Lo Ch’ing Densely Developed Peach Blossom Spring (2013) Ink & colour on paper
Lo Ch’ing is a multi-talented, charismatic Chinese painter, poet, calligrapher, literary essayist and art critic in the ancient and honourable tradition of the scholar artist. In a world where it is often possible to be gratified by an artist’s work whilst at the same time basically puzzled by it, and dubious of its achievement, Lo Ch’ing’s work stands out for its evident skill and accomplishment.
His work is being presented in London by Michael Goedhuis – you can see it at Masterpiece until July 2 (Royal Hospital Chelsea South Grounds) and thereafter drop along to Goedhuis at 61 Cadogan Square where it is on display until September 1 (telephone 020 7823 1395).
Lo Ch’ing was born in Qingdao and brought up in Taiwan where he absorbed his knowledge of Chinese humanities and arts, as well as Western literature. He often displays a wry, amused view of life: his published books (for children) include works of poetry with titles like That Smelly Old Tom-Cat and The Interesting Life of a Snail.
Michael Goedhuis observes of his work, ‘Both in his poetry and painting, which are emphatically contemporary in form and intention, he remains linked to the cultural values of the Chinese literati. The purpose of civilised man, according to this elite of scholars, was to become part of the dynamic rhythm of creation and to contribute to the coherent ordering of society. And it was through the practice of panting and poetry and calligraphy that the scholar also realised his own humanity by cultivating and developing the inner life. It has been Lo ‘Ching’s purpose and achievement to carry forward this tradition through works that contain subtle references, both in their titles and in their subject matter, to the great narratives and myths of Chinese history, whilst at the same time expressing his sympathy for and grasp of international high modernism.’
Lo Ch’ing has not exhibited in London for more than twenty years. There are 25 brush and ink paintings on show in the current exhibition.