Mountains & Streams
A visit from China

Opens September 20


Mountains & Streams include seven of the most buzzed-about Chinese artists today, opens on 21 September. The exhibition is curated by Shi Zhen and Melanie Lum, the latter of whom was recently involved in building the country’s most prestigious collection in recent years: multi-millionaire Budi Tek’s YUZ Museum in Shanghai.

– The exhibition seeks to bring Stockholm a contemporary view of a thousand-year-old concept that is essential for any understanding of Chinese history and aesthetics, says Melanie Lum.

Yin Zhaoyang (based in Beijing) has traveled to the revered Songshan mountain in Henan province twenty times during the last seven years. Similarly to the literati painters of dynastic China, he has painted Songshan mountain in his studio from the images in his mind rather than from photographs. He combines the visual composition of Paul Cezanne and the brush strokes of Gerhard Richter with his memories of the landscape. “The grotesque rocks in Songshan are millions of years old, they are the essence of the universe. ”

Zheng Chongbin, (based in Shanghai and San Francisco) uses traditional Chinese ink and modern acrylic on Xuan paper (a paper made from sandalwood fiber that has been used for ink painting for more than 1,000 years) to render natural forms from the accidental interactions of the materials.

Shi Zhiying, born (based in Shanghai). Like Yin Zhaoyang’s, her paintings appear abstract from up close; only when you have given yourself sufficient distance to view them from will the landscape appear. The repetition of steady, emotive brush strokes is grounding and calming. Her minimalist compositions present no perspective center to the viewer. Rather, her paintings offer a single field of vision of one particular subject matter: blades of grass in Grass, and leaves on trees in Tree.

Zheng Lu’s, (based in Beijing) Water in Dripping series explores the Zen Buddhist concept of the “ripple effect”, which refers to the recognition of the self and the fact that a single drop in still water can cause an unstoppable, cascading effect. While viewing the spiral traces of stainless steel, one is met with juxtaposed impressions: Nature is in flux, yet also standing still; heavy, cold metal appears light and airy.

You Jin, (based in Beijing). The Buddhist perspective on time and space is that if we can penetrate to the ultimate truths, we will find that space and time are boundless. We are liberated from space as defined by the four directions of north, east, south, and west, and from time as defined by days, months, and years.

Gao Weigang (based in Beijing). Like Zheng Lu, Gao Weigang challenges the audience’s conventional perceptions of the world in his two paintings. They appear to be realistic images of Nature, but the artist has used a floating stone and a straight line of steel to divide the space.

Yang Yongliang, (based in Shanghai and New York). From afar, his landscapes appear to be traditional 山水, but on closer inspection, the mountains are revealed to be made from collaged photographs of high rises, apartment buildings, and factories from cities he has visited all over Asia.

Mountains and Streams will be the fifth exhibition at CFHILL in recent times to highlight one of the current hot spots of the art world. Previous zeitgeist-inspired exhibitions visited New York, Tel Aviv, and London, and this spring, we showed LA Dreams, which, like Mountains and Streams, was curated by the American-Chinese art scholar Melanie Lum. Apart from keeping track of recent developments in these regions, she has been involved in spreading knowledge and educating a new generation of enthusiastic collectors.