To Live [It Up] reveals a determined philosophy of life: having come through the hard times, we should make the most of the good times.
China’s Li Jin celebrates food, life and sex in new exhibition
Li Jin, who was born in Tianjin, China, in 1958, is a contemporary ink master whose works celebrate all aspects of everyday life. He is best known for his witty and lush depictions of sensory pleasures.
The exhibition features a broad range of the artist’s latest work, including a suite of 20 small, idiosyncratic ink and colours; eight ink sketches incorporating his distinctive calligraphy; two painted fans; five semi-abstract ink pieces; two large scale works and one magnificent scroll painting.
The show has been curated by John McDonald, AFR Weekend’s film writer and The Sydney Morning Herald’s art critic. McDonald has a longstanding interest in Chinese art and has written about Li Jin on many occasions.
In 2006 he characterised the artist’s work as “a continual celebration of the pleasures of life”. In 2013 he described it as “irreverent and cheerfully vulgar – a riotous celebration of food, drink and sex, when everyone else was obsessed with politics”.
There may be a touch of melancholy, a growing sense of the absurd, in Li Jin’s latest creations, but they still exude the same roaring vitality. To Live [It Up] reveals a determined philosophy of life: having come through the hard times, we should make the most of the good times.
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