Li Xinping: Music, Mathematics and Metaphysics,Works 2002-2017
City: Hong Kong
Duration: 2017-08-04 ~ 2017-08-31
Venue: Osage Hong Kong
Address: 4/F Union Hing Yip Factory Building 20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong
Participating Artist(s): Li Xinping

The art of Chinese artist Li Xinping speaks to the language of music. In some of his early works this connection between subject and form is made explicit, while in his more classically inspired works it is expressed more by his selection of a particular key. This is a more abstract concept that encompasses tone, pitch, duration, loudness, timbre, rhythm and melody.

His work also speaks to the long established relationship between mathematics and music. Some of these connections are based on rules and principles that result in harmonious beauty while others are more tumultuous and describe the chaotic uncertainty of everyday existence.

Many artists make art in order to articulate a response to an issue or circumstance that concerns them. Much of the contemporary art that is being made in China is very powerful because it is being made as a direct response to the massive changes that are being wrought on Chinese society. Pride in the country's achievements is often tempered by sober consideration of the cost of such changes on communities, the environment and the quality of life.

Much of this is excellent work, but there is also the possibility that it may be seen in time as topical or as a narrative or commentary on current events. Li Xinping's concerns are much more enduring. His interests are grounded in the eternal questions we all have about life, the universe and everything.

His work is a form of philosophical investigation. He says "I have always wanted to express a world of ideas, like Plato's idealism, that begins with the notion that everything is empty, and that all direct experiences of things are a phantom of the form, and that we need to employ our minds to grasp the true nature of reality." He combines his philosophical enquiries with a technique that is grounded on drawing and classically-taught painting abilities in order to make work of enduring beauty.

His work challenges conventional modes of thought and perception by distilling - or "geometricizing the relationship between time and space to reveal the harmony and wholeness of the universe" - a completely different level of reality.

In this painting Li Xinping references Raphael’s portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci in the role of Plato in “The School of Athens” in the Stanza della Segnature in the Vatican. Raphael’s work is a visualization of how knowledge, truth and understanding is acquired through reason. Raphael’s depiction of Da Vinci in the role of Plato is reflection on how the Renaissance rediscovered Platonic humanism. Li Xinping likewise references Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa’s smile as a metaphor for mystery and the truth that lies behind visible reality.

About the Artist

Li Xinping was born in Beijing in 1959. In 1982 he graduated BFA (with top honours), major in Oil Painting, Art College of Henan University, Kaifeng, China. In 1985-1986 he undertook postgraduate studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In 1993, he graduated MFA Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy, Saint Petersburg, Russia. He has been a member of the Chinese Artists’ Association in Beijing since 1994. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

From 2005 -2017 he has had 14 solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Beijing Shanghai and Singapore.

He has exhibited in art fairs at Art Basel Hong Kong; CIGE, Beijing; Art Cologne, Germany; Art Taipei, Taiwan and Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy.

He has also participated in important group exhibitions at National Art Museum of China (2012, 2011, 1992), Hangzhou Museum (2010), Shenzhen Art Museum (2008), Beijing World Art Museum (2007), National Museum of the Philippines, Manila, the Philippines (2006), Guangzhou Museum of Art (2004), Singapore Art Museum (1999) and China People’s Revolution Military Museum in Beijing (1994).


[Editor] 张艳