Stone 002 by 张隆 Zhang Long, 2016



Water and Stone 0001 by 张隆 Zhang Long, 2015

In Long’s early career, he admired Paul Klee’s work of abstraction up on which he developed his own personal language that concentrates on the relationship of line, space, form and color, and then his practice was mostly Oil/multi-medium on canvas. His recent series of works, especially for this show, Long changed his medium to ink/watercolor. Continuing his early interest in line and space, Long also enjoys the rhythm of the calligraphic marks and he indulges himself in the subtle touching of ink on the paper.


张朝晖\Zhang Zhaohui is a scholar, writer, and artist based in Beijing. He was born in Beijing in 1965. Zhang received a systematic art education that includes a BA degree in museology and art history from Nankai University in Tianjing, a MA from China Art Academy in Beijing and a MA of curatorial studies in contemporary art from Bard College NYC, and from 2003 to 2006, a PhD program at the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing. Zhang worked as a curator in his early career, for various museums and galleries. In the last decade, Zhang switched the focus to his own artistic development, practicing ink painting on paper.

张朝晖1梦到星光 dream of starlight by 张朝晖 Zhang Zhao Hui


Zhang believes that the evolution of the Chinese contemporary ink art has to build on the tradition of Chinese ink painting and Chinese philosophy, while at the same time it has to embrace the pluralism established in the evolution history of western modern art. Particularly fascinated by conceptual minimalism masters such as Agnes Martin and Sol Lewitt, he developed his signature style that not only celebrates the materiality of ink and wash on paper, but also simulates light and space by mimicking the mechanic movements of brushes during the process. The final image is both abstract and representational, haunting on the thin edge between image and process. Painting to Zhang is an exercise of both his rational reasoning and his emotions, and he strives to reach a perfect balance. His recent works emphasize the beauty of the materiality while keep minimizing and refining strokes. At the end, each single stroke serves simultaneously as a shape and a gesture.


 混沌月光 chaotic moonlight by 张朝晖 Zhang Zhao Hui



Born in Sichuan China in 1973, 了了\Liao Liao is an ink artist based in Shanghai. He is the editor in chief for the National Art Magazine, and an aspiring curator who has involved in a number of contemporary ink art activities national wide. He started his ink practice by exploring the traditional ink painting such as flower-bird-painting 花鸟画 and landscape painting山水画. After decades of practicing in traditional style, he has moved away from traditional realism, and reached a new destiny – ink abstraction. In his recent works, the medium of the ink appears a rich treatment resembling a loosen landscape of snow scenery in which many ancient messages are hiding in oracle bone script scattered in the composition. As an artist living in the 21st century China, Liao Liao inherits the aesthetics and skills of literati painting 文人画, yet in the meantime reinterprets the ancient literati spirit with a contemporary innovation.


Untitled by 了了 Liao Liao



Untitled by 了了 Liao Liao









An Ink Trio of Abstraction

张隆 Zhang Long | 张朝晖 Zhang Zhao Hui | 了了 Liao Liao


Exhibition Director: 陈默 Mo Chen

Curator: 彭子玟 Zee Peng



September 16th – 30th, 2016


Opening: September 16th, 6-9 p.m.


Location: The Research House for Asian Art


3217 S Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60616 | (312)3613208





*The Research House for Asian Art (RHAA) is a nonprofit art organization founded in 2008 in Chicago. RHAA is dedicated to Asian contemporary art by exhibiting both established and emerging Chinese artists along with American artists particularly here from Chicago.  

Director: 蒋奇谷\Qigu JiangExhibition 

Exhibition Director: 陈默\Mo Chen