Yu Qiping 余启平 : Contemporary Ink and Wash Paintings
B. 1957, Nanjing, China. Lives and works in Shanghai.
Yu Qiping’s paintings offer a unique perspective into traditional Chinese ink-wash paintings. The delicate linework and soft palettes of his paintings can be mistaken for the fine craftsmanship of a Qing Dynasty artist, but it is Yu’s modern interpretation that adds a unique touch to his work.
In his recent work, “The Summer Cloud Brings the Rain Away” (2021), Yu captures the serene moment of a monk pausing to admire his surroundings, while another monk sleeps soundly beside a full cup of tea and a vase of blossoms. The painting is quiet yet abundant in detail, as each element in the scene is depicted with precision and care. Both monks wear small, gold hoop earrings, a subtle yet significant detail that adds to the authenticity of the piece. Calligraphy brushes have a touch of black ink on their tips, indicating their frequent use, while an open book has vertical lines for writing, hinting at the scholar’s dedication to his studies.
In late 2021, Yu held a solo show, “Sorrowful Days and Nights,” at Cospace Contemporary Art Gallery in Shanghai, where he displayed his latest works. He also exhibited in the gallery’s group presentation at ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, showcasing his talents to a wider audience.
In October 2022, Yu Qiping exhibited his new work “Mu Yan Painting” in an exhibition in ICI LABAS, Beijing. This exhibition showcased his latest work, which included a stunning masterpiece titled “Mu Yan Painting”. This painting is the largest work in the exhibition and features 12 arhats of different shapes sitting or standing around a waterfall. The waterfall depicted in the painting is the water of Ma Yuan in the Southern Song Dynasty, but Yu’s modern interpretation adds a contemporary touch to the artwork.
While creating “Mu Yan Painting,” Yu Qiping has reduced Guanxiu Arhat’s “ancient deceit” in his pen. The broad head, high cheekbones, and thin body of the arhats are moderately weakened, adding a touch of literati flavor and interest to the artwork. The painting is a perfect example of how Yu Qiping has mastered the art of creating contemporary paintings while still retaining the traditional charm of Chinese art.
Yu Qiping’s paintings are known for their attention to detail and his latest work is no exception. The arhats in the painting are depicted with such precision and care that each of them deserves a deeper look.
Yu Qiping’s stunning masterpieces showcase his mastery of creating Contemporary ink and wash paintings. His attention to detail, precision, and care while creating his artwork is truly remarkable. His ability to infuse traditional Chinese art with a modern touch will continue to inspire and captivate audiences in the modern era.