Artist: Han Dong

Art Director: He Yongmiao

Duration: 2015.10.10 – 2015.12.10

Opening: 03:30 p.m. 2015.10.10  (Sat)

All of them say that modernity is the only duty. I painted all the way until today, and carried this superfluous duty. Modernity has its contemporary quality, to breath the same air as the time does. Aren’t we all doing it without exception? Any work can be the product of our time, except those who paint cliches from Buddhism and Taoism. My nude women, and the tigers, birds must live in contemporary age rather than 19th century even before.


 —— Han Dong







1958, born in Dafeng, Jiangsu;

1986, graduated from Crafts Department from Nanjing Academy of Fine Art

Currently lives and works in Yangzhou, Jiangsu.


Solo Exhibitions

2014, Color of Emptiness and Shadow of Ink, curated by Chen Xiaoxin, Renke Art Gallery, Hangzhou;

2013, Tune like a Dream – Chapter Two, Gengsi Art Museum, Nanjing;

2012, Consciousness and Absolute Mind, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai;

1999, Body Fable: Han Dong’s Painting, Nanjing Classic Auction House, Nanjing;

1993, first solo exhibition was held in Nanjing Academy of Fine Art Museum;


Group Exhibitions

2013, Nowhere to Rest: Jiangsu Contemporary Art Research Exhibition, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou;

2012, Depart from Nanjing: Exhaustion and Extension Exhibition, Sanchuan Modern Art Museum, Nanjing;

2012, The Sun: Contemporary Art Exhibition, OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai;

2009, Yi Pai – Century Thinking Art Exhibition, curated by Gao Minglu, Today Art Museum, Beijing;

2007, Journey to the West Art Exhibition, curated by Zuo Jing, Kunstraum Noe Niederösterreichische Museum, Vienna Austria;

2007, Chinese Version Modern Art Exhibition, curated by Chen Xiaoxin, Today Art Museum, Beijing;

2006, Poetic Realism: A Reinterpretation of Jiangnan Exhibition, RCM Art Museum, Nanjing;

2003, Chinese Art Today exhibition, China Millennium Monument, Beijing;

2000, Back to the Start, Aura Gallery, Shanghai;

1997, painting Clean Hands was selected in Chinese Contemporary Oil Painting Exhibition, Shanghai;

1997, Marginal Vision Second Exhibition, Beijing Contemporary Art Museum, Beijing;

1996, Marginal Vision: the First Exhibition of Jiangsu Young Artists, Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum, Nanjing;

1995, painting Inside Sandalwood Room was selected in the third Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition, China Museum of Art, Beijing;

1992, 1st Guangzhou Art Biennale (oil painting section), won the third prize;

1990, painting Listening to Qin was selected in Chinese Art Exhibition in Hongkong;

1986, 1st  Lacquer Painting Exhibition in China, won the Award of Excellence.





Text/Han Dong


I am no longer anything but time.”

—— Francois de Chateaubriand


I record them, sketch them out, the difficulty is that, before I conclude, I cannot obtain an accurate image of them, of course, there must be someone who had already known. I am not surprised by every step of development of my thought. Before I am able to express myself, I must find out what’s truly on my mind. Perhaps after the twenty years of my paintings and drawings, I could finally tell myself, those are the fruits of my spiritual life.

This is a city without wrinkles. 

They are the remnants of my early small size paintings, date back around the year of 1995, even now I can still feel them so very dear to me, I feel their characteristics are closer to me, closer to the tradition before song dynasty, these standing figures touches my heart. It seems like just last month that I painted them, the reason is not complicated: perhaps it is a mixture of thinking patterns ofGabriel Garcia Marquez’s One hundred Years of Solitude and Cantongqi: the Book of Changes, they have a similar style to Giotto, Morandi, Zhu Da and Mu Xi, they are light, insipid, unsophisticated, yet precise and dignified. This quality of diversity coincides with my consistent taste.

Using white, earthy red, black and medium yellow to bestow them an ideal yet extraordinarily single-toned color, the sticky appearance looks so much like the surface of colored sculptures from Song Dynasty. It is a color tone, like a beam of inexplicable light.

About the hermaphrodite theme, it could be a kind of painting that is dabbling at the most humanist, most structured, yet the smallest, most useless things.

Looking at the silent faces of my indoor figures, I observe them, these hermaphrodite figures, they have no request, no expectation for rewards, they are declaring in front of the observers their indifference and fragility, their forgotten dignity and pride.

Some of them are wax paintings, mostly oil paintings.

The indoor figures are staring at us, as if staring at the lost properties of our time.

Land unfolds, a pale sunlight pierces through the mist, the ground is moist, the color is brown, the field is soft green, lined with trees.

Perhaps, the past decade of the new millennium was different.

A cruel reality, a future without faith, a mass of images spreading through the print and digital media, now, they compass us.

The landscapes that I saw, presented peacefully between the folds of expectation and accidents, they are the hints of their own origins and circumstances, also the concerns for their own destiny. The scenery plays a proper role, whether it is a stool forgotten in the corner, or a factory plant lies across the wheat field, facing with time, magnanimous and unperturbed, it is their normal condition.

Today, the nature and earth is gradually getting apart from us, poetry is far gone, I am trying to find a path between reality and illusions, I feel the emptiness, simultaneously, have the ability of seeking a poetic dwelling, even though they are as light as the spots scattered on the sward, my memories, they are still warm.

The scenery is not initially meant to be cultural, no one is telling its history. 

Brought about by repeatedly overlaying of the inky color, the sense of wholeness and harmony cannot be achieved by any other ways of painting. My special affection for traditions made me an enthusiast for tasting the minor difference in color, they brought me delights, also complacency, I am never bored with it.

The experiences of painting help me to better understand the photography and find a good perspective of existence.

Using a grayish fiber paper, ignore the details of the original photo, mute all the colors, reduce the resolution of the picture, leaving nothing but these fragile images with blurring edges, I immerse these images into different tones of light grey. The whole process is unemotional, seems calm, rational and restraint. The role of paintbrush is to recreate the painting on the basis of the original photographs, summoning ever-renewing transitions, for every unique glance. After showcasing the landscape in an unfamiliar manner, a more accurate sketch of my fiber-paper series is accomplished.

It is an ancient method, captures the underlying nothingness in the elapse of time.

For a while I was exhausted, that I cannot notice all the extraordinary details in landscape, such as the broken stone bridges and those buoyant high-voltage wires.

The ships lined up at the merging area of sky and water, on the other side of the water, is the forgotten city, blurring out of sight. When the images could comparatively cover their expressions, they exist for themselves, they were enriched by the charms of the photography and the painting language. In the dazzling burst of concepts, their significances is that it raises a possibility of restoration and returning, a possibility that is independent and separate from the vogues and trends of art, a possibility in searching for the values and meanings of the quietness and simplicity in Ma Yuan’s paintings from Song Dynasty.



—— Han Dong