The exhibition of around 20 abstract expressionism paintings by Chinese artist Liu Shuishi in New York has drawn attention from fellow artists, art critics and collectors.
An on-site panel discussion packed with around 100 people on Sunday evening marked the closing of a month-long exhibition titled "Liu Shuishi Retrospective" at Chase Contemporary in New York's Chelsea gallery area.
Colors of the paintings by Liu Shuishi are beautiful despite strange struggle in them and the artist filters western concept into his work, said Peter Drake, provost of the New York Academy of Art. He suggested that the artist could use social media and join art community in the United States to develop audience and further his professional exposure.
Betsy Ashton, both a portrait artist and a veteran CBS reporter, said she was impressed by strong and bold brushstrokes on her first impression and she sees plenty of Chinese art in them which are very different from works by other Chinese artists.
"Liu Shuishi is staying there and is doing the right thing. Being true to yourself is most important," said Ashton, regarding Liu Shuishi's focus on a unique painting style and his own ideas about art.
Richard Vine, managing editor of Art in America magazine and an expert of Chinese contemporary art said, "These paintings might look like De Kooning or other postwar western artists. Some may question, is it still relevant with regard to the ongoing contemporary art? But if this is what drives the artist to paint, he might continue."
"There is so much emotion and vitality," said Alessandra Massameno, the communication director and editor at Art, Antiques & Design. She added that Liu Shuishi demonstrated his ability to provoke thoughts on the viewers.
Liu Shuishi said he suffered from being different and thus aspired after beautiful things. Following his art training in northwest China's Xi'an city and many years of studying Western philosophy, Liu Shuishi found a better way to express his thoughts about life and humanity by using Western artistic mediums.
Liu Shuishi has moved to New York since 2016 and established his own studio now. At the closing reception, he told Xinhua, "When you come to a new environment, your past and thought would be cut off. And you would doubt your old thought, some thinking might be reactivated. The artistic creation would eventually evolve, and could be different from before."
"Liu Shuishi's paintings reflect his growing concerns of modern society's complexity and instability of today's life," said Noelle Xie, an international curator, who organized and chaired this art panel.
This exhibition showcases paintings that reflect the artist's oeuvre since his transition from more traditional Chinese landscape painting to his unique brand of existential expressionism, said an introduction literature by Chase Contemporary.
Born in 1962, Liu Shuishi has exhibited at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2015, the Salon Du Carrousel du Louvre and the Grand Palace Paris in 2009 as well as Today Art Museum in Beijing in 2016.