Hao Liang: The Sad Zither

Hao Liang,Gagosian Grosvenor Hill

Gagosian presents The Sad Zither, the first solo exhibition in Europe by Chinese painter Hao Liang.

In his delicate but immersive landscape and figure paintings, and in his choice of literary references, Hao reflects on a spectrum of emotions while considering the passage of time and the ways in which we move through the world. Giving the methods and motifs of traditional Chinese ink wash painting a contemporary spin, he highlights the genre’s unique materiality while drawing on sources from cinema, modernist art, and Chinese and Western literature. Hao employs the guohua technique to make compositions on silk that are subtly toned and tinted, but indelible, accentuating his subjects’ complexity and infusing narrative and allegorical references with atmosphere and feeling.

In the thirteen paintings on view at Gagosian’s Grosvenor Hill gallery, which were produced over the past two years, Hao explores themes and symbols from fiction and poetry, engaging with the works of Dante, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, and Chinese poets Tao Yuanming (c. 365–427 CE), Li Shangyin (813–858 CE), and Du Mu (808–852 CE). The exhibition’s title alludes to Qian Zhongshu’s book On the Art of Poetry (1948), specifically the annotated text of Li Shangyin’s poem “The Sad Zither,” which notes various parallels between the verse and the instrument, including their translations of emotion into symbol, and their aesthetics of “rhythm and vitality.”

Duration 09 February 2023 - 18 March 2023
Times Tuesday–Saturday 10–6
Cost Free
Venue Gagosian Gallery (Grosvenor Hill)
Address 20 Grosvenor Hill, London, W1K 3QD
Contact / london@gagosian.com / www.gagosian.com