Jin Ming Lee Page 1:
Leona Craig Art Gallery
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Sunrise: original watercolor painting by Jin Ming Li (1968)
This painting reminds me of the original painting of Impressionism: Impression Sunrise by Monet. It has the beautiful colors of impressionism and the style, which is the kind of thing that Jin Ming Li was taught by his teachers, who included Jian Bai Xu, a student of Lin Feng Mian of the Hangzhou School of contemporary Chinese art.
In fact, it was part of Li's personal collection, which he had been keeping to himself and off the market since he painted it in 1968. The other amazing thing about this painting is that it is not an oil painting but watercolor. It was included in a book, featuring his small paintings, and it took me a long time to convince him to sell it to me. If you'd like to buy it, now, you'll have to convince me.
Lizhi Girl: original oil painting on canvas by Li Jin Ming (Jin Ming Lee)
Jin Ming Li tells us that many of his paintings are done, in his family's original hometown of Heshan, about an hour outside of Guangzhou. There's a lake filled with lotus blossoms, a river, lizhi trees,... His town is also particularly famous for its dragon boat racing. In Heshan, the dragon boats are actually kept at the bottom of the river as a preservation measure, and dragon boats from other towns actually come to "visit" dragon boats in his town.
In our recent visit to his studio, we were able to pry this life-sized portrait of a youg woman carrying a basket of lizhi (leechee nuts); he told us to just call the painting "lizhi girl", so we did. The interesting thing about portraits, like this, is that they are contemporary portraits, not from decades ago. And they are not western Chinese girls, who might wear scarves on their heads due to the Muslim influence, in the west: they are eastern girls. In many ways China is still back in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, using styles, body language or methods that were more common in the Western World, back in those earlier decades. Like Audrey Hepburn breezing though some European city, in the early 1960's.
The painting is so life-like that it actually looks like JinMing and I are standing with a real girl, in the photograph on the hyperlink page to this picture.
Harvest Time: original oil painting on canvas by Jin Ming Li
It's harvest time, in Tibet, as represented by the putative wheat field in the background of this painting of a young Zang minority woman.
What I like about this one, even more, is that the young woman could very well be mistaken for a hippie from the 1970's, given the way that she is outfitted. The necklace, hoop earrings, bicep bracelet, the head band, and her top and pants, while in tune with the colors of the traditional Zang dress, have a hipness to it that could very well be mistaken for any hip young Western girl's wardrobe instead of a tribal costume.
This is another of Li's paintings that he has kept hidden away at his studio.
Winter in Hainan: original watercolor painting by Jin Ming Li (1980)
Jin Ming Li has been making paintings, all of his life. Much like other people take photographs of scenes that they like or to create memories, Li has simply painted them, sometimes, on the spot with whatever materials were available, or later from memory. Many of them, like this one, are small sized, but the small size only serves to make them more precious and to demonstarte the true ability and soul of an artist. In fact, one of the books of his paintings is dedicated to his collection of these small paintings, and this is one of those included in the book. The colors are just beautiful.
This one was done three decades ago on a visit to Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China, in the winter time. Li said that he was so delighted to find that the weateher was still so warn, in the winter and that there were so many birds. He painted it in an expressionistic style, using pink for the sky to express the happiness that he felt, in such a wondrous place. It is not only a piece of his history but, also, of China's, in that Hainan Island has recently been slated for development, and it will never be the paradise like it was back then.
Miao Girl: original oil painting on canvas by Li Jin Ming
The distinctive part of the Miao minority's wardrobe is silver. As Miao girls get older and older, they acquire more silver ornaments to wear, including a headdress, like the one worn by the girl in this portrait.
They say a Miao girl's silver can weigh 50 pounds or more by the time she's ready to marry.
We appreciate all of the portraits that Jin Ming Li has done of both Chinese and minority girls. This is one that he still had at his studio, and we have managed to get him to allow us to put it in the gallery.
Mediterranean Harbor: original oil painting on canvas by Jin Ming Lee (2004)
Who would have thought that I would travel to China, only to find a harbor scene from my native Mediterranean region? As you may not know, the Chinese are fascinated by other cultures, as they have had limited contact with them during much of the last century. Chinese artists who have been around for the last several decades are lucky, and some have gone abroad to study, to work, or to stay. Therefore, you might just as well get a scene from China or from somewhere else, in the world, from a contemporary Chinese artist. This harbor scene from the Mediterranean Sea by Jing Ming Lee is a charming example. Having been born in Hong Kong, Jing Ming Lee is one of the more international of the modern Chinese artists and has achieved a good amount of international recognition. Moreover, his painting techniques are comparable to any artists that you might come across in Europe or the U.S. Indeed, the brushwork, in this piece, is simply amazing, either up close or at a distance, and the picture of the painting could never hope to do it justice. It is one of two harbor scenes by Jin Ming Lee, featured in our gallery. This one has the masterful brushstrokes of Impressionism but the more brooding tones of the earlier Dutch. It will be dismantled and rolled for shipping.
|We have other works by Jin Ming Lee available in our gallery, which are not shown in our on line gallery. For further details, please, call or email us, and we will send additional information to you.|
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