We are honoured and delighted that we are hosting the first major exhibit of work from Yan Keqin ever to be held in the UK. The collection is a unique look at an extraordinary treasure trove of work from a contemporary pioneer of the traditional medium of ink painting and calligraphy, studied and perfected over a career spanning five decades.
Born August 1956 in Wuxi, Yan is dedicated to emboldening China’s rich cultural and academic history. As a celebrated artist and author respectively, he rewards us with a rare moment in order to steep ourselves in a still flourishing art form. A highly regarded member of both the China Artists Association and of the China Calligraphers Association, he is also a Master of Arts degree holder and a senior journalist.
His accolades continue to cement his reputation as an authentic and rightful advocate of the Arts. As a visiting professor of both Beijing Film Academy, Nanjing Art College and Professor of Beijing Rongbaozhai Painting Academy, he is included on the list of National Cultural Talents. Yan has published books and collections of paintings such as Divine Bone and Buddhist Heart as well as Trivial Talks on Arts, and Selected Ink Paintings. Many of his works of calligraphy and paintings have been displayed at national exhibitions, won numerous awards, and a small number have been collected by the National Art Museum of China, Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Traditional Chinese Painting, and Wuxi Museum.
Having been invited to hold multiple personal exhibitions in both China and across Europe, his most coveted work has been displayed in such esteemed institutions as the Louvre Museum in October 2013. In the same year, one of Yan’s pieces was collected by the Asia Art Museum and subsequently earned him the title of Honorary Citizen of Nice, France. Most recently in September 2017, Yan received invitation from The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France and The Institut Français to host a personal exhibition of works in Paris, France where he was received with rapturous praise and kudos.
The pieces of this collection have come from a never before seen medley of exquisitely crafted representations of life in the Jiangsu Province of China. In essence you will see a flawless assembly of skilfully engineered portraits using traditional poetry dating back to the year 779 to lead the narrative. Although only a very small mesmerising fraction of the complete works, this body of traditionally drawn slices of a tale grant you a graceful glimpse into the artists life.
To launch The Aviary with eminent work such as Yan’s is a true honour.