Harmony, 2018 Sculpture Exhibition of Lai Chi Man
By applying the pictograms and syntactic building methods from the ancient Chinese "Six Books" to create three-dimensional works, Lai Chi Man’s sculptures echo the cultural virtues of an ancient tradition and reflect the essence of Eastern thought, and express an oriental aesthetic: harmony.
Longmen Art Projects is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of LAI Chi Man sculptures in Mainland China; Harmony: 2018 Sculpture Exhibition of LAI Chi Man will debut to the public on Saturday, April 14, 2018 and continue through June 30, 2018.
Born in Hong Kong in 1949, LAI Chi Man graduated from the sculpture department of Taiwan Academy of the Arts(now Taiwan University of the Arts). He later travelled to Italy where he refined his sculpture-making skills at Henraux S.p.A., Carrara, famous for its quarries and sculptures. During this time, LAI had the opportunity to work alongside Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, and Pietro Cascella. After four years in Italy, he received a fellowship to further his education in Wyoming under the sculptor, Robert Russin; and in 1980, he received his M.F.A degree in sculpture from the University of Wyoming. During this period, he married Paulien Verhaak, and in 1982, he was admitted as a member of the Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling in the Netherlands. LAI returned to Taiwan in 1984 where he was invited to teach at the Taipei University of the Arts. Having experienced life in Hong Kong, Italy, the United States, the Netherlands, and Taiwan, LAI was able to foster a rich and diverse perspective on aestheticism. Nevertheless, it was always clear to LAI that he would return to embrace the Eastern spirit.
LAI Chi Man has always sought ways to find expressions of individual creative styles through the contrast of textures, concepts, or forms through the traditional methods of sculpture expression. This contrast produces extreme tension and Artistic expression; which can be obtained not only from the contrasting treatments of two different materials, but also from the comparison of artificial forms and natural textures in the same material to successfully create a special effect that is both contrastive and coordinated. The effect of this harmonious unity is precisely the creative idea LAI has always tried to share with his viewers.
Over the past thirty years in Asia, LAI has constantly explored and developed an artistic vocabulary that echoes the evolution and depth of mankind's harmonic coexistence with nature. The roots for this resulting sculptural vocabulary can be traced to the six ways of constructing Chinese characters, whose forms echo the cultural virtues of an ancient tradition and reflect the essence of Eastern thought. Through such an approach, LAI contemplates Eastern philosophies regarding the relationships amongst mankind and nature. And, throughout the creative process, he uses pictographs and meanings similar to those found in Chinese characters to express a message that transcends culture and communicates universal values.