Artists Historians Curators

Brief Introduction

117-Work-Shot-of-Li-Yang-at-Mengjin,-Henan-in-April,2011

I have been engaged in Chinese painting for decades, most of the time focusing on artistic thoughts, establishing new painting ideas, striving forward on the basis of traditional Chinese culture to build a new artistic style and new artistic language, to establish a new aesthetic ideal of modern people. First of all, I build the creative idea of the “Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess” in a way of thinking. Then I elaborately build a new road for the coloring of the Chinese Painting in the terms of the color of mental imagery in Chinese Painting.

- Li Yang: From the Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess to the Construction of the Color of Mental Imagery

An ink dot and a beautiful line, both create anaesthetic feeling, touching your nerve, you become excited and appreciate the dance and enjoy ourselves. Stressing the interest of the brush and ink which should coherently write instead of copying. Pay attention to the distribution of dots, lines, and planes, contrast changes of ink color, using the ink- block relation, density, hardness and softness, thickness and thinness, the wet and the dry, the loose and the tight, the strong and the light, the virtual and the real, as well as the irregular sorting of geometric form of the ink block, applying contrasting techniques to arrange and design the position of the ink. It reveals a characteristic of Chinese painting at the same time that is the law of art, which is the law of contrast. There is a rule in Chinese painting, it is the “contrast”.

- Li Yang: Ink Figure Sketch

The traditional ink painting is full of painterly brushworks, ink colors, creating the rhythm in painting.

- Li Yang: The Painterly of Ink Painting

In his recent works, we can see that he combines the rigorous shaping and the method of mental imagery to give the creative character to the sketch. At this time, the characters of the paintings are more authentic, and his original pursuit of the “color of mental imagery” has merged with the interest of the brush and ink.

- Shao Dazhen: Giving the Creative Character to the Sketch – On Li Yang’s Painting Art

Li Yang has explored the creative road for more than 10 years, he wants to use the Oriental shaping of line, absorbing the color experience of Western painting, taking the Chinese theory of the ink’s rhythm as the main body, to constitute a new painting style with modern aesthetic features of Chinese painting, perhaps it is nothing but an ideal goal, but it is attractive and the direction of exploration is worth dedicating.

- Yin Shuangxi: the Expanding of Li Yang’s Painting Language

Li Yang’s idea of “Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess” is a different process in traditional Chinese art thinking methods. “Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess” which focuses on the thinking of the screen and the process, the thinking track of the artist markedly stands out, recording the instantaneous thoughts and discoveries, so it is more mobile and flexible,and more difficult to control, it has an exploratory nature and is experimental in the academic sense. “Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess” can discover the abstract mental reality of the artist, using a more abstract art language to seize the composition as exciting beauty.

- Zhang Peng: Keep Watching Loneliness, Reaching No Matter How Distant It is – Artistic Exploration of Li Yang’s Chinese Painting

About the Artist

Li Yang is from Beijing, admitted to the Department of Chinese Painting, CAFA in 1981, and has been teaching in the school since his graduation in 1985. Currently he is a professor of CAFA, Deputy Dean of the School of Chinese Painting, member of China Artists Association, researcher at the China National Academy of Painting, member of Chinese Painting Art Committee of China Artists Association.

Published Personal Catalogs

“Li Yang’s Creation of Ink and Wash” 1993, GuangxiJieli Publishing House

“Xintianyou • Li Yang”2001, Hong Kong Collection Press

“Li Yang • Mental Imagery in Colored Ink” 2001, Guangxi Fine Arts Publishing House

“Close to Painter • Li Yang”, 2004, Tianjin People’s Fine Arts Publishing House

“21st Century Mainstream Figure Painter Creation Collection • Li Yang (Volume)” 2004, Henan Daxiang Press

“Masterpieces Free from Vulgarity • Li Yang” 2005, Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House

“Basis of Teaching Methods of the Academy of Fine Arts • CAFA Li Yang’s Ink Figure Painting” 2005, Beijing Fine Arts Publishing House

“The Sketch of an Outstanding Painter • Li Yang’s Figure Sketch” 2006, Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House

“Ten Contemporary Chinese Figure Painters • Li Yang”2006, People's Fine Arts Publishing House

“Li Yang • Style of Ink Painting” 2006, Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House

“Masters of Chinese Painting • Li Yang” 2008, Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House

“Newspaper of Chinese Painters • Li Yang”2008,2009, China International Publishing Group

“Huayuan the Classic Famous Painter • Li Yang”2008, ChinaHuayuanMagazine

“The Spirit of Chinese Painting• Li Yang”2009, Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House

“Annual Ink • 2009 Li Yang”2009, Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House

“Sketch of the Famous Painter • Li Yang’s Catalog of Ink Figure” 2009, Heilongjiang Fine Arts Publishing House

“Sketch of the Famous Painter• Li Yang’s Figure Sketch”2009, Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House

“Li Yang • Contemporary History of Painting • the Classic Models”2011, Jiangxi Fine Arts Publishing House

“Contemporary Chinese Artists Annual Creation Archives • Painting Volume 2011• Li Yang”2011, RongbaozhaiPublishing House

“The study of the Context of Contemporary Chinese Painting • Li Yang”2011, Jiangxi Fine Arts Publishing House

A total of more than 20 editions of personal catalogs

Published Papers

“On ‘Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess’” published in the journal of “Traditional Chinese Painter”, 1996, vol.6; and proceedings “Art Study”, 1997, vol.2.

“The Painterly style of Ink Painting” published in the journal “Art Guide”, 2003, vol.1.

“From the Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess to the Construction of the Color of Mental Imagery” published in the journal of the “Study of Ink Painting”, 2004, vol.7; and “Papers of the Teaching and Research of Chinese Painting”, 2004.

“Discussion of the Sketch” published in the journal of the “National Art Museum of China”, 2006, vol.11.

“Sketch is Work” published in the journal of “Fine Arts”, 2009 vol.4; and the journal of “Rongbaozhai”, 2009 vol.8.

Award-Winning Paper

The paper “On ‘Painting is Like the Distribution of Chess’” won the “30 Years of CAFA’s Art Humanities Science, ‘CAFA Academic Research Achievement Award’, in Memory of the 30 Years of Reform and Opening” 2008

 Courtesy of the artist, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO