Lives and Works: Fontaineblau
Li Shuang’s works testify to her personal and artistic journey. Born in 1957 in Beijing, and raised in a family of Intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution, she began painting as an escape while working in the countryside as a “sent-down youth.” Upon returning to Beijing in 1979, she continued her artistic aspiration as a stage designer for the Chinese National Youth Art Theatre. Around that same time she became one of the 12 founding members of the Stars Group - a collective of untrained, experimental artists who challenged China's cultural and political climate. Li Shuang was the only woman among the original members of the Stars Group, many of whom went on to prominence in the cultural world in China and overseas, including Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Qu Leilei, Zhong Acheng and Ai Weiwei.
Li Shuang’s personal story took another dramatic turn when she was imprisoned in 1981 for her relationship with a French diplomat. Finally, after French President Francois Mitterrand raised the case in a 1983 meeting with Deng Xiaoping, Li Shuang was allowed to immigrate to France in 1984.
Li Shuang has remained dedicated to her art throughout her years in Paris. She has exhibited in many shows in France, USA, Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and her works have been sold at auction by Sotheby's and Christie's.
While the Chinese art world is going through a phase of unrestrained modernity, Li Shuang's oeuvre is striking for its lack both of contemporary references and of all sense of febrile haste and by its intensity. Her art developed separately from the Chinese context, which encouraged a style of painting which in no way reflected her own experiences. Her strongest advantage has been her silence. Her aura. But first and foremost, her admirable sense of light.
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