Echoes – An Exhibition of work by Qu Leilei

Olivia Drage, February 26, 2019

Alchemy’s fine art team were delighted to attend the opening exhibition of Qu Leilei’s Echoes at 3812 Gallery in London last month. Echoes is on display from 29th January to 9th March 2019 and if you haven’t visited already make sure you do, it is not to be missed! 

Having worked closely with the 3812, it was fantastic to finally visit the new London location and meet with the Directors behind its transformation, Calvin Hui and Mark Peaker. Thank you very much for the invite!   

3812 Gallery

3812 Gallery is a new resident of the long esteemed and sophisticated destination of St James’ in Mayfair. The founders, Calvin and Mark, began their journey with their Hong Kong-based Gallery, which also underwent an expansion in 2018.

Both have gained momentum through their artistic activity and 3812 Gallery is now recognised as the city’s foremost showcase of Chinese Contemporary Art.  The Gallery specialises in ink painting and this is demonstrated in beautiful abundance within their current exhibition, Echoes.

Echoes Exhibition – Qu Leilei

As my colleague Harriet Lodge and I approached the Mayfair Gallery, we were immediately drawn in by its stunning architecture and busy reception as guests queued to see the reveal of Qu Leilei’s exhibition. The Gallery had a simple, modern interior, carefully curated to showcase the artwork. The whitewash walls juxtapose against the opaque background of the paintings.

Qu uses the traditional Chinese medium of ink and water, known as shuimo, which forms a monochromatic representation of light and dark. He uses this art form to represent the tonal beauty of the human form, a subject favoured in Western culture.  

Blending East and West

Gallery founder Calvin explained that “Echoes offers the perfect opportunity to view the intriguing ink medium via the work of an established master. Qu’s remarkable blending of Chinese aesthetics with Western artistic traditions encapsulates the experience that 3812 brings to our new London Gallery.”

It was wonderful to see the amalgamation of traditional Chinese and Western cultures, not only in the exquisite artworks themselves but also via the guests coming together to enjoy the exhibition. We remained silent for a moment whilst studying the compositions and listened to overlapping English and Chinese languages as they discussed the exquisite cross-cultural works on display.   

Human Forms

The exhibition was situated on two floors and the theme of the human form ran throughout.  I was drawn to the large female nudes’ downstairs, which were so realistically depicted in the medium. Each curve of the body flowed into the next, like the running of the ink into the canvas.

Harriet was fascinated by the complex representation of the human hands. Qu uses the ink to emphasise the lines and tones so delicately. Echoes displayed a number of representations of hands, which showed them at different stages of life, making them all the more poignant.  

A Successful Opening

Echoes was an extremely powerful and carefully curated exhibition and the artworks encapsulated the ethos and visions of 3812 Gallery so wonderfully. We were amazed by the effects of the Shuimo ink and loved the selection of works produced by Qu Leilei.

We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to attend the exhibition opening and were made to feel extremely welcome in the new gallery space. We cannot recommend both 3812 Gallery and the Echoes exhibition highly enough. Alchemy’s fine art team are excited to see what the Gallery will display next.

Written by Olivia Drage - Associate Consultant - Fine Art & Gallery Services at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd.

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