Chen Ping


Chen Ping
b. 1960, Beijing
Traditional Chinese painter
Trained privately in traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy and seal carving from his youngest years, Chen Ping received from the start the education of a classic literatus. In 1984 he graduated from the Traditional Chinese Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, with a specialization in landscape painting. In 1987 he was hired as staff of the same department, where in 1989 he began teaching in the newly founded Calligraphy Research Workshop. A leading representative of the New Literati Painting, Chen Ping is unanimously considered one of the most talented and promising artists to have emerged in the field of traditional Chinese painting during the post-Mao period. His works are close to old literati practice and yet endowed with a distinctive modern look. Chen spends long periods of time engaged in the orthodox practice of ‘learning from nature’, yet it is the modern countryside that he observes. In his compositions, specific if studiously naïve references to modernization—buses, cars and bicycles—appear without ostentation.
Chen Ping’s most impressive technique—the depiction of clouds and the treatment of dark monochrome ink—is extremely new in its prominent three-dimensional effects reminiscent of Western modernism, while hinting at a similar technique found in the work of the seventeenth-century Chinese painter Gong Xian (1618–89) in which the layering of black-and-white surfaces provides a sculptural texture to volatile elements such as clouds, fog and foliage. Since 1989, Chen Ping has regularly participated in New Literati Painting exhibitions of which the largest was held in Beijing in 1997. He has also widely exhibited in Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
Andrews, Julia and Shen, Kuiyi (1998). ‘Chinese Painting in the Post-Mao Era’. In idem (eds), A Century in Crisis. Modernity and Tradition in the art of Twentieth-Century China. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 278–89.
Dal Lago, Francesca (1998). ‘“New Literati Painting”, China Art Gallery, Beijing’ (exhibition review). ART AsiaPacific 19 (July): 32–4.
Dal Lago, Francesca and Trombetta Panigadi, Laura (1991). ‘Il volto nuovo di una pittura antica’ [The New Face of an Ancient Tradition—on the New Literati Painting], ARTE 224 (December).
Tang, Shikang (ed.) (1992). Chen Ping. Hong Kong: DaYe Publishing House.
FRANCESCA DAL LAGO

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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