October 23, 2021 - January 23, 2022
(Closed on Mondays, opening on holidays)
Public opening hours: 10:00-18:00
Blanc International Contemporary Art Space,
Building D7, Yard N0.3,
Jinhang East Road, Shunyi District, Beijing
INK studio will explore ink as an international language for the creation of contemporary art. In response to the rapidly changing contemporary world, artists explore how historical art practices — specifically, painting and calligraphy using brush and ink on paper or silk — can change to communicate original meaning, turning to the medium of ink on paper as a spiritual and philosophical vehicle that transcends socio-political contexts. Exhibited artists will include post-democracy-movement Korean artists Lee In and Jeong Gwanghee and post-Cultural-Revolution Chinese painters Yang Jiechang, who lives and works in France, and Zheng Chongbin, who lives and works in the Unites States.
Jeong Gwang Hee 郑光熙 (b. 1971 in Korea)
With the advent of the Dansekhwa (Monochrome Painting) movement of the 1970s, many Korean artists saw a renewed use of hanji (mulberry paper) over canvas and ink as a medium. In the 1980s the Korean economy accelerated with an increase in consumerism. As a response to these materialist, consumerist changes, artists turned to the medium of ink on paper as a more spiritual and philosophical vehicle.
Jeong Gwang-hee's hanji paintings and sculptures are process orientated, created by brushing ink over the laboriously hand-folded pages of antiquarian Confucian and Buddhist books which the artist has collected and read. Jeong Gwanghee’s labor-intensive artistic practice transforms art making into a Seon (Jp. Zen)-inflected, personal cultivation practice. In this way, Jeong puts the contemporary life traces of the Japanese post-War Bokujin calligraphers such as Yuichi Inoue and Shiryu Morita in dialog with a subjective language of abstract signs and within a historical, hermeneutic discourse of canonical philosophical and religious texts.
Jeong Gwang-hee's works have been collected by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA, the Gwangju Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea.
Lee In 李仁 (b. 1959 in Korea)
Lee In has transformative encounters with nature's materials, in particular stone. His fascination with stone stems from his father, who collected rocks and his works often refer to this. In his paintings, the artist has created the image of a singular stone on a white ground by applying layers of black ink. The process and the resulting image are an existential reflection of time and descendance. The ink, like a rock, is ground to powder (earth) and the rock connects to his father, and to the artist's ancestors. The artist considers stone the foundation and support of his home and that which protects the land from the ocean. In covering or rendering stone with black ink the artist thinks of it as a way of seeing all things (sam-ra-man-sang); as inducing calm and as an expression of existence.
In his recent series, “Black Something,” the artist further explores the density of the light-absorbing ink – values that can hide, compress, but also reveal. His technique is influenced by the writing of Seokdo (Seokdo Hwa), who, in his treatise “The Philosophy of Painting”, espoused the “One Stroke” theory, namely that a mark should have an integrity in and of itself. The title, “Black, Something” is a reference to Rolling Stone's song “Paint It Black” (1966), whose dystopian lyrics express the desire to have everything painted black to reflect one’s inner darkness.
Lee In’s works have been collected by National Museum of Modern Art, Korea, the Kum Ho Museum of Modern Art, the Pohang University of Science and Technology, Art Bank, the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tong Young City, the Paradise Culture Foundation, OCI Museum of Modern Art, Gyung Gi Museum of Modern Art, je Ju Museum of Modern Art, Dong Guk University and the Gaekju Literary House.
Yang Jiechang 杨诘苍 (b. 1956 in Foshan, Guangdong Province)
Yang Jiechang’s artistic practice as a calligrapher-painter turned global social actor inverts the contemporary Chinese art world norm of using Western avant-garde forms to critique contemporary Chinese society. He accomplishes this by adopting the performative expressivity of the traditional brush and the paradoxical dialectics of pre-modern Daoist skeptics to expose the underlying social and cultural forces that shape our contemporary global reality.
A stunning statement in its inception in 1989, Yang Jiechang’s One Hundred Layers of Ink series has been extremely influential on the development of contemporary Chinese art, anticipating now-commonplace strategies like repetition, inarticulacy, traceless action, and monumentality. In these paintings, he retained his native medium while distilling all that he knew and experienced into a simple procedure: the repeated application of ink with a brush on paper, day after day and layer upon layer, until the fibrous surface hardened into a thick, densely textured relief with a metallic sheen.
Among other places, Yang’s work can be found in the collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; The World Bank, Washington; Rockefeller Foundation, New York; Ministry of Culture, France; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong; Hong Kong University Art Museum, Hong Kong; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou; Chengdu Museum of Art, Chengdu; Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, Shenzhen; Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka; Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea; Museum for Arts and Crafts, Hamburg; Annie Wong Art Foundation, Vancouver; Swatch Collection, Switzerland; François Pinault Foundation, France; Ullens Foundation, Switzerland; Yageo Art Foundation, Taiwan; and Eslite Inc., Taiwan.
Zheng Chongbin 郑重宾 (b. 1961 in Shanghai)
Throughout his career of three decades, Zheng Chongbin has held the classical Chinese ink tradition and Western pictorial abstraction in productive mutual tension. Systematically exploring and deconstructing their conventions and constituents — figure, texture, space, geometry, gesture, materiality — he has developed a distinctive body of work that makes the vitality of matter directly perceptible. Central to Zheng’s art is the notion of the world as always in flux, consisting of flows of matter and energy that repeatedly cohered and dissipated. Inherent in pre-modern Chinese and especially Daoist thought, this worldview enables contemporary inquiries into complex systems like climate and social behavior, artificial intelligence, and quantum physics. Through the interactions of ink, acrylic, water, and paper, Zheng’s paintings generate and record the processes that underlie the emergence of order (including organic life and human consciousness) and its inevitable dissipation. His paintings thus resemble natural structures ranging from neurons, blood vessels, and tree branches to mountains, rivers, and coastlines, but by instantiating their formation rather than by objective depiction.
Zheng’s work can be found in the collections, among others, of the British Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Orange County Museum of Art in California, M+ in Hong Kong, the Daimler Art Collection in Stuttgart, Germany, the DSL Collection in France, and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Zheng is the subject of a documentary film, The Enduring Passion of Ink, and an in-depth monograph Zheng Chongbin: Impulse, Matter, Form, edited by Britta Erickson and distributed by D.A.P. in the United States.