Galerie du Monde is pleased to present pioneer of contemporary ink art in Southeast Asia – Malaysian artist C. N. Liew’s solo exhibition, showcasing over ten paintings from “The Great Form” and “The Great Refinement” series that serve as a testament to his artistic development in the last four years. Liew’s work seeks to articulate the Daoist concept of the power contained within softness and one’s innate ability to discover the path to truth.
C.N. Liew was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1975. He is the disciple of the great Zen master Bo Yuan and the father of Chinese contemporary ink art, Liu Kuo-Sung. Liew is the first artist of Chinese descent whose works are collected by the National Palace of Malaysia. Using the Chinese philosophical concept of Dao (the path) as an entry point into analyzing Liew’s exceptional artistry, the artist establishes a dialogue between traditional aesthetics and abstract expressionism through his unique “writing-painting” technique. Liew’s spiritual longing for freedom is revealed through the incredible energy of his brushstrokes.
Three of Liew’s metal works from “The Great Form” series will make their debut in this exhibition. The artist discovered aluminum board as a new material during a visit to a printing factory in 2009. “Writing-painting” on aluminum board evokes a different essence than that of traditional calligraphy and Chinese painting on xuan paper or silk. The idiosyncratic attributes of aluminum board as a material are its smoothness and its lack of permeation. With uninterrupted strokes from start to finish rendering the style sharp and sleek, the artist’s focus on the painting board is the perfect manifestation of a union between material and the individual self. To Liew, these works reflect the “true” feelings from his interior world, and the spiritual nature of this material world.
In “The Great Refinement” series, Liew seeks refinement that elevates writing to a higher spiritual realm through deconstructing and reconstructing the process. To Liew, this is not experimental calligraphy, nor an experiment itself. It is an authentic realization that sets out to break free from traditional frameworks and inspire a new artistic expression, in order to reach a higher realm in its substance. It inspires the viewer to grasp the inexplicability of “Dao”.