Li Huasheng

1944 -2018 Sichuan China

Introduction

Li Huasheng was born in Yibin, Sichuan in 1944, and is considered one of China’s leading contemporary ink artists who made major efforts to revive the literati art form. In 1993, the University of Washington published Contradictions, a monograph on Li Huasheng, highlighting the life of the artist during Maoist China. 

Having grown up during the rise of the Communist Party, he spent his early artistic career painting propaganda works in oil, and his nights studying ink painting manuals to satisfy his interest in Chinese traditional art. In 1973, he showed his work to the artist Chen Zizhuang, who later mentored the artist and inspired his later expressionist ink paintings –mainly of landscapes, for which he is best known. In 1981, his paintings were featured in a national group exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. He first came to international attention after his paintings were selected to be part of the travelling exhibition Contemporary Chinese Painting: An Exhibition from the People’s Republic of China, which was displayed at eight different museums and art institutes from 1983 to 1986 in the United States. His paintings were also chosen to be included as part of the travelling exhibition Tradition and Innovation in 1995, which went on display at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Singapore Art Museum, the British Museum in London, and the Museum of East Asia in Germany. Since 2000 his artistic practices have led him to experiment with full abstraction, taking the next logical step in realising landscape paintings. He passed away in 2018 in Sichuan, China.

Alisan Fine Arts first began representing Li in 1992 and held two solo exhibitions for the artist, including a 1998 travelling exhibition for the artist, which visited the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. Li Huasheng’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the National Art Museum of China, Beijing; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the British Museum, London; the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; the Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou; the He Xiangning Art Museum-OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen; and the permanent art collections of Harvard University, Yale University, University of Washington and University of Michigan. His works were recently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Guangdong Museum of Art.



BIOGRAPHY
1944   Born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China

1965-85   Held post as artist in the Yangzi River Shipping Administration

1973   Befriended the painter Chen Zizhuang (1913-1976, a personal bodyguard and cultural adviser to Sichuan’s last warlord governor). The two painters met twice in the three years they knew each other

1979   Lived in Beijing for three months

1980   Invited to demonstrate his art in front of Deng Xiaoping

1981   Received the Outstanding Artwork Award in Sichuan Province, China

1985   Appointed honorary member of the Sichuan Provincial Academy of Art in Chongqing, China

1986   Appointed and awarded the First Grade Master by the Sichuan Academy of Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting, China

1987   Spent five months in US as the artist-in-residence at the University of Michigan

1989   Awarded the First Rank Painter in the Sichuan Painting Academy, Chengdu, China
1993   the University of Washington published Contradictions, a monograph on Li Huasheng, highlighting the life of the artist during Maoist China

2000   Shifted to be a Maximalism artist in China and stopped to create literati paintings
2018 Passed away in Sichuan, China

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016 
  • Li Huasheng: The Meditation Room, Major Gallery, London, UK
2010      
  • Show for 10 Art Cases, Shanghai 800 Art Zone, Shanghai, China
1998
  •  Li Huasheng: An Individualistic Artist, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA; Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
1992
  •  National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
1991
  •  Hanart Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
1990
  • City Hall, Hong Kong
1987     
  • Havard University; Yale University; University of Michigan, USA
  • Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington; Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan, USA  
1985
  • Du Fu Thatched Hut, Chengdu, China

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018
2017      
  • Streams and Mountains Without End: Landscape Traditions of China, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
  • Boundless, Ongoing Chinese Ink Art, Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Zhongqing, China
2016     
2013 
  • Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
2011
  • Expression of Chinese Contemporary Art, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • Chengdu Biennale, East Chengdu Music Park, Chengdu, China
2010 
  • Reshaping History: Chinese Art from 2000 to 2009, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2009     
  • Yi Pai, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • Contemporary Ink Painting: 2009 Shanghai New Ink Painting Art Exhibition, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art; Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2008     
  • Yi Pai: Thirty Years of Chinese Abstraction, Wall Museum, Beijing, China; La Caixa Forum Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Madrid, Spain
  • Form, Idea, Essence and Rhythm, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2007     
  • Ink Narrative, Yokohama Art Project, Yokohama, Japan
2005   
  • Ink & Paper: Chinese Contemporary Art, Guangdong Museum, China
  • Retrospection of experimental Ink & Wash 1985-2000, Guangdong Museum of Art, China
  • Korean-Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
2004   
  • 4th International Ink Painting of Shenzhen Biennale, Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, China
2003   
  • Opened Years, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • Chinese Maximalism, Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, China; Anderson Gallery, New York, USA
2002   
  • First Triennial of Chinese Art, Guangdong Museum of Art, China
2001   
  • Experimental Ink & Wash in China 1980-2001, Guangdong Museum of Art, China
2000   
  • Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, China
  • Neo Ink Paintings in China, Liu Hai-su Art Gallery, Shanghai; Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China
1999   
  • The Door of Century, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Chengdu, China
1995
  • Travelling exhibition Tradition and Innovation, British Museum, London, UK; Museum of East Asia, Cologne, Germany; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
1992   
  • Ancient Lands through Modern Eyes: Contemporary Chinese Landscape Painting, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
1987   
  • Exhibitions and lecture tours, Harvard University, Yale University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, USA
1983-85  
  • Contemporary Chinese Painting: An Exhibition from the People’s Republic of China,organized by the Chinese Culture Centre of San Francisco, travelled to eight museums and art centres in USA: Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; Asian Society Gallery, New York; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University), Ithaca, New York; Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri;  University Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1981   
  • National Exhibition of China's Ten Leading Contemporary Artists, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

British Museum, UK

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Harvard University, USA

Yale University, USA

University of Washington, USA

Museum of University of Michigan, USA

Detroit Museum of Art, USA

National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Shanghai Art Museum, China

Guangdong Museum of Art, China

He Xiangning Art Museum-OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China

M+, Hong Kong