News & events > Exhibition: "Hong Ling: A Retrospective" | Ireland
21 Oct 2016 - 29 Jan 2017

Exhibition: "Hong Ling: A Retrospective" | Ireland

11.23-13 The Chester Beatty Library, in Dublin, Ireland, an ASEMUS member, currently presents Ireland's first exhibition by one of China's leading contemporary landscape painters, Hong Ling (b. 1955). "Hong Ling: A Retrospective", which can be visited until 29 January 2017, follows the artist’s recent retirement from teaching at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, and charts the significant contribution Hong Ling has made to the world of Chinese landscape painting. Sixteen paintings in oil and in ink are exhibited, ranging from a small painting of poplar trees in the grounds of the Temple of Heaven painted while Hong Ling was a student in 1979, just after the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), to the rich and immersive Rainbow-Like of 2015 that stands two metres high and three metres wide—its dramatic scale matched by its vibrant use of colour. The exhibition was opened by author and journalist, Conor O’Clery and the artist travelled to Dublin for the event. Hong Ling trained as an oil painter and he is best known for his technically rich canvases in this imported medium. While he finds much inspiration in the work of European painters, his own practice has come to engage deeply with the philosophies of China’s landscape painting traditions, capturing the essence of the landscape rather than its likeness. 11.23-12 In the early 1990s, Hong Ling built his studio in the foothills of the Yellow Mountains of China’s Anhui Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has long inspired painters of landscape. Hong Ling reveals the charged atmosphere of this dramatic location. Exhilarating and immersive, his paintings distil the bold colours of the shifting seasons as his brush invokes the heavy mists that weave among pine-clad peaks. As explorations of the human experience of nature through the medium of oil on canvas and more recently ink, Hong Ling’s paintings also tell the story of an artist’s personal development against the backdrop of intense changes that have transformed life in China over the last 50 years. Chester Beatty Library Director, Fionnuala Croke said ‘the Library is unique among Irish museums for its holdings of Asian art, and the potential these collections create for developing relationships between Ireland and Asia. This exhibition will give visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy China’s rich and dynamic landscape traditions through paintings of exquisite beauty.’  "Hong Ling: A Retrospective" is curated by Dr Mary Redfern, Curator of the Library’s East Asian Collection. The exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library is part of a touring retrospective sponsored by UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation, Taiwan, and organised with the artist’s gallery, Soka Art, and SOAS University of London. The exhibition is complemented by a programme of public events including lectures and workshops, and a lavishly illustrated catalogue will be available from the Library’s gift shop. For additional information about "Hong Ling: A Retrospective", please visit  
Pictured above: 'Rainbow-like' (2015, Private collection); and 'A Peak of Reds' (2014, private collection). Both (c) Hong Ling; courtesy Soka Art.