Persistence of Form

He Ping

Chinese ink on Chinese rice paper, set on canvas. 72cm x 72cm. 2016.

He Ping is a Chinese artist, born in Shanghai. His works take their inspiration from traditional calligraphy and modern expressionism to produce flowing, lyrical paintings. Though calligraphy lays the foundation for this pattern creation, his artworks move away from the formal traditional writing towards minimalism and abstraction.

Ping’s abstraction is rooted in the spiritualism and dynamics of life, nature and mankind. Each brush stroke is animated with bold colours against a white background radiating with light and dynamism. Ping himself stated: ‘It is through searching in the depths of things that I discovered the infinite possibilities of painting. There possibilities may not be apparent, but they are indeed an existing component of the colorful and structural constituents of life and the universe’.

The strokes and symbols he creates are not written in a traditional calligraphic manner, yet are immediately ‘readable’ to the viewer because it stimulates within us the desire for contemplation, reflection, meditation and ultimately inner world views.In these two pieces from Persistence of Form, Ping utilizes the elements of Chinese culture and infuses them with a Western idiom. His works are akin to action painting made famous by Pollock’s gestural abstraction pieces. The thick strokes and curves create a balance that captures the spirituality and vitality of human physical movement to emit the inner soul, when painting He Ping feels “as though life and the cosmos move in synchrony”. This fusion between contemporary artistic practice with ancient traditions creates a new language akin to visual poetry which may be tapped into when the viewer pauses from life’s hectic demands to just simply be.