Bian Hong

(b. 1971, lives and works in Beijing & New York)

Bian Hong is a representative figure of the New Abstract Calligraphy movement in China. She is a pioneer of this form of ink painting and has established status in contemporary Chinese ink. Her work reconstructs hierarchies of painting and calligraphy under China’s convention that calligraphy precedes painting; to her they can be equivalent and approached with similar principles. Thus, Bian Hong will use calligraphy for painting and vice versa. The calligraphic brushstroke shifts itself in and out of abstract expressionist gestures. The result is neither painting nor calligraphy, but a different creation altogether; pulled from modes of Chinese tradition and Western aesthetics and abstraction.