Peaks and Valleys

The landscapes of China, from its startling peaks and valleys to the awe inspiring presence of its mountains has long inspired painters, artists and scholars. 

Carrying on from the tradition of the literati and classical painters, contemporary artists Steve Lopes, Tim Allen and Dapeng Liu visited China earlier this year, responding to the serene landscapes of Yellow Mountain (Mount Huangshan) and the dramatic soaring skyscrapers of Hong Kong’s urban skyline.

Each markedly different in technique and style, the artists present three diverse and revelatory views, resulting in an exhibition that explores the tensions of change within the wild and urban landscapes of China.

Steve Lopes remarked about the impact of the scenery on his practice, responding to the unique colours of Yellow Mountain that pushed his palette.

“Huangshan had a very special reflective quality,” Steve said. “The scenery was spectacular, with muted greys, beautiful warm colours and blue skies. It was fantastic to follow in the footsteps of the many great Chinese artists who have worked at the top of these mountains,” stated Lopes.

Tim Allen is known for his paintings of rock formations and mountains in Australia, however the landscapes of China inspired new results within his practice.

On his experience Allen commented, “I loved every minute of painting in China and Hong Kong,” Tim said. “I developed new colour palettes, and used the push and pull of mark making to portray the mountains and mist; combining expressionism with stillness and contemplation.”

Physically immersing themselves in both the wilderness and the urban, the artists painted en plein air, hiking their painting materials into the mountains and then into the bustling city of Hong Kong.

Dapeng Liu combined his experiences of Hong Kong and Yellow Mountains, stretching his practice to pull the geographically different and distant places together in a union that defied rules of time and space.

“Standing in front of Huangshan’s famous sea of clouds, with the tips of the mountains emerging, I thought of Hong Kong with the buildings emerging from the fog,” Dapeng said. “It was then I had the idea to blend Huangshan and Hong Kong on canvas.

The result? An exhibition that celebrates both contemporary landscape of China – from its enigmatic peaks to the hustle and bustle of the urban valleys.

Peaks and Valleys
25 November – 19 December
Nock Art Gallery, Hong Kong

Courtesy the artists and Nock Art Gallery, Hong Kong. 


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