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Art13 London    Mar 1 - Mar 3, 2013


Pearl Lam Galleries to present
renowned Chinese artists Su Xiaobai and Zhu Jinshi at

ART13 LONDON 1–3 March
STAND A3 and E7, Olympia Grand Hall, Olympia Way,
Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX

Highlights include BOAT, a monumental 12-metre installation by
Zhu Jinshi created from 8,000 sheets of rice paper

'…entirely distinctive—and completely compelling.'
—Paul Moorhouse, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery,
London, and former Tate curator

Exhibition Dates
1–3 March, 2013
Collector’s Preview (invitation only): Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 4–6pm
First Night: Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 6–9pm
General Hours: Friday, 1 March–Saturday, 2 March, 11am–6pm; 3 March, 11am–5pm

HONG KONG—Pearl Lam Galleries’ stand at the inaugural Art13 London at Olympia Grand Hall from 1–3 March, 2013 brings to the UK for the first time an exhibition of the work of two major Chinese abstract artists: Zhu Jinshi, who participated in The Stars’ first ever show of contemporary art in China in 1979, worked in Germany in the late 1980s alongside artists such as Joseph Beuys, and debated Abstract Expressionism with Robert Rauschenberg; and Su Xiaobai, a student of Gerhard Richter. The work of both artists attempts to reconcile two traditions and illustrate that Chinese abstract has been a major undiscovered force in contemporary art.

Su Xiaobai’s seminal training under Gerhard Richter in the late 1980s, following studies in classical oil painting in Beijing, led to his examination of the very structure, language and process of painting. From this, he developed an extraordinary visual language incorporating layers of lacquer, a traditional Chinese medium, on linen, wood and clay, creating paintings with sensuous depth that are modernist in form and traditional in medium. Whilst often interpreted in light of German abstraction, the works speak of the Chinese philosophies of meditative practice, human ideals and achieving harmony with nature. Pearl Lam Galleries will be presenting a selection of Su’s works at Art13 including Kuanhou—Spring (2012) and Eternal Green No. 3 (2010).

Zhu Jinshi began creating abstract works in the late 1970s. In order to exhibit in an “official” capacity, he joined the Stars (Xingxing), a group of Chinese artists that included Ai Weiwei and Ma Desheng, and participated in the seminal Beijing exhibition in 1979. His near sculptural abstract paintings are composed of layers of thick impasto oil colours applied with a shovel and spatula, which slide off the canvas. Working in Berlin in the 1980s, Zhu was exposed to German Expressionism, while the speed and spontaneity of the brushwork is influenced by xie yi ink-and-brush paintings. In 1985, Zhu recalls having a heated debate with Robert Rauschenberg, who was exhibiting a retrospective of his work at the National Art Museum in Beijing, as Zhu attempted to explain that the theoretical bases of Abstract Expressionism, such as gesture and the expressive nature of the brush, were not new and actually had been part of Chinese aesthetic theory for centuries. Zhu’s paintings are currently on show in Alone Together at the prestigious Rubell Family Collection in Miami through August, and are represented in many private and public collections worldwide. The works being presented at Art13 include Spring Offerings No. 2 (2012), Sun at Feijia Village (2012) and the triptych Door to the Form of the Matter (2012).

From the 1990s, Zhu Jinshi started producing large installation works made with xuan paper. One of the highlights presented at Art13 will be Boat, a monumental 12-metre installation composed of bamboo, cotton and 8,000 sheets of xuan (rice) paper.

Abstract art expert Paul Moorhouse, former curator at Tate Britain and now Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London, who visited the artists’ studios last year said: “Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai are radically different artists, yet each exemplifies the essence of contemporary Chinese abstract painting. Working spontaneously, Zhu creates impossibly dense, sensuous fields of colour. Su develops his paintings patiently, slowly refining their exquisite, veneered surfaces. This profound feeling for evocative materials, and their shared emphasis on creating an abstract physical reality, is entirely distinctive—and completely compelling.”

Pearl Lam said: “Zhu Jinshi and Su Xiaobai are Chinese artists who deconstruct Western theory of art and visual language by rooting them to Chinese traditions and philosophy. They create their own individualistic expression, which represents the spirit of Pearl Lam Galleries. This year, both artists have important solo shows at Pearl Lam Galleries and I am proud to bring this selection of works for their London debut. Zhu Jinshi’s rice paper Boat, which is instilled with cultural resonance and embodies the artist’s personal voyage, will be journeying from Shanghai to London for the first time.”

About Zhu Jinshi
Zhu Jinshi was born in Beijing, China in 1954. After completing an artist-in-residency in Germany and teaching in the Architecture Department of the Berlin Technical University, Zhu returned to Beijing, where he currently lives and works. He began painting abstract works in the late 1970s, and participated in the Stars (Xing Xing) group exhibition, the first avant-garde art exhibition after the Cultural Revolution. Zhu has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Chinese Contemporary Abstract, 1980s until Present: MINDMAP (2012) at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong; Power and Jiangshan (2008) at Arario Gallery, Beijing; and On the Road (2002) at Prague City Museum, Czech Republic. Zhu’s work is represented in many private and public collections across the globe, including Canada where his rice paper installation The Tao of Xuan Paper (1997) is on permanent display at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In May 2013, to coincide with the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Zhu will have his first Hong Kong solo show at Pearl Lam Galleries.

About Su Xiaobai
Su Xiaobai was born in Hubei, China in 1949. He studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1984, receiving a scholarship to study at the Düsseldorf National Art Academy in 1987. Su’s solo exhibitions include Su Xiaobai (2011) at Another Gallery in Shanghai, Su Xiaobai Solo Exhibition (2010) at Raketenstation Hombroich in Germany and The Dynasty of Colours (2009) at Lagen Art Gallery in Germany. He has also exhibited in museums and galleries across Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Moscow. Su’s first solo show in Hong Kong is currently being held at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong until 6 March 2013.

About Pearl Lam Galleries
Founded by Pearl Lam, the Galleries' mission is to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue and cultural exchange between the East and West by establishing distinct and rigorous programming in each of its gallery spaces in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the forthcoming Singapore gallery. Through this programming, the Galleries seeks to engage the local community whilst bringing an international audience closer to home. Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to championing Chinese artists who re-evaluate the philosophy and perception of Chinese contemporary art, whilst also committed to presenting major solo exhibitions by international artists including Jim Lambie, Jenny Holzer and Yinka Shonibare, MBE.

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