Bo Yun (Li Yongcun) is a Chinese artist who, while respecting the ancient heritage of Chinese ink painting, has succeeded in integrating new ideas and techniques that make his work seem very contemporary. He works in a variety of media - ink and colour on paper, oil on canvas, and lacquer on wood – and often in diptych or triptych format. His vertical ink and colour diptychs, like ancient Chinese scrolls, are microcosms of the universe, encompassing sky, earth and water. However, Bo Yun’s free and fluid style of painting also shows the influence of Western Abstract Expressionism. His free brushwork creates a sense of dramatic energy in his abstract paintings in oil on canvas, which express a joy in nature and particularly in the spiritual essence of the landscape. 

 

Born in China in 1948, Li Yongcun graduated in Art History from the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing in 1980. He had entered the middle school attached to the Academy in the 1960s, when students were only allowed to paint in a realistic style that reflected a strong Soviet influence. During the Cultural Revolution, as the Gang of Four attempted to eradicate all previous forms of art, claiming they were counter-revolutionary, Li was sent to do hard labour on a farm for four years. Back in Beijing in 1979, he joined a group of young artists known as the “Stars”, who made history by hanging their politically incorrect paintings and sculptures on the railings outside the China Art Gallery, where they were not allowed to exhibit. This act of defiance, the first unauthorized exhibition of Chinese art since 1949, provided an outlet for Chinese artists seeking to express themselves freely and set the stage for an era of liberation for future artists. During this first Stars exhibition, Li used the pseudonym Bo Yun to conceal his identity from the police and he has kept it ever since. Many of the Stars subsequently left China, but Bo Yun stayed in Beijing, where he is now a professor at Tsinghua University.  

 

Bo Yun was not a militant dissident, merely an active advocator of greater artistic freedom, and his independent, expressive nature continues to be evident in his work. Semi-abstract compositions of landscapes at dawn or dusk have a tranquil, dreamlike serenity as well as a shade of pathos. Bo Yun left his native village at an early age to go to boarding school and he grew accustomed to loneliness; to this day he relishes solitude and loves to travel alone amidst nature in search of inspiration for his paintings. In his ink paintings, one can faintly see rivers, fields, woods and rolling hills. His triptychs in oil on canvas have an expansive feel, emphasizing the vastness of the land and sky. In all his paintings, Bo Yun aims to create a sense of balance. “I want to express in my panting the philosophies of Lao Zi, the great Chinese scholar,” he says, “of forgetting oneself or combining the self and the natural world into one.”

World Economic Forum 2008 China Summit Tianjin

World Economic Forum 2007 China Summit Dalian

XYZ Gallery Beijing

Creation Gallery Beijing

World Economic Forum 2005 Annual Meeting Switzerland

Zee stone Gallery Hong Kong

Zee stone Gallery Hong Kong

Creation Gallery Beijing

World Economic Forum 1998 Annual Meeting Switzerland

China Art Museum Beijing

Creation Gallery Beijing

Guanfuyaji Society Beijing

Commerz bank AG Beijing

East-West Gallery Chicago USA

Twin Cranes Gallery Seattle USA

Lpomal Gallery Landgraaf NL

AUA Dusseldorf USA

CAECC ANN Arbor USA

Mexican Embassy Beijing

French Culture Centre Beijing

Hankyu Gallery Osaka Japan

Gallery of Central Academy of Fine Art Beijing

Kaiundo Gallery Kobe Japan

Contemporary Art Centre Osaka Japan

French Social Science InstituteParis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE

2008

2007

2007

2006

2005

2005

2003

2000

1998

1998

1997

1996

1994

1991

1991

1991

1990

1990

1989

1988

1987

1986

1986

1986

1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Art Museum Beijing

"Star 10 years" Hanart Gallery Hong Kong

TaibeiKintetsu Gallery Osaka Japan

Modern Art Museum Beijing

Star exhibition II Beijing

Star exhibition IBeijing

 

GROUP EXHIBITION

1999

1989

1988

1982

1980

1979

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

The Rothschild Family 

World Economic Forum Headquarter, Switzerland 

JPMorgan Chase   

Credit Suisse 

Deutsche Commercial Bank   

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing   

Kempinski Hotel, Beijing   

Shangri-La Hotel, Guangdong   

Well-known law firms  

China Art Museum  

Nomura/Lehman Brothers 

BNP Paribas  

Ritz Carlton, Beijing

Four Seasons Hotel, Macau  

Marriott Hotel, Beijing

Personal collectors

 

Bo Yun