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On "Rouge Series"


Li Shan started his "Rouge Series" in 1989 and kept creating until the mid 90s.The whole "Rouge Series" was shown in "Post 89 China New Art Exhibition" in Hong Kong in 1993, and since then this series had become a milestone in Li Shan's art. According to Li Shan in the catalogue of  "Post 89 China New Art Exhibition", here rouge is a verb, to wipe off the rouge is not a will or method but an attitude to warn that art has nothing to do with artwork or artist. Once art is being put into focus, it becomes a low-quality photocopy of itself, even though we all can have it". As to Li Shan, the modern intellectuals go so far way from the ancient ones, in allusion to this condition, Li Shan abandons the practical meaning and come back to the surface of reality. Why he creates  "Rouge" is because Li Shan wants to pursue the meaning of the abandonment and also to think about the phenomenon of gaudy or tawdry.

Li Shan, as one of the earliest avant-garde artists in the Chinese contemporary art, is often associated with Scar Art and '85 New Wave'. In fact, Li is as always an independent thinker. Just like his bio art which has established its unique style in Chinese contemporary art, Li arouses our curiosity and impulse to take a close look at him and his works, but in the meanwhile, we would restrain ourselves from getting too close to him. It is difficult to define the style of Li Shan, or to equal him with that sensitive and painful age. Li is always changing, taking challenges and exploring the essence of art with an optimistic and active attitude. However, the early "Rouge Series" and recent underway bio art series are the two main subjects of his creation.

From《Hosane 2009 spring auction》

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