Li Tianbing

Born in Guilin, China in 1974, Li Tianbing studied at the Institute of International Relations in Beijing before graduating in 2002 from the Ecole Supérieure Nationale desBeaux-Arts in Paris.

As Li Tianbing moved to Paris in 1996 to study art at Ecole des Beaux Arts, he continued to search for an identity that was his own, travelling back and forth to his home country seeking to seize it better through separation. Fusing both cultures, the artist incorporates traditional Chinese motifs into Western forms of interpretation. On the one hand, the colour blue symbolising capitalism, nuances of black based on Taoist philosophy, the use of text as another layer of meaning; on the other, the practice of self-portrait, the use of oil on canvas, the importance of photography as a starting point and the integration of colour.

Li Tianbing explores fiction and reality haunted by selected childhood memories in a suffocating society and charged political setting. Using photographs as a medium to illustrate his reflections on the past and his multicultural experiences, Li layers the present using oil painting in a timeless duality. Reflections on loneliness are addressed in a symbolic fashion across Li’s art, reflecting his suffering instilled by the single child policy. This state of confusion engulfs the artist and he loses the frontier between his own authenticity and invention. The interpretation of his work incorporates personal identity and drama in a tale with the infiltration of multicultural factors. His composition interweaves the contrasting themes of China today: East and West, communism and capitalism, ancient culture and modern consumerism. A recurrent fixity and absence lie in the children’s look: no expression can be read. He is considered as one of the most critically acclaimed China-born artists of his generation. A selection of the exhibitions Li has participated include: Today Art Museum, Beijing; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; National Museum of Fine Arts, Beijing, China and Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Spain. The artist lives and works in both Beijing and Paris.;