Walsh Bay’s independent, bilingual Vermilion Art gallery, tucked in beside the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, marks its very first solo show with a major coup, welcoming Chinese artist Li Jin, whose works were championed by late, great Sydney art dealer Ray Hughes and have been acquired by the likes of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
To Live [It Up] delivers a new twist on traditional Chinese ink paintings, bringing a hedonistic sense of humour to play. The show, which runs from November 5 to December 12, has been curated by influential art critic John McDonald. It features almost 40 fun works, with Jin delivering a colourful line-up of quirky characters, often devouring food. The collection includes two large-scale works on paper and one breath-taking scroll. There are Australian influences too, including a perky kangaroo accompanied by beach babes in club kink-influenced swimwear, as well as a of animal-human hybrid creations that intrigue. A fabulous take on food hung out to dry, from sausages to chook to chillies, has us salivating.
Described as “bold, whimsical and sensual” Jin brings self-deprecating humour to bear, plus adept calligraphy. “My appetite for life and my desire to express myself have not been diminished by [lockdown],” he says. “The uncertainties have been a good test for me to keep faith in art and life.”
Excited by alternative Asian art? Also explore Hiroshi Nagai’s Paintings for Music.