Lan Zhenghui is a renowned Chinese abstract ink brush artist whose work explores the “physical” potential and emotional expression of contemporary Chinese calligraphy. His ink wash paintings are arresting in their monumentality and expressionist use of black ink. Driving the brush through his body movements, his style of layered abstract ink-splashes and dynamic freehand brushwork in varying intensities of ink create forceful fields of darkness – “emotional explosions” that convey powerful feeling and give form to the artist’s energy and exertion. Dubbed “heavy ink” by art critic Liu Xiaochun, the term refers to the overwhelming visual, material and spiritual weight of Lan’s paintings. In his works, Lan successfully transmits traditional Chinese calligraphy’s freehand strokes into the structure and expression of modern painting, resulting in an abstract language that marries the traditional and contemporary, simultaneously capturing the Chinese mind but appealing to the Western thought as well.
Lan Zhenghui was born in Sichuan in 1959 and graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1987. In 2000, Lan launched the “Power Brush” movement with his fellow artists to promote a natural sense of motion and power in ink brush painting. He was awarded the prestigious Ontario Art Council Grants to Visual Artist in 2006, which was followed by a solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. He was also a featured artist at the Toronto Expo in 2010, where his 10-meter high ink painting received critical acclaim. Lan was also featured in the influential Rubell Collection’s “28 Chinese” exhibition in 2013, which featured top Chinese artists. Lan has held solo exhibitions in Indonesia, China and Canada. His recent exhibitions include Rubell Family Collection/ Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, USA; Esse Space, Beijing, China; 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China; National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Italy-China Art Biennale, Italy; Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China; Royal City Art Museum, Beijing, China. His works can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Rubell Family Collection, USA; Consul General of British Consulate at Guangzhou, Britain; Consul General of German Consulate at Guangzhou, Germany; National Art Museum of China, Chia; Guangdong Museum of Art, China; China Songzhuang Ink Painting League, China; Florida Gulf Coast University, USA and Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, Canada. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing, China and Toronto, Canada.