Li Jian Gang specializes in the Chinese “da xieyi” (freehand) painting method of cityscapes. Known for his lively brushwork and sensitive expression with ink smudges, his paintings typically draw a sepia-toned or monochromatic palette that stretches the tonality of Chinese ink, and are at times furnished with colour washes that appear minimal yet fluorescent in effect.
The solitude and spiritual pursuit arising from man’s quotidian struggle for a sense of place and belonging in a complex city is poetically epitomized in the lyrical and often atmospheric compositions of Li Jian Gang. Be it a striking city skyline or a contemplative “viewfinder” moment, his image elucidates an urban beauty tinged with wistful nostalgia. In an era when many Chinese artists struggle to express the modern-day life through the Chinese ink medium and traditional genres, Li Jian Gang stands out for his brave and progressive aesthetic approach.