News Releases -- Basic Elements

November 3rd, 1997


Vancouver, B.C. -- Art Beatus Gallery presents Basic Elements, works by three artists who link contemporary Chinese art to its traditional roots. The show runs November 7 to December 6. The artists -- Ke Lu Ma, Chuang Che and Jian-Jun Zhang incorporate traditional motifs such as water, wood and rock, into their individual contemporary art practice.

"This particular group of artists is ideal for Art Beatus as they occupy a unique position with respect to contemporary art practice," says Sheng Tian Zheng, Gallery Director. "Though their works are contemporary, the ties to traditional Chinese philosophy are undeniably strong".

Ke Lu Ma was born in Shanghai and studied in Beijing, Germany and Scandinavia. In 1988 he moved to New York City where he lives today. His uses composition techniques he learned studying early Qing dynasty painter Ba Da Shan Ren to transform traditional elements of Chinese art into a new, more modern language. He is known for his unconventional use of oil on canvas.

Chuang Che's family was deeply involved in the art world. Born in China he moved with his family to Taiwan as a young man. There he was a member of the famous "Fifth Moon Group" -- pioneers of Taiwanese modern art. Though his work is inspired by traditional Chinese scroll paintings from the 16th century, Chuang was one of the first artists in Taiwan to work in the abstract form.

Jian-Jun Zhang is best known for his innovative installation pieces. A native of Shanghai, he held various positions at the Shanghai Art Museum before moving to the United States, where he now lives. Zhang's work reflects his fascination with the physical properties of the natural elements. The video installation in this exhibition calls on the viewer to reconsider eastern and western depictions of nature.

The gallery will host a discussion with the artists on November 8 at 3 pm.

Art Beatus, with galleries in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong, focuses on international contemporary Chinese art. The Vancouver gallery is on the upper plaza at 888 Nelson Street.

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685