Liang Quan Light As Tea | Frank F. Yang Collection Exhibition presented at Extra Space
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Extra Space is pleased to present the works of artist Liang Yuan on January 20, 2017. A selection of 17 works from the Frank F. Yang collection will be on display, comprising of Liang Quan’s most representative works of various phases throughout his artistic practice over the last three decades.
The title of the exhibition, “As Light as tea” is drawn from Frank F. Yang’s impression of the artist Liang Quan, “Like his paintings, he’s as light as tea”. Liang Quan’s works reduce everyday complexity into simplicity, using rice paper, colors, ink, and tea as his common materials, his paintings integrate elements of traditional painting, calligraphy, printing, graffiti, as well as dying, burning and collage. Such mature compositions may seem minimalist upon first glance, in fact conjure all details of the world where every line and trace display an intriguing vicissitude. Liang Quan has once said, “While everyone is pursuing the radical and bright colors, to savor one’s own interest and persevere in modesty equally exemplifies one’s attitude. I enjoy tranquility, anonymity and the softer temperament, and I constantly remind myself that it is unnecessary to indulge in that world.”
Besides showing Liang Quan’s most representative works Untitled and Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains I from the Frank F. Yang collection, we will be presenting the artist’s blue water color series that he created during his arrival in Shenzhen for the first time.
Frank. F. Yang has written a preface for this exhibition.
Liang Quan Light as Tea / Frank F. Yang Collection Exhibition Preface
Hosting Liang Quan’s works for the collection exhibition at my humble house, comprising of the most representative works from various phases of his artistic practice over the last three decades is not only a serious and respectful undertaking, but also an initiative that makes me somewhat worried of any possible oversight. I wish to write down a few words, in spite of my rusty writing and comments on his works of art, which may not suffice to achieve my intention, I believe my personal contact with Mr. Liang on a regular basis would perhaps offer insights to his art practice.
The most memorable statement by Liang Quan is, “Life first, Art second”. What Liang refers to as life, includes work, profession and family. A warning as such from an artist, who has not prioritized art over life, instead preaches the art of simplicity has had a great impact on me. This attitude towards life is also what he suggests to the younger generation, that one does not need to make sacrifice life in order to be successful; this also inspired me to place my art collection in the spaces where I work and live, and into the everyday life, to remind me to handle complicated matter with ease.
“Like his painting, he’s as light as tea”, is the impression I have of Liang Quan. Looking back at his works of art over the last three decades, his colors paled from brightness to lightness, his content reduced from fullness to emptiness, peaceful and restful, either in his abstract scenes of the rivers and mountains, or the stains of tea and ink. Living in natural seclusion, observing the world in calmness, heaven and earth would naturally be embodied in one’s mind.
Liang Quan reminds one of a rare tea, whose profusion is not confined by formality, rather, he is benefitted from the essence in the Way of Tea and Confucian culture. “Perfecting one’s behaviors and cultivating one’s moral”, is a phrase found in the Way of Tea, by which Liang Quan reminds himself to “practice humility”, this handbook has been placed on the side of his tea room; humbled and respectful, he finds pleasure and offers encouragement to the younger generation’s achievements without showing any elderly arrogance, an act in turn, earns our respect for him.
I consider Liang Quan a teacher and a great friend, and it’s my honor to collect his best works. I hope by presenting these works of excellence at Extra Space, I can share my admiration and respect to the artist with many more viewers.
Frank F. Yang
December 25, 2016
Extra Space, Shenzhen