After two years, acclaimed abstract art master Li Lei is having his second solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Leo Gallery is pleased to present, under the theme "Unbridled", an array of his recent works as a manifestation of a spiritual realm where mind meets matter. The exhibition will be held between 27th July and 9th September.
"Of utmost importance is to free the spirit. You know freedom? It is the reality that seems very unreal; it is the soul without preset values; it is the lazy dude not playing any specific role."
- Li Lei
In total 13 oil paintings to be exhibited are selected from the series "Tempestuous Waters", "Amongst the Ultimate Deep", "Flow Between Heaven and Ocean" and "Autumn Colours", in which "water" has marked significance. Over thousands of years, water has been highly praised by Chinese philosophers and literati for the virtues it symbolizes. Elaborating on his statement "The highest good is like that of water", Laozi explained that "its form not fixed, water thus can place itself in the narrowest space". It is the flowing water in a river that inspired the idea of dual nature of heaven and earth being "abiding" and "ever-changing" in Su Shi's prose My First Visit to the Red Cliff. With profound insight in traditional Chinese culture and philosophy and after ceaseless inspection of life and nature, artist finally expressed the resulting impression on his soul with the aid of Western abstract expression, painting his inner universe with unbridled strokes on large canvases. Li Lei, with all these inspirations but decided to return to the primal and simple and depart from traditions and roles assumed by the society, eventually took on the path unbounded by forms, symbols and even meanings. He would liberate his inner self with the colour brush in his hand, so as to "rediscover himself through art".
Li stresses the power of art. Imbued with vigorous emotions in their full impact, his life experience is transfused into his paintings that are composed with equally powerful lines and colours. He chose art as a way of self-cultivation, while his artworks are an honest record of his spiritual adventure in pursuit of liberation. In the clean and commodious exhibition space at Leo Gallery, audience will find himself immersed in the infinite world spawned from the artist's unrestrained spirit.
「重要的是讓心靈自由起來。自由，你知道嗎？就是看上去非常不真實的真實；就是沒有被設定的靈魂；就是不扮演角色的那個懶散的傢伙。」 - 李磊
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Shanghai, China in 1965.
Currently the Executive Director of China Art Museum, Shanghai and Guest Professor at Tongji University.
Li Lei embarked on the practice and research of Chinese Abstract Art in 1996. Since then he been committed to incorporating the core values of Chinese culture with an international abstract art visual language, and has developed a new proposal for Chinese abstract art. His main works include the series "Dhyana Flower", "Jiang Nan (Memories of South)", "Drunken Lake", "Shanghai Flower", and "Flame of Pompeii". He has held solo exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, and has also exhibited widely in America, Germany, Holland, and Belgium.
Li Lei is the founder and organizer of several major art projects, including the Shanghai Youth Biennale, the annual fair ART Shanghai, the biennial Shanghai Abstract Art Show. He also presided over the organization of Shanghai Biennale.
Publications include Shanghai Oil Painting Masters: Li Lei; Contemporary Artists of China---Li Lei: Poetic Abstract; Contemporary Artists of China Today---Li Lei: the Far Away and the Serene; Li Lei---Chinese Abstractionist; and Shanghai Flower/Li Lei.
已出版專集有《海上油畫名家--李磊》、《中國當代藝術家畫傳--李磊、詩意的抽象》、《今日中國當代藝術家--李磊、樓高人遠天如水》、《 Li Lei --- Chinese Abstractionist 》及《李磊--海上花》。