Zee Stone

"Song of the Earth"

- Paintings by Bo Yun

22 April - 1 May 2005

Zee Stone Gallery is proud to present a second solo exhibition of paintings by the Chinese artist, Bo Yun (Li Yongcun).

Bo Yun’s work combines a respect for traditional Chinese art with the influence of Abstract Expressionism. His semi-abstract paintings capture the spirit of the landscape in a way that is accessible to the contemporary viewer. Using free brushwork, Bo Yun creates a sense of dramatic energy in his atmospheric triptychs in oil on canvas. Recently, he has also been experimenting with a new medium - lacquer on wood – to express his communion with nature.

Born in China in 1948, Li Yongcun graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing in 1980. After four years’ hard labour during the Cultural Revolution, Li joined the “Stars”, a group of young artists who in 1979 made history by hanging their politically “incorrect” paintings on the railings outside the China Art Gallery. This act of defiance, the first unauthorized exhibition of Chinese art since 1949, set the stage for an era of artistic liberation in China. During the first Stars exhibition, Li used the pseudonym Bo Yun to conceal his identity from the police, and he has kept it ever since. Many of the group subsequently left China, but Bo Yun remained in Beijing where he is now a professor at Tsinghua University.

Bo Yun was not a revolutionary, merely an advocate of greater artistic freedom, and his independent, expressive nature is still evident in his work. His landscapes at different seasons of the year have a tranquil, dreamlike serenity. Bo Yun aims above all at a sense of balance and, following the philosophy of the Chinese scholar Lao Zi, to express a unity of self with the natural world.