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3812 Gallery | 3812 画廊
2019.01.14 Mon - 2019.03.09 Sat
Opening Exhibition
G/F, 118 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
+852 2153 3812
Opening Hours
Monday – Friday 10:30 am to 7:30 pm

Saturday – Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm


Mark Peaker & Calvin Hui

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Qu Leilei, ECHOES
3812 Gallery
London, Hong Kong
[Press Release]


29.01 – 09.03/2019
14.01 – 09.03/2019

As we enter into 2019, we face an important year for 3812 Gallery and for Asian art enterprises. Last year, we opened a Hong Kong outpost on Wyndham Street, in the heart of Hong Kong’s gallery district. As part of our international development strategy, we also moved into the St James District of London, presenting Chinese contemporary art in this historic building. There are two reasons we have chosen Qu Leilei as the artist for 3812 Gallery London’s first major solo exhibition. First is that Qu Leilei and 3812 Gallery are both marked by a union of East and West. Qu Leilei has been living and developing in Britain since 1985, absorbing the progression from the Renaissance to modern art, at once coolly observing as an outsider, while also pondering the internal issues facing Chinese art. Second, both Qu Leilei and 3812 Gallery are deeply rooted in Britain, while actively exploring the future of Chinese art (especially ink art), which is quite the rarity.

Each of us has our own unique form of life, just as each artist has their own unique creative spirit. Qu Leilei’s works have been exhibited in major galleries and museums in China and around the world, including the National Art Museum of China, the Beijing International Art Biennale, the Venice Biennale, and the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. Two of his works, Lei Feng from the Empires series, and Journeyfrom the Facing the Future series, entered into the permanent collection of the British Museum in 2015. Qu Leilei’s works are a living integration of alienation and gazing, with powerful critical thought. For instance, the Empires series considers issues regarding war, the state, and the individual in society. In today’s fantastical digital era, Qu Leilei’s series of paintings based on human hands have an extraordinary sense of intimacy and substance, refreshing and expanding our extant imagination of painting with Chinese brush, ink and scroll paper. Just as Professor Wang Chunchen noted in Echoes: Gazing Out on Qu Leilei from the Homeland, “ Qu Leilei’s artistic explorations after leaving China were a continuation of the artistic issues he explored and discussed in China, which makes it quite meaningful to look back on his artistic creations today.” This tension between “presence” and “absence” has always existed in every Chinese artist. Tradition tugs at us, leaving us once speechless in the contemporary context; we once drifted across the seas, only to eventually, whether consciously or not, return to look back and reflect on the state of Chinese art in our own ways.

In the previous exhibition, enLIGHTenment, we discussed Qu Leilei’s unique “light-driven” painting technique that combines Chinese brushwork with the Renaissance spirit. He has bathed the “black and white” of Chinese art with ray after ray of “light.” The third line of the Qian Hexagram reads, “The gentleman perseveres through the day, and cautious at night, no fault.” Qu Leilei’s artistic life is like that gentleman, diligently creating each day, in hopes of bringing light to Chinese art. The theme of this exhibition is Echoes. Qu Leilei says, “Art itself is the echo of life.” In this digital world where existentialism has lost effect, we are lost more profoundly than in any other era. Where is the boundary between the real and the virtual? Where can the purpose and meaning of life find peaceful fulfillment? If art is another form of life, how can we elevate everyday life to the level of art? Every one of Qu Leilei’s paintings is an echo of his own life. We hope that every visitor to the exhibition can personally sense that behind each of these “black, white and light” paintings, are the echoes of the artist probing life.

We cordially invite all friends and collectors to join us at 3812 Gallery London for the opening of the Qu Leilei solo exhibition Echoes, on the first stop in its international tour from 3812 Gallery Hong Kong. Qu Leilei will also present works at the first Ink Now art fair in Taipei. Let us feel the undulations of the body through the flows of brush and ink, and through the yin and yang tones of the painting, touch the artist’s life in art.