Li Yuan-Chia is an artist without borders. Born in Guangxi province in mainland China, he arrived in Taiwan in 1949 as a war refugee and orphan, only to then continue his journey by sea to Italy around 1962. His third country of residence, however, would not keep hold of such a nomadic traveller: Li then found his way to Britain, where he would eventually settle for the remainder of his life.
Li’s journey is one that extends beyond mere travel from one destination to another, and should be seen as a metaphorical traversal between many different points often in opposition. This notion of paradox and opposition fits elegantly into Li’s artistic legacy – the cosmic point – a simple gesture with infinite possibilities. A representation of the entirety or wholeness of the universe, it began as a calligraphic mark rooted in the long tradition of Chinese literati painting and transformed to a conceptual form of a circle. Li’s work reveals an alternative and deeply personal art history, one which embodies a fluid and cross-cultural experience which is so rarely seen and written about even today.
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