China’s frontier Yunnan Province is a place of spectacular landscapes and predominantly Buddhist philosophy. It is the home of Chen Li.
Chen Li (b. 1971, Kunming, China) is a master woodblock printmaker and an extraordinary painter with a unique vision and boundless originality. His joyful, dynamic, and intoxicatingly peaceful works convey the life-affirming energy of Yunnan.
In his woodblock prints, Chen Li uses Yunnan’s rare “waste-block” or “suicide” technique that leaves no room for error. All colours are printed from a single woodblock, each step carving over the previous one until the block is destroyed. Only a single edition is possible.
Our fourth solo exhibition of Chen Li’s works coincides with the display of his “Human Buddha” woodblock print at The British Museum, just 8 minutes walk from the gallery. This work was acquired by the Museum after our first solo exhibition of his woodblocks in 2018.