Artist Chen Jiang-Hong’s Spontaneous and Vibrantly Hued New Paintings Embrace the Pleasures of the Unexpected

Blues, greens, and ruby reds make bold appearances in Chen's new exhibition at Galerie Taménaga in Paris.

Photograph of the atelier of Chen Jiang-Hong. Courtesy of Galerie Tamenaga.
Photograph of the atelier of Chen Jiang-Hong. Courtesy of Galerie Taménaga.

Chinese-born French artist Chen Jiang-Hong has earned international acclaim for his large-scale lyrical abstractions that reconcile ancient artistic traditions with a gesturalism informed by Abstract Expressionism.

Now, in his latest exhibition at Paris’s Galerie Tamenaga, Chen Jiang-Hong reveals paintings infused with a new and vibrant palette of deep blues, sea greens, and ruby reds. The artist pours these brilliant hues—made from oil paints diluted with turpentine—onto his canvases with expert dexterity. His act of painting is a physical commitment: he manipulates the paints with a balance of strength, finesse, and with a sensitivity to color with his brush moving from one motion fluidly into the next.

Chen Jiang-Hong, Untitled. Courtesy of Galerie Taménaga.

Chen considers his technique to be carrying on a pictorial style called xieyi, which literally means “writing the idea.” Though the artist’s early works were characterized for their subtle dance between figuration and abstraction, in the past few years, his practice has moved more fully into the realm of abstraction.

His new works, then, are a testament to the artist’s movement through an idea with a brush, one marked both by spontaneity and sensitive awareness. 

Chen Jiang-Hong, Untitled. Courtesy of Galerie Tamenaga.

Chen Jiang-Hong, Untitled. Courtesy of Galerie Taménaga.

The final works are harmonious vibrations of colors, with bright hues abutting deep blacks that rush together and fade out, pulsating between movement and a sense of stillness. When you look closely you’ll notice delicate speckles of paint on the canvas. The artist has recently started adding controlled drips of paint onto the slightly tilted canvases, welcoming one more element of chance to the works. It’s a gesture that echoes and embraces the unpredictable experience of life today—which the artist meets with poise and anticipation, and in which we may find unexpected pleasures.

Chen Jiang-Hong, Untitled. Courtesy of Galerie Tamenaga.

Chen Jiang-Hong, Untitled. Courtesy of Galerie Taménaga.

Chen Jiang-Hong” is on view at Galerie Taménaga through October 29, 2020.


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