C.N. Liew

"Rocks from Yon Hills" at the University of Cambridge

"C.N. Liew: Rocks from Yon Hills"

Date: 24 November 2022 - 5 January 2023

Venue: Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK


Clare Hall, University of Cambridge is honoured to present “C. N. Liew: Rocks from Yon Hills” from 24 November 2022 to 5 January 2023, a solo exhibition featuring the pioneer of contemporary ink art in Malaysia – artist C. N. Liew. Debuting 11 new ink paintings and 2 mixed media on metal works from Liew’s “The Rock” series, exploring the Daoist concept of the power contained within softness and one’s innate ability to discover the path to truth. Among the series, Path of the Soul (2022) has been acquired by Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. 


C.N. Liew adopts a different approach in his contribution to contemporary ink art. From Liew’s works one can see the beauty of rugged structures and textures on natural rocks. Liew argues that rocks have important connotations in Chinese culture, especially in relation to the legend of Nüwa, the goddess who repaired the broken sky by using rocks. He believes that the “rocks” he creates represent the reparation or reconciliation that we all need to face human conflicts and natural disasters. Liew still uses in his art predominantly traditional means - Xuan papers, ink and Chinese seals. Yet he also deploys the traditional “shades of ink” to model the depths of the rock surface. However, as a contemporary ink artist, Liew does not wish to “write” or “paint” any fixed message, as is often found in traditional Chinese calligraphy or paintings. Instead, he invites his audience to extract from these images, with their enigmatic precision, messages relevant to themselves and to today’s world.


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November 24, 2022
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