Chen Li Exhibition June 2018




The Spirit of Landscape is Chen Li's third solo show in London and also marks his highly anticipated first visit to the U.K., and the acquisition of his work by the The British Museum.

Chen Li's works won many prizes at the mandatory national art exhibitions in China but he felt he was not ready to exhibit internationally until he was 46. After his first solo exhibition in London last year, his work has been acquired by the BRITISH MUSEUM, shortlisted by the Royal Academy of Art, and placed in significant private collections in the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States.

Earlier this year, we created a buzz with Chen Li's extraordinary reduction woodblock prints, made using a rare technique developed in Yunnan. You can see editions of his prints and take a virtual tour of the show here.  This June we focus on his equally extraordinary lyrical oil paintings.

Chen Li (b. 1971, China) is an artist of vast scope and originality who is attracting serious interest from public and private sectors. He reaches out from within the cultural context of his native Kunming, the capital of China's frontier Yunnan Province, in a way that speaks to universal experiences.

Chen Li lives, feels, and breathes the poetry of life.  His works are joyful, dynamic, and intoxicatingly peaceful.

Inspired by the spectacular landscapes and Buddhist philosophy of his native Yunnan Province, Chen Li weaves East and West into a unique visual language full of harmony, spontaneity, and a brilliant interplay of colours and textures.

Chinese art and Western art have different views about reality” says Chen Li, “but when I paint, I ignore the rules to create living artistic images. Just like writing a love letter, content is key; what pen you use is not important."

About Chen Li

Chen Li lives and works in Kunming. Born into an artistic family in 1971, he grew up surrounded by the avant-garde artists of the post-Cultural Revolution, equally inspired by the works of Bruegel and de Kooning as of Guan Xiu and Zhao Wu-ji.

Chen Li's practice is a constant transformation, a living art. He developed his style in conscious isolation from the influences of academia. The freedom of his thoughts is echoed in the freedom of his strokes and the originality of his compositions. His flying strokes render wind, clouds, the universe - transporting the viewer into the experience.

After a turbulent youth and a near-fatal accident, Chen Li goes deep inside himself to find peace, harmony and balance. It is this search that gives his works such power. “I paint what I feel in my heart... For this I have to face my past, and have the courage to see past successes and failures.”


Monday to Friday, 11:00am - 6:30pm; Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm

Private View: 19 June, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4YU