Shi Qi's work is characterised by vigorous brush strokes, dense ink and strong colours spontaneously applied in a free, expressionist manner. His paintings are not completely abstract, however. Beautiful ladies, warriors or Buddhist images hide amongst the unfettered brush strokes and patterns of colour, just visible, giving a dreamlike effect and a feeling of mystery.
Shi Qi was born in Fuqing County, Fujian Province, in 1939. He graduated from the Fujian Art Academy in 1963 and practised decorative oil paintings in his early years. In the 1970s, apprenticed to Huang Zhou, he worked on Chinese figure paintings but quickly felt the limitations of this genre. From traditional painting he moved towards a stronger expressionism and a breakthrough in conventional concepts of time and space. During the 1980s, borrowing techniques from other schools, both ancient and modern, Western and Chinese, Shi Qi moved further and further towards abstraction, until in the 1990s he arrived at his own definitive style of painting.
Shi's use of line and colour may be influenced by Western art but his works are still Chinese in their medium - ink and Chinese pigments such as cinnabar, mineral green or ultramarine on rice paper producing a fresco-like visual effect. Many of his paintings are also inspired by Chinese legend and history. Like the pioneer master, Lin Fengmian, whose example has often inspired him, Shi Qi incorporates the strong points of both Chinese and Western styles.
|1939||Born in Fuqing, Fujian Province, China, the son of poor peasants|
|1945||Taught himself painting while herding cattle|
|1963||Graduated from Fujian Art Academy|
|1971||Studied Chinese painting under the master Huang Zhou|
|1973||Painting "Welcome Spring" collected by the National Art Museum|
|1976||Became professional painter at Beijing Art Academy|
Travelled widely in China to sketch from nature. Visited the master
Invited to create works of art with other artists including Li Keran,
Li Kushan, Bai Xueshi, Xu Linlu
2nd Prize at National Painting Exhibition
Joined Chinese Artists Association
|1980's||Participated in exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong|
|1988||Rated as a "first-class artist". Exhibitions in France, Korea and Beijing|
|1990's||Exhibitions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Beijing|