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December 2013


CHINESE MASTER ZHU JINSHI PRESENTS ‘BOAT’ – Centrepiece of 28 CHINESE at the Rubell Family Collection

Posted November 30, 2013 by artBahrain in artDestination

‘Boat’ by Zhu Jinshi


Boat, a monumental 12-metre walk-in installation composed of bamboo, cotton and 8,000 sheets of Xuan (rice) paper created by leading Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi, will be the centerpiece of 28 Chinese at the Rubell Family Collection, opening 4 December 2013 to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach. This is the first time Boat has been exhibited in America.

Zhu Jinshi describes Boat as representing ‘a symbolic journey’, as the multiple layers of xuan paper walls gently block out the outside world as each viewer moves through the length of the tunnel. Xuan paper is widely considered to be the first material ever invented specifically for writing and painting; a material steeped in history and tradition.

Zhu was an active participant in underground cultural and literary activities during the Cultural Revolution, first emerging in the late 1970s as a member of the renowned and groundbreaking ‘Stars’ (Xingxing) avant-garde artist group alongside Ai Weiwei and Ma Desheng. Having fled China in the 1980s, Zhu was exposed to German Expressionism in Berlin, while at the same time the speed and spontaneity of his brushwork is influenced by xie yi ink-and-brush paintings.

Alongside Boat Zhu also presents a series of heavily impastoed oil paintings, for which the artist has been recognized internationally. Both Zhu’s sculptural installation and his abstract work express a rigorous dedication to material, and his lifelong commitment to the language of pure abstract form. His large-scale canvases, laden with multicoloured oils, create a dialogue between Western and Chinese abstraction, referencing the work of Wassily Kandinsky and the Western tradition of Abstract Expressionism which emerged from the US in the late 1960’s.

Pearl Lam, Founder of Pearl Lam Galleries said:

I’m delighted that Zhu Jinshi, an artist Pearl Lam Galleries have supported and worked with for many years, will be participating in such an important exhibition as 28 Chinese. The selected works, on show for the first time in Miami, each trace the delicate relationship and ongoing cultural exchange between China and the West which is at the core of the Galleries’ mission. From the heavily impastoed canvasses laden with oil paint, to the delicate and yet dominating Boat, viewers will experience new insights into Chinese culture.’

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