New Exhibition Opens at Confucius Academy: Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Liao Guosong

2022-04-21

  On April 16, a new exhibition kicked off at Confucius Academy: “The Brush Strokes of Time”, an exhibition of oil paintings by Liao Guosong. The more than one hundred works on display spanned over a period of 57 years, which are the brush strokes of a painter who spends most of his life.

Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Liao Guosong

  Liao Guosong was born in 1940. With his ancestral home in Jiangkou of Guizhou Province, he has spent most of his life in Guiyang where, upon graduating from high school, he worked successively as a substitute rural teacher, a staff member of a cultural center and a highway surveyor. He was transferred to the Editorial Department of the magazine of Huaxi of Guiyang Federation of Literary and Art Circles in 1980, and then to Guiyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1998. He began to publish poems in 1957, published several collections of poems, novels and prose works, and once served as associate editor of Huaxi, a literary magazine. He is a member of the China Writers Association and a member of the Guizhou Artists Association. His oil painting works have participated in numerous art exhibitions inside and outside the province, and some have been collected by Simin Gallery of Singapore.

Liao Guosong

  The exhibition focuses on the creations from 1964 to 2021 in a chronological order. However, if you compare Liao’s paintings of the 1970s and those produced in recent years, you will see that there aren’t any so-called fixed routines in these works. The time seems to have been “broken” into free strokes.

  Although the small paintings of the 1970s and the 1980s are only the size of an adult’s palm, the color blocks are clear-cut and the strokes are vigorous. Most of the paintings showcase the old city of Guiyang, from the banks of the Nanming River to the outskirts of Huaxi, and from indoor still life to the lush rural wilderness, full of simple flexibility and freedom.

  From the perspective of an ordinary viewer, if the early paintings are still “recognizable”, those produced after the 1990s and 2000 seem to create illusions in people’s mind. For example, apart from strong visual impacts, The Pond and The Mountain Stream cannot leave viewers a specific real impression at a glance. Although the canvas is larger and there are more details, the boundaries of shapes are broken and fragmented by the bolder use of colors and the flexible black dots and lines - the time seems to be more crumpled than before.

  It can be seen from Liao Guosong’s paintings such as The Shadow of the Lotus, The Moonlight and The Dim Night of a Mountain Village that there is a large amount of Chinese freehand brushwork. From these Western impressionist paintings, one can feel a strong Chinese artistic conception. According to Zhang Jianjian, a critic, Liao Guosong is a Chinese literati painter. What he describes is not only Chinese aesthetic cognition, but also a transcendental spirit of Chinese art. In Liao’s own blunt words, he is rooted in Chinese culture.

  The hundred paintings on display showcase not only artistic creations, but also half a century’s life and endless stories of a literary and artistic creator rooted in Guizhou. “Altogether, it took us two years to turn this exhibition from an idea into reality. But today, it’s worthwhile to bring the public an aesthetic experience and tell them more literary and artistic stories of Guizhou,” noted Zhou Zhijiang, Deputy Director and member of the Party Committee of the Cultural Communication Center of Guiyang Confucius Academy. Considering the requirements of epidemic prevention and control, Confucius Academy will move the exhibition online so that more people can appreciate the wonderful creations of an artist from Guizhou.