Global Times [10:51 September 19 2010]
By Wu Ningning
When photo meets painting, a visionary palette may be created; when painting meets symphony, a visual symphony debuts; when photo, painting and symphony come together, a symphony in the brain strikes up.
In her newly launched solo show, Symphonie Visuel - La Voix de la Vie (Visual Symphony - the Voice of Life), at the French Cultural Center, which opened on Friday and runs through October 7, Li Chevalier will compel the audience visually and spiritually by her stunning photographic paintings.
All eyes will firstly turn to a work entitled Hache de la Raison–Abattoir du Coeur. In the painting, an axe hits the bloody earth, then the whole picture is filled with spilled blood. "The 'bloody earth' which represents sense is actually my photo work. The axe is what I drew later. It symbolizes the sensibility. The whole work reveals the fighting between sense and sensibility and criticizes inhibitions of the senses toward sensibility," explained Li, although her explanation may be difficult to make sense of.
Her creative idea is also inspired by European composer Peteris Vasks' symphony. "His music is resilient. The climax is well-handled and constructed in an intensive way which enlightens me to examine my inner world," added Li. Each piece in Visual Symphony reflects Li's struggle to reconcile the sense and sensibility, or precisely, restore the power of sensibility. "Such diversified artistic expression and thinking originates from her unique union of Chinese and European aesthetics," said Laurent Croset, Center director.
Philippe Jordan Fréderic Laroque
As an artist working at the crossroads of East and West, Li Chevalier studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, and received her post graduate degree in Fine Art at the avant-grade Central St Martins College of Arts and Design in London. Her works have been showcased in more than 30 exhibitions in Europe and Asia during the last 10 years. Gallery owners and regular viewers seemed to accept her surrealistic works. "Her work is a metaphysical puzzle to me, but such philosophical reflection seems to be the key to Li's success," said Anne Xu, a visitor.
"The spirituality and honesty of her work has a way of making people rethink the power of sensibility and limitation of sense in the uncertain world. At a time when collectors don't know where to turn, Li's work is a new direction," said Kindy Wei, a collector.
Having toured and studied in Europe for more than 15 years, returning to China with her experimental works, the emerging artist was glad to see the impact of her work. She credits the recognition of her honest portrayal of the conflict between sense and sensibility which awaken people's inner wisdom. "Without sense or impulse, there will never be great art. All the arts are the vomit of the soul," added Li. "From now on, we will invite more Chinese contemporary artists like Li Chevalier to the French Cultural Center to bring their original artwork to not only Chinese, French, but to people from all world," said Laurent Croset.
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