千奇百怪的民间艺术气氛在本身的小时候活着中留下浓烈的回想

  我生于北京,祖籍山车逢莱,父亲酷爱艺术,幼时父亲常常带着我们兄妹拜名师,亲临大师们的教诲,使我受益无穷。  母亲勤劳,慈祥,每年一到腊月,便是她老人家大显身手的日子,她像众多的胶东妇女一样,全做各式各样象征吉祥如意图案的面食,造型稚朴天真,春节是一年中最愉快的日子,全家张灯结彩,更新家画,游厂甸,逛庙全,色彩斑斓的民间艺术氛围在我的童年生活中留下深刻的印象。  十年农村生活的磨练,民间艺术的熏陶和强大的感染力,乡村婆姨娃娃们的欢愉,浓郁的民俗风情使我永远难以忘怀,从而我找到了我要表现的题材和终身的艺术追求。  这裹所选的是近几年所创作的,也是我美好梦境的一部分,羞于见人,但又渴望把自已的情感告诉众人,我愿把这一份乡情和快乐与朋友们共享,以激励自己,绘出更多五彩缤纷的梦。^-^Preface  I was born in Beijing ,but my ancestral hometown is in pang Lai ,Shandong province. My father loves art ,and in my childhood be often took me and my sister to famous masters and formally acknowledged them as teachers the enlightening instruction of these masters were enormously helpful to my later career .  My mother is hardworking and amiable. In the 12th lunar month every year, she would like most women in the eastern Shandong ,demonstrate her skill in making cooked wheaten food with all kinds of natural and naive patterns symbolizing good luck. The happiest time in a whole year is the Spring Festival ,during which the whole family would adorn the house with lanterns and festoons, change calligraphy and drawings on the walls ,go to Changdian and the Temple Fair.The colorful folk art atmosphere left a very deep impression in my childhood .  The tempering of my ten year life in the countryside, the powerful influence of the folk art ,the pleasure of the country women and children, the rich folk custom were both unforgettable and inspiring ,from which I find the subjects that I want to express and also the artistic goal that I will pursue all my life .  This selection here were created in recent years. They are also a part of my beautiful dreams. I feel uneasy to show these words to the public, but meanwhile I am eager to express my emotion to people ,I would like to share this country sentiment and happiness with my friends ,in hope of encouraging myself to paint more colorful dreams.

FAR OUTSIDE THE WORLD AND DEEP INSIDE THE HEART: LI XINHUI AND HIS STAR SERIES

I still vividly remember the first time when I met Li Xinhui in the summer of 2005. A handsome and quiet big boy,maybe a little arrogant,smiling while holding a glass of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other. We talked for a short while,when I suddenly had a familiar feeling towards him as he had a strong Kunming accent. So I asked him if Kunming was his hometown and he surprisingly answered Yes,and I told him were from the same place.

Since then weve met frequently and I was often invited to his house as well. I always say Xinhui is a really lucky man,with a Dutch wife and holding two handsome boys on his knees. Also at home Xinhui always has that sweet smile on his face. We would talk about a lot of things,and while we may have different views sometimes,we agreed to disagree and our friendship moved forwards. We gradually became close friends and he would often show me his new paintings. He always paints starts,so Ive seen his stars paintings since eight years ago.

The first time I saw Xinhuis star paintings it gave me a very good feeling. The hazy and swirling surrealism of his star series gives me a sense of unlimited reverie,and a joyful feeling that is difficult to describe. The extending flow of outwards waves of light,starting from nowhere,following its track to its original fantasy tells you that this fantasy realm appears in the outside world beyond our reach,or maybe it happens in our own hearts to which we dont have insight. The simple and pure fairy-tale colors of Xinghuis stars not only brought me back to the memories of my childhood,but also present another infinite outer landscape that we cant ever match. The rapid eruption of endless waves of energy spreads towards infinity,and the world we live in is just a tiny drop in the ocean.

