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Qu Leilei: Echoes shines a spotlight on Chinese contemporary ink art

By Martin Macdonald

Echoes features new and recent works by UK-based Chinese contemporary ink artist, Qu Leilei. His practice skilfully brings together traditional Chinese ink art techniques and Western sensibility, and Leilei often infuses his paintings with a photorealistic quality. The exhibition is held from 29 January - 9 March 2019 at the new London premises of Hong-Kong contemporary art gallery, 3812.
Traditionally, shuimo (ink and water) art has never solely been about reproducing a subject, it also captures its spirit. This exhibition fulfils the brief and goes a step further as it covers an array of styles and themes, some more ‘contemporary’ than others.
Upon entering the gallery’s small foyer, you face a beautifully lit yet narrow staircase, an awkward space as the stairs going up appear to lead nowhere. Thankfully, the same cannot be said about the art itself.

Ink nudes on off-white paper adorn the walls to your left. Atfirst glance, they can come across as traditional exampl…

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