Web Editor:International Daily
Lu Yushun (Vice Director of the China National Academy of Painting and Doctoral Supervisor of the Chinese National Academy of Arts)
I think Xiaoqi’s work is characterized by his love of life, a respect for tradition, and courage to innovate particularly in his artistic practice. His work speaks to us with a truth that reveals his profound understanding and research of national culture and tradition. His perception of artistic creation is beautifully aligned with an artist’s characteristics. He loves life and each of his works evokes the flavor of China’s spiritual homeland. With his bold breakthroughs and innovations in artistic practice, he has acquired a strong personality and style and he imbibes the spirit of the times. In his work, there is a unique kind of symbolic language and he constructs his own artistic palace, recreating the sense of a bleak life with persistence and determination of the Hunan people, integrating it with the mystical romance of the Chu culture and conveying sincerity and honesty of peasant life.
Wang Luxiang (Famous cultural scholar, senior planner and host on Phoenix TV, Hong Kong)
There is no doubt that Chen Xiaoqi’s paintings possess a distinguished scholarly depth, but then it’s the kind of temperament popular among Hunan scholars. It wouldn’t be right to compare it to those in the Jiangnan Area, which is always about love affairs. In contrast, Hunan’s scholarliness conveys a sense of broadmindedness and wildness. There’s something intrinsically true about it, the way scholarliness and wildness can complement each other with a show of elegance. Wildness prevails and yet scholarliness becomes easily apparent too. The latter is exposed brilliantly when wildness is pushed to the extreme. This is actually true of Hunan’s landscape. It is beautifully balanced with both the elements unlike the extreme scholarliness of the Southeast, or the wild landscape of the Northwest. Consider, for instance, the mountain ghost depicted by Qu Yuan in his poem. Do you think it is scholarly or wild? Natural environments develop their own kind of personality. Hunan scholars acquire the balanced mix of scholarliness and wildness, and this extends to their literary work or art, as well as their actions, personality or even looks. It’s almost like life spilling over into these different elements. Xiaoqi’s work speaks eloquently of these very elements.
Zhu Xunde (Chairman of Hunan Artists Association and Vice Director of Hunan Federation of Literary and Art Circles):
Xiaoqi is a persevering type of person and has always been in pursuit of arts. He accurately embodies the spirit of young and middle-aged painters. He is adept at communication with other artists and pursues “styles of the Han and Tang Dynasty.” As a result, he has successfully integrated his understanding of the tradition, what he sees and hears in reality, and demonstrates them in his paintings. As a painter who evokes nostalgia and love for his hometown, Xiaoqi paints brilliantly in his elaborate-style paintings, while his freehand brush works are natural and unrestrained. Simply speaking, he employs his unique artistic language to depict life in his hometown and the areas around Dongting Lake. His paintings demonstrate a kind of unrestrained temperament, sparkling with freshness and freedom, and yet have simplicity and classic quality. There’s a fusion of strong nostalgia and a mellow flavor of wild mountains, while the elegant inscriptions and contents not only express rural customs and popular sentiment, they embody the artist’s unique state of mind.
After studying in Beijing, he has acquired a purer and precise artistic language. From the new works exhibited this time, we can see a sense of modernity and broader space in his compositions. His pursuit of heteromorphism and abstractness has helped him achieve the perfect combination of form and content. Based on tradition, Xiaoqi expresses modern life in his paintings. In a way, his creations embody the pursuit of modern Chinese intellectuals.