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Michael Goedhuis Featuring Chinese Contemporary Ink Artist Wei Ligang at Asia Week New York March 14 - 22
February 6, 2014  | 

“Wei Ligang is a master of calligraphic innovation.  He uses ink art as the quintessential expression of Chinese civilization and its contemporary version, rooted in works of unquestioned virtuosity and quality.”   -Michael Goedhuis

Wei Ligang, one of the most significant Chinese talents creating contemporary ink art today, has been selected as the subject of the 2014 Asia Week New York exhibition March 14 – March 22 by international Chinese art dealer Michael Goedhuis, who is celebrating his 25th Anniversary Year.

Goedhuis says, “Asia Week New York is a magnet for both America’s top Asian art collectors and overseas buyers who flock to New York each March when the most important museum exhibitions, auctions and gallery shows are staged.” It’s just been announced that for the next edition of Asia Week New York in March the Metropolitan Museum of Art will host an invitation-only evening reception on March 17.

Born in Datong, Shanxi, in 1964, Wei Ligang has been at the forefront of contemporary ink painting’s development from its beginning on the Chinese mainland, where he was one of the organizers of the June 1999 “Bashu Parade: ’99 Chengdu Retrospective of Chinese Modern Calligraphy at the End of the 20th Century” exhibition.

Goedhuis says, “At Nankai University in Tianjin, where Wei was admitted at age 17 in 1981 to study mathematics, he became the president of the calligraphy society, which enabled him to connect with leading local calligraphers. After graduating in 1985, Wei was assigned to teach mathematics at the Teachers’ Training School in the industrial city of Taiyuan, but he succeeded in persuading the school to allow him to teach calligraphy in 1988. Wei Ligang moved to Beijing in 1995 to concentrate on his art. His training in mathematics has contributed to his abstract form of calligraphy.

“Many of his works are based on ‘Wei Squares,’ a formula inspired by the square framework printed on practice paper for the characters that students copy repeatedly when learning calligraphy. Different from his gold-ground paintings, in which individual brushstrokes are not discernable, the ‘Wei Square’ calligraphic paintings subtly combine painting and calligraphy: the density of ink ranges from solid black with dry brushstrokes to pale grays.

“Wei Ligang constantly deconstructs and re-forms the characters in his paintings while hinting at traditional script forms, such as formal, running, or “grass” script, thus declaring his deep roots in Chinese culture.  His works were included in the pioneering exhibition organized by Gordon Barrass at the British Museum in 2002.”

Goedhuis says, “Wei Ligang’s work underscores why contemporary ink art is the most audacious pictorial experiment in China today.  Calligraphy represents the foundation-stone of Chinese civilization. And ink art has been admired and practiced by literati, emperors and monks, aesthetes, scholars and poets for millennia.

The Dutch-born, British schooled, one-time investment banker turned art dealer says, “People ask me why they should buy Ink Art now.  I believe that those seeking to find a collecting vehicle providing access to Chinese culture, can now build at modest price levels a meaningful collection of Chinese ink painting. It is profoundly relevant to contemporary Chinese society and is now starting to attract the international recognition it deserves.”

In December The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will become the latest institution to recognize the impact of Ink Art when its launches an important show, Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, on view from Dec 11 – April 6. 

Others who have joined Goedhuis recently in lauding Chinese Ink Art include the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, the British Museum, Musée Guimet in Paris, and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Goedhuis himself curated a non-commercial exhibition, INK - The Art of China, at the Saatchi Gallery in London this past summer.

“Wei Ligang is among the top artists attracting a new generation of collectors, not just in the West but in China too.  His work helps to characterize Ink Art as the most significant contemporary manifestation of Chinese civilization, with all that will mean for price levels and popularity.”

A vernissage for the first in a series of new Ink Art shows was held by Michael Goedhuis December 10th at Mallett on Madison Avenue in New York.  Goedhuis wasl also a featured exhibitor December 3 to December 8 at Art Miami, February 5 to February 9 at Palm Beach’s American International Fine Art Fair, and February 14 to February 18 at both the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antiques Show and the new Miami Art + Design Fair.  Also in February, Goedhuis will exhibit at ART14 in London, from February 28 to March 2, before traveling to Maastricht in the Netherlands for The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), from March 14 to March 23. The Goedhuis exhibition of WEI LIGANG ink art will be staged from March 14 – March 22 at an ASIA WEEK NEW YORK exhibition at Mallett on Madison Avenue and 74th Street.


Wei Ligang: Visionary Chinese Ink Artist  
Asia Week New York 
March 14 – March 22 2014 
at Mallett
929 Madison Avenue at 74th Street