The unpredictability of distant stars,the shining spots of these stars,meteor trails,the drifting,shining,merging is like holding a kaleidoscope during childhood you see through the prism an ethereal fantasy of gorgeous interwoven colors and lights. It brings us back to the fantasy world of our youth,the heaven in our mind,and the eternal feast of light shining on the world. In Li Xinhuis hands the magic of a happy world is very simple,and in fact all of this has its own source - like his earlier villain series,which is also full of fairytale like pleasures. The work is a composition of hemp and its thick texture presents a magical enlightening effect. Xinhuis extensive interest always results in new ideas and he is indulged in charming illusions. These stem from Xinhuis childhood memories and inspiration that drives him to constantly create a poetic image.

In my opinion,Xinhui can be characterized firstly by always being loyal to his senses. He is good at capturing the subtle relationships between colors,shallow and deep,static and dynamic,tangible and intangible and hes careful to distinguish slight differences among shapes,lines,colors,and composition until it forms a trance,using points,lines and surface together to form one total,intrinsically linked to near perfect,so that the stars image become a live and moveable object,making the fantasy world and the real world unified together. Also,Xinhui knows how to control the use of colors to express a simple theme,and to have a comfortable and harmonious relationship between them. He prefers the abstract way of painting,doesnt follow the current popular style,nothing weird and huge,nothing disorganized and grandstanding. Xinhui likes the clear and fixed outlines of abstract contours,and his works are simple to identify,stimulate the imagination and are easy to be captured visually.

On the other hand,Xinhui doesnt live in a fairy tale. There is no doubt that today the heart of each one of us feels the shock,fright,loneliness,or different forms of repression of this era. Xinhui also reflects this in his paintings,such as those of his gray tone sketch - a subway full of naked men and women,children and the elderly,people are forced to crowd in the rapid development of urbanization rushing towards an unclear direction.

Xinhuis gray star series and the aforementioned soft Star series are totally different. He used the symmetry of the stars combined with the stippling technique of the Aboriginals to segment the sharp edges. Aboriginal stippling was originally a primitive witch technique to deter wounding wild beasts in the desert,but I like to believe it is intentional expressed by Xinhui - the period I do not know- I suppose Xinhui must have felt like being squeezed by flowing gray stars ,surrounded by men and women that reminded him of a wild southern hemisphere. Indeed,Xinhui seems to be more concerned about the world outside. He has his own principles and views about a variety of concepts,and perhaps he likes to keep a distance from most contemporary artist and thereby unintentionally escaped the contemporary art scene,resulting the feeling that his work over the years has not been so much on the scene. Leaving the impression that his art is outside the reality of the world,that its targeted beyond the world,that its moved from the inner hearth.

Like most artists,Li Xinhui has been exploring a variety of artistic ways and materials for drawing,from concrete to abstract,from using the easel to exploring all kinds of materials,using anything that can be grabbed and presented in his work. As he said,the arrival of industrialization

not only brought the convenience of life,but also created more confusion and tensions; piles of garbage are submerging the city,so he changed garbage into environmental art forms to remind people,however at the end he figured that by using garbage he was also creating more garbage,so then he gave up and again returned to his easel.

Xinhui gives people the impression of being a quiet and pleasant person. He likes drinking together with friends,and he tends to be a listener most of the time. To characterize Li Xinghui as calm,quiet,happy,pleasant,sensitive,and introvert,I think this might be because he was born in Kunming,Yunnan. Yunnan is a beautiful province,Yunnan treats life as a festival. I rarely hear Xinhui speaking his hometown,it might because his international prospect towards the world,or his views on the obscurity of space,but I think to be an artist,whether talking about childhood or not,it is impossible for him to forget his childhood memories and mixed feelings of childhood will be present in his work. Xinhui still insist that his views contain no boundaries and regions,however unintentionally the feelings of his childhood dreams are reflected in his art works and shown to the outside world. So he is always grateful for everything he has - no matter if its life,art or something else-,like his whispering stars in the distant sky.

LIU XINYU

2013.4.26,Beijing