“Moist and Burnt: As Ink Breathes” is the second solo exhibition at the Tina Keng Gallery of contemporary ink painter Yuan Hui-Li. The show continues the artist’s exploration of a traditional medium such as ink in contemporary times.
Classical painting theories emphasize the vivacious expression of swirling clouds of mist in ink. The traditional view of moistness in ink, when confronted with the aridness in the air induced by modern-day industrialization, appears to be old-fashioned. And this is where “Fiery Ink” begins: Yuan’s original series where she juxtaposes the “burntness” of smog and the “moistness” of ink, bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary contexts for this age-old medium.
The show is a dialectical response to humanity’s status quo bringing up contrasts between mist and smog, moistness and burntness, traditional ink and fiery ink; juxtaposing the natural elements of water and fire, Yuan Hui-Li proposes a dialogue between two ink aesthetics in an examination of the human respiration.
- Yuan Hui-Li, 'Discrete Islands No. 40', 2017