Lao Tongli, "The Desire of Libido - Above the Horizon No. 08," 2017

$16,000 USD
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W: 60.25" D: 2.0" H: 40.5"
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Guangzhou-based artist Lao Tongli’s practice is a contemporary transformation of a centuries-old Chinese literati painting tradition. His “The Desire of Libido” series references the monumental landscape paintings of the Northern Song period, considered one of the pinnacles of landscape painting in China. The panorama of trees takes the form of a complex interlocking web, painstakingly rendered in the gongbi style, the use of precise brushstrokes to portray details meticulously and with little variation.

This series of ink paintings began as a way to cope with his father’s long battle with heart disease. Poring over charts and illustrations of human arteries and veins, Tongli began to incorporate the imagery of blood vessels into his artwork, where they evolved into a dense, layered labyrinth of interwoven colored lines. Painting with a traditional Chinese brush, his webs of overlap-ping lines become evocative of landscapes, natural root systems, or coral formations that seem to extend infinitely. The association of blood vessels within the human body to an external landscape of trees is a poignant reminder of the deep and unbreakable bonds between humans and nature, a central theme of literati landscape painting.

Ink and mineral colors on silk. Framed.

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Lao Tongli 劳同丽

b. 1982, Leizhou, China

Lao Tongli’s series of colorful ink paintings began as a way to cope with his father’s long battle with heart disease. Incorporating imagery of blood vessels into his work, his paintings evolved into dense labyrinths of interwoven lines. Evocative of natural landscapes or root systems, each work is laboriously painted as a meditative exercise in patience.

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