Posts Tagged ‘Ai Weiwei’

Artist of the moment….Li Lihong

Li Lihong is a very sought after artist born in Dezhen Jin, China in 1974. Lihong is renown for mixing the ancient craft of ceramics with modern symbols and imagery. For instance a porcelain replica of a mcdonalds sign painted with smaller chinese symbols. Western logos and icons with chinese motifs.

For his collegiate studies the artist attended the Chinese Central Academy of Art and Design. He was able to study under a master ceramics artist, the grand master Qin Xilling for his masters degree from Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute.

He is from an area of China renown for making the royal porcelain. In art terms, its similar to being from the Delft area of Holland. The region is known for its delftware.

Li Lihong is a working artist and also a professor at Fudan University. Lihong teaches the ancient art of Chinese porcelain at the college.

Price range information: Most works are in porcelain and range from $15,000 to $25,000.

I found the artist’s work to be similar to the idea of Ai WeiWei and the Ming Dynasty vases he made a few years ago using the coca-cola logo. Below is an example of Ai WeiWei and his vase idea. A great way to mix two cultures that existed many centuries apart.




Artist movie of the moment…..A.I. WeiWei…Dissident…

I went to the second showing of the day and although only two other people were in attendance, I thought the movie explained what I wanted it to. That A.I. was more of a movement now than just  a person or an artist.

Here is the official preview of the movie.

We find out that the artist had a child with a friend and not his wife. He just explains to us that is what happened. He then shares with us that he visits the child daily.

Another great treat is that we can view the artist when he IS NOT preparing for an interview or a camera. He was just being himself. The artist seemed to be eating something all the time. He appears always happy and tells us he is mainly an optimistic person.

We get to see how the government always has some people watching his next move. From the cameras the government installed in his private personal compound, to the plain clothes police he sees assigned to watch him for the day. The artist’s father was also put under survaillance for being anti-party long ago. His father was sent to prison but became more famous in China and eventually world wide for his poetry.

Another recent incident occured in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics. Ai Weiwei was the master architect and designer of the Birds Nest. After the party displaced nearly one million Chinese to make way for tourists and Olympic travellers Weiwei was so mad he refused to attend the games.

Also in 2008 a devastating earthquake hit in a province in China called Sichuan. This earthquake killed close to 70,000 people. Ai made a very large complaint that so many children would not have died had the school been built properly. The Communist Party was very upset at the poor publicity. The government refused to name how many kids had died.  That was a great start for Ai Weiwei who got some volunteers working on the project.  The volunteers did interviews with survivors and Weiwei was able to come up with a reasonable of children that had died. It embarrassed the Party and they wanted revenge on Weiwei.
Weiwei found more than five thousand names and published them on a wall in his office and publishing the list on line. Soon after Weiwei was forced to close his blog and the government set up cameras outside of his house.

This is a great movie if you like to see what is behind the artist’s work. It documents his life and struggles for freedom perfectly!



Artists of the moment…..Lin Fengmian…..


The artist was born in 1900 in Guangdong.

A clip featuring the artist’s work set to fantastic Chinese music.

The artist was born in 1900. When he was born his name was Lin Fengming. He was an innovator as far as painting for mixing eastern and western painting ideas. He worked mainly wit ink and watercolor on paper.

high price range: $1.5 million for an oil painting titled OPERA SERIES: BEAUTY DEFIES TYRANNY.

low price range: $30,000

Fengmian was born in Guangdong and participated in a work- study program in China. The artist travelled through out Europe in the 1920 staying in Germany and Paris for long periods of time of time. In 1925 he started teaching art in China. In 1928 he formed his own school for art and was the first principle.

The artist had a large output, but due to unfortunate circumstances many of his earlier works have been lost or destroyed. During the Sino-Japanese war, many works were destroyed by Japanese soldiers. During a cultural revolution in China many works were also destroyed.  Lin Fengmian himself ruined many works of art
by soaking the art and trying to flush it down the toilet. He was still sent to prison for a length of four years his ideas and paintings.

He was let out of jail in 1977 and the government assumed he would head for Brazil to live. Instead the artist lived in Hong Kong until he passed away in 1991. During this time in Hong Kong the artist started to recreate some of his many destroyed art works.

This artist was great and an awesome example of how the pen is mightier than the sword. I consider him to be a precursor to modern contemporary artists such as Ai WeiWei. Both stood for their individual thoughts and ideas. Both were part of a minority way of thinking that was despised by the government. Its easy for me to imagine Fengmian under government surveillance, similar to Ai WeiWei.  Fengmian probably had a little more difficulty as it was easier to contain bad events since communication wasn’t so easy as it is now in the days of cell phones. Think of all the scenes we have seen from Syria or the middle East, this wouldn’t have been possible when Fengmian was in his prime as a master artist.
When Ai WeiWei was taken by the goverment a huge public outcry was felt from around the world. Weiwei was in custody and always had at least two guards at his sides, even when he slept or went to the bathroom. Weiwei was supposedly not to have any social media contact, but soon after being released after eighty one days in prison, the artist was back writing negative comments about the Chinese government.