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Chen Lizhu : Meditation Time

Chen Lizhu

From July 12 to September 2, 2023, Wellside Gallery in Banpo will present “Meditation Time,” a solo exhibition featuring the works of Chinese abstract painter Chen Lizhu (1979-). This exhibition will provide a comprehensive view of the artist’s recent works, showcasing a vibrant array of colors and unique compositions.

Chen Lizhu is a young artist who is making significant contributions to the relatively short history of abstraction in China, which spans around 40 years. Originally from Guzhen, China, she pursued her studies in oil painting at Shanghai Normal University, and later focused on painting at the Hanze Graduate School in the Netherlands. While in the Netherlands, she began exploring abstraction as a means to freely express her emotions without the constraints of form, diverging from her earlier focus on realism. Since returning to China in 2007, she has actively exhibited her works, starting with her first solo exhibition at Wellside Gallery in Shanghai in the same year.

Chen Lizhu, Meditation Space 2022013, 60_30_3.5cm, oil on canvas, 2021-2022

In 2008, her work gained recognition when it was featured on Fujian provincial television, and she was hailed as a promising new artist in the art world. In 2010, she was invited as the youngest artist in her 30s to participate in the “China Contemporary Abstract Art Exhibition” organized by Hubei Provincial Museum of Art to commemorate the museum’s opening, and her artwork was collected as part of the exhibition.

Chen Lizhu, Meditation Space 2022035, 40_40_5cm, oil on canvas, 2021-2022

Chen Lizhu’s artistic journey also led her to participate in a residency program at the Park Soo Keun Museum of Art in South Korea in 2013, further strengthening her ties with Korea. In 2016, she took part in the international Dunhuang project in China. Continuing her active engagement in the art scene, in 2021 she exhibited at prominent museums such as UCCA in Beijing and OCAT in Guangdong.

“The artist is the one who unravels the enigma of color. – Chen Lizhu”


Color plays a pivotal role in Chen Lizhu’s paintings, highlighting its significant importance. This fascination has propelled her to engage in constant experimentation, exploring how a single color interacts with varying levels of humidity and temperature. Additionally, she investigates the effects achieved by mixing and layering different colors, resulting in a diverse range of captivating visual outcomes. Chen meticulously applies multiple layers of each color, often reaching ten or even twenty coats, on the canvas, thus producing an exquisite palette of colors.

Chen Lizhu, Meditation Space 20220744, 200_120_5cm, oil on canvas, 2022

When inspired by the hues of an antique pottery piece displayed in a museum or captivated by the vibrant shades of clothing observed on the streets, Chen delves deeper into these colors. She dedicates her time to studying and capturing these captivating hues within her paintings. Color

serves as a powerful medium through which Chen expresses her emotions, thoughts, and personal experiences. Through her masterful handling of color, she imbues her artworks with profound meaning, allowing her feelings and inner world to come alive on the canvas.

“The colors employed in my paintings carry a suggestive quality, aiming to emit an eternal radiance. It is my aspiration that these colors transcend surface appearances and touch upon the deepest emotions of humanity. Through my art, I seek to establish a psychological connection with viewers, enabling them to resonate with the profound sentiments embedded within the colors on the canvas. – Chen Lizhu”

classics, creating a realm of silence based on the understanding that all existence is relative and that what we perceive is merely a perpetual state of change. Departing from the fixed perspective of Western art, Chen Lizhu’s approach in Oriental arithmetic painting embraces a liberated perspective that emerges from the intersection of human experience and mathematical principles. As a result, her artworks transcend being mere visual objects and instead become immersive realms that invite viewers to enter, contemplate, and navigate.

Chen Lizhu, Meditation Space 20220721, 40_40_5cm, oil on canvas, 2021-2022

Another distinguishing aspect of Chen Lizhu’s work lies in the borders of her canvases. By incorporating the framing as an integral part of the artwork, she not only breaks away from the conventional notion of frontal representation in painting but also imbues each piece with a three-dimensional sculptural quality. This discovery of borders creates a meditative space where viewers are encouraged to engage in contemplation and playful exploration, both within and beyond the confines of the canvas.

“Meditation is meditating on the sound of a silent place.” – Chen Lizhu”

hen Lizhu’s artwork evokes a serene equilibrium achieved through the harmonious interplay of two elements: emotion and reason. She approaches her paintings with meticulous planning and thoughtful sketches, leaving no room for improvisation. Every line, color, and size is carefully calculated and precisely designed to serve the purpose of the artwork. This meticulous process imbues her paintings with a sense of order.

The order of reason and the colors of emotion, akin to instruments playing in harmony, come together to form the cohesive whole of Chen’s paintings. Initially, they exude a calm and tranquil aura, but upon closer observation, one can sense the underlying energy simmering and surging within them.

Her works have also found a place in esteemed collections such as the Park Soo Keun Museum in Yanggu County, Korea, Hubei Art Museum in Hubei Province, Wall Art Museum in Beijing, Yangfeng Art Foundation in Shanghai, China.

Wellside Gallery
4, Gomurae-Ro, 8 Gil, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, Korea