Qu Leilei now stands as a technically accomplished master, capable of handling brush and ink with the utmost competency and photographic-like quality. His visual language is well established, and it represents a fusion of east and west. Some ink painters have chosen to push boundaries by making traditional styles more abstract or ornamented. By contrast, Leilei has sought to blend the descriptive, realistic styles of the European Renaissance with Chinese ink painting. Moreover, he has constantly worked to achieve profound concepts in his work, ideas that have universal application. This catalogue is a retrospective, an overview of the body of work Qu Leilei has produced up to the present day. Certain broad themes can be divined: a burning interest in the history of China, and what can be learned from it; a loving concern for human beings and their individual achievements; an absorption in the anatomy and depiction of the human body; an urge to warn against the perils of the world; and a heartfelt desire to integrate Chinese and western art practice and techniques. These themes have been pursued with ever-growing skill throughout the years.
Exhibition will be open at the Ashmolean from 7 November 2017 to 15 April 2018.