Melancholy within the Cross - Reagan Lee's Ink Painting Exhibition


“Melancholy within the Cross - Reagan Lee’s Ink Painting World Tour” is to be launched on 28 June 2014 at Beijing Today Art Museum. The exhibition is curated by renowned critic Mr. Wang Lin. Over 40 ink paintings by Reagan Lee, including a 7.2 x 2.9 meters large work titled “The View with a Cross (Shangri-La Outside the Cave)” will be on display. 
Reagan Lee graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts. His earlier modernistic works convey a spirit of radical criticism. Lee belonged to one of the major contributors to China’s experimental art wave and styles. Lee emigrated to the African island country the Seychelles in 1991 and settled in New Zealand after some more stops in Europe. Lee used to be the private painting master to the President of the Seychelles. Life experience in Asia, Africa and Oceania enables Lee to study classical Chinese art, original African art and the aboriginal art in New Zealand. He paints with Chinese ink materials. Yet in between the brush strokes we can see a strong and liberal power of oil painting. His highly characteristic language and signage break up the tradition of Chinese freehand ink painting. The liberality and expressiveness in his brush strokes create a new spiritual scene and best reveal the inner anxiety and aimlessness of modern people.
Reagan Lee’s works integrate the styles of the east and the west. His techniques show reference to the modernistic western painting,but the most fundamental thing in the artist is his inner wildness – not primitive but a type of contemporary wildness. Lee does not recognize, nor does he comply with established authority and the power of the routine. His works are injected with male desire, powerful , profuse and wild without rude. On the basis of mingling African culture and the mysterious character of Primitivism, Lee combines his understanding of the five colors of Chinese ink painting with a disturbing black, the layout of light and shade in a way that the work is impressive with centrality and visually very extensive. The viewer seems to be grasped and pulled into the picture immediately.
Plenty of Chinese artists live abroad and travel between China and other countries. Owing to the fact that the need for survival overweighs artistic performance, although bearing international cultural identity, unlike Reagan Lee, not many of them retain the revolting attitude and work with full independence. Today Art Museum continues to put attention on overseas Chinese artists and those that are home coming. The in-depth discussion and exhibition of Reagan Lee’s art are endeavor to further explore the issue of how Chinese artists find their innovative impulsion and directions forward in an international platform after they are divorced from contemporary Chinese art historical context. “Melancholy within the Cross - Reagan Lee’s Ink Painting World Tour” welcomes viewers to Today Art Museum until 13 July 2014.