"The question of reforming traditional ink painting has been raised since the time of the Republic of China in the last century. This is an old problem that hasn't been completely resolved. It can be said that in the past hundred years, the art field has never stopped trying to integrate the thousand-year tradition of ink and wash with current aesthetics."
- Chen Yingjie
The walls of Danysz Gallery - Shanghai are buzzing with energy with this new solo exhibition by Chen Yingjie. The Cantonese artist continues to develop a cross-breed style uniquely his own, a powerful fusion of Chinese traditional landscape painting and graffiti art. The paintings presented here, all from his well-known series Gravity, mark the latest stage of his genre-breaking explorations.
Chen’s Gravity series is deeply influenced by Chinese ink painting. Taking a contemporary approach to the work of Chinese Old Masters, he uses a variety of unconventional techniques while keeping with the spirit, the strength and vitality of ink painting. “Chinese traditional culture,” he says, “has a significant impact on my creation. You may feel that dynamic and invisible qi flowing around my works. You can also perceive the breath and battle of life, the power of nature, and the current severely unbalanced relationship between nature and people.”
Nature is everywhere in the work of Chen Yingjie. Initiated in 2020, the Gravity series came from the realization by the artist that our present ecological situation was improving with the pandemics, and that the slowdown in global activity induced a mild recovery, a form of revival for the environment. The paintings in this exhibition, with all their fiery abstract look, are a tribute to natural forces. They can be read as imaginary landscapes where the viewer is invited to a more respectful attitude toward nature, and where the mind is free to wander, enraptured by the vivid hues and the strong sense of motion that transpire from the works.
A painter, Chen is also something of a performer. His way of working is greatly gestural. Much like a Jackson Pollock, he physically engages with the canvas, with dynamic moves and splashing techniques. His other tools consist of spray cans and acrylic paint. A mixed arsenal, freely merging street art and abstract expressionism, for a style that defies all categories. During all summer, the Shanghai art aficionados will be able to treat themselves to one of the most talented and unclassifiable artists of his generation.