In an Age of Disasters and Calamities: Soul Guardians

2008 - 2009

 

After a decade’s preparation, Li Chen illustrates the meaning of God for people with “Soul Guardians.” Buddhist iconography, the pantheon of Taoist immortals, and Taiwanese folk religion have provided and extraordinary rich breeding ground for Li Chen’s artistic experimentations. The underlying aesthetic principles in Li’s sculpture are based not only on a “dual composition” of Eastern traditions and Western sculptural language but also on an ongoing dialogue with the spiritual and material cultures of Africa and Oceania. This can be recognized in certain re-constitutions of Li Chen’s sculptural bodies and in his co-joining of the abstract and the figural in a manner that is quite distinct from that within the Chinese ink painting tradition on which Li draws heavily for his inspiration. Among the philosophical principles informing Li Chen’s sculpture are also what the artist terms personal religious belief (and what Gao Minglu would call an individualized spirituality) beyond national and cultural boundaries. Another is plurality (in form and meaning) within the singular, and the constantly changing perspectives and points of observation this implies in a sculptural context. The “correlative cosmology” on which Wuxing is based, its complex correlations among various domains of reality, and its principles of constant interaction and change, are also governing principles in the work of Li Chen as is the form-giving concept of qi or life-force. “This is a decree undecided by fate and an illusionary sense of value in this age of disaster.

 

Reference: Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Director of the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, U.S.A., Soul Guardians: In an Age of Disasters and Calamities in Soul Guardians: In an Age of Disasters and Calamities Li Chen Sculpture

 

 


 

 

Judge of the Underworld

2008

 


 

 

Mind-Taking Guard

2008

 


 

 

Soul-Taking Guard

2008

 


 

 

Lord of Wind

2008

 


 

 

Lord of Fire

2008

 


 

 

Lord of Thunder

2009

 


 

 

Lord of Rain

2009

 


 

 

Thousand-Mile Eye

2008

 


 

 

Wind-Accompanying Ear

2008 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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