16 The exhibited work

On the afternoon of October 11, 2015, planned by Liang Kegang, Director of the Yuan Art Museum, Chung Hwa HB – Li Di Solo Exhibition was unveiled at Yuan Art Museum. Compared to an exhibition full of beautiful things, it looks a little dull, and it is nothing but an abstract work drawn using HB pencils on a wall, however it is not an unbending work, it took over 2 weeks to finish and the more important thing is that it is a presentation of the continuous thinking of the problem of art ontology over several decades.

The work was diverted from a program planned by curator Liang Kegang, who originally planned to curate a series of solo exhibitions of mature artists in the Yuan Art Museum, by inviting them to create an art piece based on a certain space in the museum. It undoubtedly has a problem that is rarely seen in an exhibition as it is a single piece of work. It does help the artists to have many thoughts on the creative possibilities and the matched relationship between work and space, space is the first and work is the second, in the words of Li Di, it is “a practice of spatial synthetic medium”.

Coming from the small border town Daxinganling, Li Di was accepted by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, Li Di wasn’t satisfied with learning from the obsolete academics anymore and gradually germinated a strong creative ambition and sense of performance, the works such as “Wintry Fragrance”, “Pondering Years”, which were created while at university made him known, and also helped him reflect on the problems and limitations of the Chinese fine art education and the Academicism, so he had unconsciously become a rebel for Academicism. Then he went to study in Germany, which also helped him deeply think of the diverse forms, languages, styles in contemporary creations. In the thirty years of practice, Li Di has never settled on using repetitive forms to brand his artworks with “Li Di Style”. It is the reason why Li Di chose this exhibition and chose to create such a work.

For the creation of work, Li Di used the simplest painting language and materials, the use of drawing and HB pencils, to return to the origins of painting, for each student uses a pencil to sketch shapes at the beginning. The work removes visualized and conceptual features, but repeats “drawing lines” and “wildly wandering”, in short, the artist didn’t create in order to draw a work, instead he tried not to draw a thing. The work is not to express a particular concept, in contemporary art “concept is the first”, it is also a performance of Li Di’s Artistic rebellion. However, whether the trail that removes the concept of painting, gives up the pursuit of painting as a new concept or not? The curator Liang Kegang said it was a work of subtraction and it is an exhibition for subtraction, while it is aimed at the noisy, complex and unrepeatable times and fields. For Li Di, the exhibition is the expression of the state of his life and art practice process, which uses the most comprehensive media in an exhibition in recent years, and it is also a clue and context for the artistic practice over the years.

The exhibition continues to November 2.

Text and photo by Zhang Wenzhi/CAFA ART INFO

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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