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White cube – Zhou Li – original state of mind

April 17, 2019 @ 8:00 amJune 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pm HKT

White Cube - Zhou Li - Original State of Mind

Inside the White Cube
17 April 2019 – 30 June 2019
White Cube Bermondsey

White Cube is pleased to present an exhibition by Zhou Li at Bermondsey. Featuring large-scale paintings from two new series of works, it marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

The title of the exhibition, ‘Original State of Mind’, relates to the unique position that Zhou Li occupies when making art. Throughout her practice, she seeks to question the relationship between herself and her surroundings, explaining: ‘The way people normally view the world is as through a window, from inside out or outside in, but I try to stand in the middle. I see myself from a neutral point of view, and I see the world from a neutral point of view at the same time.’
In her abstract paintings, Zhou attempts to position herself outside of the usual parameters of perception – a process that is normally accepted as either subjective or objective. Attempting to access an unhindered way of observing and understanding, she considers both her own self and the objects around her as equally valuable to her art; each indivisible one from the other. The duality of perception is challenged as well as that of sensibility and rationality, by prioritizing the phenomenological understanding of life – and her own experience of it – over existing concepts or formations.

Zhou says that when she paints she imagines her subject and then communicates with it through her painting. This ‘subject’ could be herself, another person, an event or simply an emotion. Equally, it can derive from a kind of meditation that is stimulated by a particular moment in time or by social or political events. All of this subject matter is then consciously re-perceived as an object, reduced to pure experience based on the relationship between selfhood and the object, beyond established customs or rational rules. Zhou has described this position as akin to ‘the middle of the window’, suggesting that experience shapes consciousness, and she examines both. Through this approach, Zhou attempts to access original thought, which could derive from her experience as a changing entity – the ‘heart’ – or, at the same time, the physical world which shapes it. This inclusive approach, relating to the Eastern philosophy of the mind, underpins this exhibition.

Line-making lies at the core of Zhou’s paintings, which incorporate illusory, endless loops and defining blocks of color that delimit transient, open spaces. Her abstract works can be considered in dialogue with contemporary Western art – in particular, the paintings of Mark Rothko or Cy Twombly – but also with Chinese masters of calligraphy. These include painters such as the 7th-century artist Zhan Ziqian, famous for the earliest blue-green landscape painting Strolling about in Spring, and the 4th-century writer Wang Xizhi, author of Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion.

Suggesting a sense of flow and movement which reflects the artist’s own restless self-examination, in her work Zhou explores the relationship of emotions to perception and the fusion of the logical and illogical within inner consciousness, ideas which lie at the core of ancient Chinese philosophy.

Zhou Li was born in 1969 in Hunan, China, and lives and works in Shenzhen. She studied oil painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China, graduating in 1991. In 1995 Zhou moved to France, where she lived and worked until 2003.

In 2015 Zhou was appointed Director of the Institute of Abstraction and Contemporary Arts, at the Centre of Research on Artistic and Cultural Innovation and Development, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. Since 2013 she has been a guest professor in the Oil Painting Department, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China. She has also been an artist in residence at Shenzhen Art Academies, a guest professor at the Art Design College of Shenzhen University and the art consultant for Shenzhen Airport.

Zhou Li’s solo exhibitions include ‘Shadow of the Wind’, Yuz Museum, Shanghai and ‘The Ring of Life: Zhou Li’, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (both 2017). She has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including ‘The world is yours, as well as ours’, White Cube, London (2016).

17 四月 2019 – 30 六月 2019
白立方伦敦隆重呈现周力作品展, 展出艺术家以“我站在窗的中间—心原”为主题的系列绘画作品。这也是周力在伦敦的首次个展。

周力曾说:“人观看世界的方式,一般是从窗里望向窗外,或者从窗外望向窗内,而我是站在窗的中间。我从一个中立的角度,观看我自己,同时也观看着世界。” 传统的观看方法一般分为“主观的”与“客观的”两种,而周力卻「不着两边」。她以最真实的感知为依据,既不对任何事物做主观的判断,也不依循它们表现出的客观特质,而是将“审视世界”与“审视自我”变为互为表里的同一过程。她试图打破“主观”与“客观”,以及“感性”与“理性”的二元方法,用现象学的方式,将生命经验—及其被获取的过程—悬置于一切既有的概念或规定之上。



周力1969年出生在中国湖南,现生活与创作于深圳。1991年毕业于中国广州美术学院油画系,1995-2003年,生活和工作于法国。在2015年被聘中山大学艺术文化创新与发展研究中心、抽象与当代艺术研究所所长。2013年至今,受聘于广州美术学院客座教授。她也曾任深圳画院客座画家、深圳大学设计艺术学院客座教授、深圳机场艺术顾问。近期重要个展包括: 2017年上海余德耀美术馆的“白影”和北京蜂巢当代艺术中心的“生生如环”。同时也参与众多重要群展其中包括2016年伦敦白立方画廊的“世界是你们的,也是我们的”。


April 17, 2019 @ 8:00 am HKT
June 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pm HKT
Event Category:


White Cube Hong Kong
50 Connaught Road Central Hong Kong Hong Kong + Google Map

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