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Ink no Ink – Sherman Lin’s Works Exhibition

Duration: May 20 – July, 2010

Venue: Iron Curtain Gallery, Redtory, Guangzhou

Organizer: Iron Curtain Gallery

Co-organizer: Chinese National Academy of Arts, Zhang Ding Art Research Center, Tsinghua University

Curator: Alice Wong



Excellent works created by Sherman Lin, famous designer and painter, are exhibited, which are both different from traditional ink paintings and the highly experimental works. By showing an artistic air full of abstraction and sense of space, they seem to roam between the three-dimensional architecture and two-dimensional paper. About this, Sherman Lin explained, he hoped to interpret the disappearing spirit of ink painting through his art practice.

As a leading character in the world of interior design and environmental art in China, Sherman Lin’s works often focus on the subjects of architecture and city. However, the cities and architectures with various charms are not concrete objects, but abstract lines and structures. Through changeable strokes, the cities and areas are vivid on paper, such as the rigid order in Diary in Frankfurt and the awe-inspiring American eagle in Curassow.



Sherman Lin

Member of Chinese National Academy of Art, Deputy Secretary-General of Zhang Ding Art Research Centre in Tsinghua University, Member of Committee of Environmental Design, China Artists Association, Guest Professor of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts,

Professor of School of City Design, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Vice-chairman of the China Institute of Interior Design, Creative Director of Newsday.

Born in 1954, Sihui City, Guangdong Province, China. In 1977, he Entered China Central Academy of Art and Crafts in Beijing (1977) after the Cultural Revolution, learning under Mr. Zhang Ding, Wu Guanzhong, Pang Xunqin, Bai Xueshi, etc. After graduation in 1982, he was assigned to Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts as professor assistant and lecturer. In 1987, he studied in the United States at his own expense, and joined the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Association with his artworks being exhibited in Los Angeles Contemporary Art Exhibition for many times.

Since 1987, he’s been insisting on painting and ceramic creation, involving in the practice of architecture and interior design, teaching and research. Restlessly, he’s been travelling around from the West to the East for communication on art and design.



“Ink No Ink – Sherman Lin Exhibition” was held in Iron Curtain Gallery in Redtory from May to July, 2010. As a unique medium in Chinese art, ink painting has always been a focus in contemporary art for its abstract and expressive tension. With this exhibition, Redtory showed Sherman Lin’s exploration into Chinese contemporary ink painting and hoped to arouse public’s attention and thought towards this form of art.

Sherman has been a focus for media with his leading role in interior design in China and his sharp critique for morbid ideas in this aspect. Nevertheless, his passion for painting stays at heart and action. In recent years, he created a series of works with Chinese ink as the media. Those which obviously benefit from early years of refinement in school and long-term exploration in oil painting. His works were appreciated by Wu Guanzhong and was urged to have a solo exhibition. Wu even wrote him an inscription:” Accurate in sense. Infinite when seen from afar.”

When painting, Sherman never get bogged down in the bar. He is sincere and cherubic. For him, brush, ink or paper is only medium. Shades of his ink meandering on paper and combining of dots., lines and planes, ink is no more ink then. Through ink in his hand and in his heart, Sherman brought to audience a whole different view of experiencing life in the contemporary artistic atmosphere of Redtory. Liu Xiaochun, a renowned art critic, once said, “What impress me most from ‘intangibility’ are the lines, looking like drawing sand and an awl in the black space. Supported by dots and planes, lines take the dominant place. After recreated and mixed into modern structure, classical lines take on poetic atmosphere. If compared with the music, the kind of Er Hu could be appropriate, quite different from grand Orchestral. It’s just this line Sherman Lin used, we may say, is a kind of salute to Lin Fengmian and Wu Guanzhong.”

This exhibition was highly received by professionals from art circles and common audience. During November to December 2010, Sherman has also had “Endless Sherman Lin Ink Works exhibition”, another exhibition in Visual Art Center in Tsginghua University and Bridge Art Space in Beijing, which was a continuation of Redtory’s pursuit for contemporary ink art.



Liu Xiaochun (art critic):

Sherman Lin brings forth his abstract paintings with collision between cultural characters, experiences of life and abstract forms… Recreated and mixed into modern structure, classical lines take on a poetic spirit. These lines are like the music of Er Hu, chanting and signing, which is quite different from grand orchestral. These lines Sherman Lin used, which are also used by Lin Fengmian and Wu Guanzhong, is a kind of salute to the old tradition in their seeking the meaning of modern art.


Lu Xinhua (professor of Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University):

Sherman Lin wanders in the poetic livelihood in interior design, yet still clings to the black-and-white of painting and the poetic creation in the real and unreal space. He knows clearly of the importance of poetic images which is constituted of black-and-white space in Chinese art.



The Earth  ink on paper


Intangibility  ink & color on paper



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