“2024 Chen Qi: Where I Belong” was unveiled at Jiangsu Art Museum



Chen Qi, is a significant creator who has promoted the conceptual development in contemporary Chinese Water-based Woodblock in China. On the one hand, he has conducted in-depth research on traditional Chinese prints, especially the Chinese Water-based woodblock from the South of Yangtze River, and he presents a superb aesthetic style through rigorous material properties, moisture, and realistic textures of ink layers. On the other hand, from an international perspective of innovative thinking, he has explored the contemporary translation of traditional prints while observing the temporal depth and significance of life behind images and media, and then extended the grand and romantic Eastern philosophy.

The Group Photo at the Opening Ceremony.pngThe Group Photo at the Opening Ceremony01 The Opening Ceremony.png02 The Opening Ceremony.pngView of the Opening Ceremony

Having been engaged in highly rigorous Chinese Water-based Woodblock for more than 30 years, Chen Qi has once again realized the spontaneity of free painting and returned to the practice of ink painting. His abundant creativity and sensitivity to materials allowed him to transform “useless” water marks into “natural” brush and ink realms, and he has further built a unique visual system.

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05 Exhibition View.pngExhibition View

Chen Qi has worked and lived in Nanjing for many years, and his first solo exhibition was held at the Jiangsu Art Museum in 1992. Therefore, “2024 Chen Qi: Where I Belong” was chosen by Jiangsu Art Museum to be the first exhibition of 2024 “Academic Invitational Exhibition” series. The exhibits cease to emphasize his trans-disciplinary aspect in art creations, but the viewing experience in a traditional dimension is highlighted through his representative woodblock printing and recent ink paintings. 

自然 120x238cm 水印木刻 2020.jpg

Nature, 120×238cm, Chinese Water-based Woodblock, 2020圆融 No.1 89x158cm 水印木刻 2023.jpg

Unity No.1, 89×158cm, Chinese Water-based Woodblock, 2023春江 177X89.5cm 水印木刻 2024.jpg

Spring River, 177×89.5cm, Chinese Water-based Woodblock, 2024

The title of the exhibition comes from the poem “The Worry in My Heart Is Where I Belong” in The Book of Songs·Cao Feng·Ephemera. It does not only lament the passage of time, but it also reflects Chen Qi’s return to his origin after 32 years which rebuilds the geographical relationship with his hometown in the south of the Yangtze River as well as a spiritual communication with ink and brush. Furthermore, the image of mayflies echoes the cosmology of silverfish and wormholes in his masterpiece “Notations of Time” to achieve the spiritual reconstruction of “We are nothing but insects who live in this world but one day, mere specks of grain in the vastness of ocean.

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Youngster, 115×85cm, Chinese Water-based Woodblock, 20162012生成与弥散 380x5600cm 水印木刻 2018.jpg

2012 Generation and Dispersion, 380×5600cm, Chinese Water-based Woodblock, 2018

Thanks to the unique spatial advantages of Jiangsu Art Museum, the 56-meter-long super-scale “2012 Generation and Dispersion” is fully displayed for the first time. Chen Qi seeks to expand the visual boundaries of traditional art in the huge new ink paintings such as “Midsummer” and “Beautiful Countryside” through a more vivid presentation form and further create a more spatial narrative appreciation experience.

夏花 264.8x454.8cm 纸本水墨  2019.png

Summer Flower, 264.8×454.8cm, Ink on paper, 2019盛夏 304x1288cm 纸本水墨 2022.png

Midsummer, 304×1288cm, Ink on paper, 2022

Curator Chen Ya wrote in the preface for this exhibition, “Chen Qi has tried his best to perfect the technology, size, and concepts of Chinese Water-based Woodblock for the tense schedule; and he has also used his inherent painting experience and familiar technical expressions to ‘be the point and come to an abrupt end’ in creating ink paintings.” His visual fantasy that rises from the traditional skills of the South of Yangtze River is an aesthetic vision that circulates in the universe, and it is also a philosophical thinking inspired by the crooning of life.

何园 304x224cm 纸本水墨 2020.png

He Yuan, 304×224cm, Ink on paper, 2020北冥 248x1060.5cm 纸本水墨 2022.png

Bei Ming, 248×1060.5cm, Ink on paper, 2022

About the Exhibition


Dates: April 26 – May 26, 2024

Venue: Jiangsu Art Museum

Courtesy of the Artist and Jiangsu Art Museum, edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.