This summer the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will present Balancing the Cosmos: Works by Li Hongwei, an exhibition that featured works created by the artist over the last four years.
Li Hongwei’s works combine Eastern and Western aesthetics becoming intersections between traditional Chinese ceramic forms and contemporary glaze and sculptural practices. The artist’s variety of forms-from teardrop-like forms, to bulbous amalgams, or reflective vessels allude to the artist’s interest in Chinese philosophy and the principles of yin and yang. Yin and yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that recognizes how opposite elements can be complementary and even interconnected within the natural world.
From start to finish, the artist’s hand-wrought works are the product of conscious deliberation and meticulous planning. Yet there is an element of spontaneity in the work with his use of crystalline glazes, which create abstract, yet flowering forms and unpredictable finishes. Li Hongwei’s merger of ceramics with stainless steel emphasizes the contradictory nature, yet harmonious possibilities of these materials. This push and pull between form and media imply both a sense of fragility and stability, the expected and unexpected. Balancing the Cosmos will explore how Li Hongwei creates works that represent this delicate balance between traditional and contemporary methods and materials.
Li Hongwei received an MFA from the School of Art and Design of Alfred University in 2007. As a tenured faculty member of the College of Fine Arts at the Capital Normal University and a visiting scholar at Alfred University, the artist splits his time between Beijing and New York.