1st June 2019
Mao Jianhua presents ‘The Spirit of the Valley’, his first exhibition in the UK at Saatchi Gallery

Chinese artist and entrepreneur, Mao Jianhua, will present a new series of 48 works on specially commissioned handmade paper at Saatchi Gallery, London from 27 June – 7 July. Interested from a young age by the ancient art of calligraphy – and more recently by the Chinese landscape painting tradition, ‘Shan Shui’, from the Song, Yuan and Qing dynasties – Mao Jianhua’s greatest inspiration is the Yellow Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty in Eastern China, and a place of artistic pilgrimage for thousands of years.

The title of the exhibition is derived from a phrase of verse from Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, which draws parallels between the mystery of the creative process and that of nature. Lao Tzu (alongside Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu) is one of the founders of Taoism, the belief that the universe follows an inherent harmony, regardless of human presence. Mao Jianhua acknowledges Taoism as a strong influence on his way of being and artistic practice.

The exhibition showcases a series of landscape ink paintings created on Xuan paper, a material handmade from the Sandalwood tree which has traditionally been used for writing and painting. Varying in size with several large scale works, the paintings immerse the viewer in Mao Jianhua’s spiritual exploration of nature and his time spent in the Chinese mountains. Polymorphic shapes in black ink give the works a rhythmic quality, which are at times enlivened with blue, green and red. These dynamic works are offset by one painting left untouched, mirroring the infinite state of Wu-Chi.

For further information, please visit maojianhua.com

Image Credit: Mao Jianhua. Courtesy of Mao Jianhua.