Lot 583
  • 583

Li Geng

50,000 - 80,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Li Geng
  • Mahler's Symphony Series
  • ink on paper, framed
  • executed in 2015
executed in 2015
signed in Pinyin and marked with one seal of the artist


Private Asian Collection

Catalogue Note

Passionate about classical Chinese art and literature, Li Geng was deeply influenced by the teachings of his father Li Keran from an early age. In contrast to his father's renowned grand landscape paintings, Li Geng's works are more abstract and poetic in their sentiment and composition. The present lot from the Mahler Symphonies” series is part of Li's tribute to the early 20th century Austrian composer Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911), with whom the artist feels great kinship. Mahler's popular symphony Das Lied Von Der Erde (Song of the Earth) was inspired by the beauty and transience of the poetry by the great Tang dynasty poets Li Bai, Wang Wei, Meng Haoran and Qian Qi; the symphony is considered among the composer's greatest works and is played by the world’s most renowned conductors and orchestras.

Li Geng currently lives in Japan where he teaches Japanese painting at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. As an educator and artist, Li Geng combines his scholarly and artistic pursuits in his paintings. The “Mahler Symphonies” is an ongoing series of monochromatic ink wash paintings created while experiencing the epic orchestral masterpieces of his favorite composer. As with a live orchestral performance, ink painting is extremely unforgiving: the moment the note is played, the sound is cast; just as with ink, the moment the brush hits the paper, the ink is laid. There is no opportunity to rewind or correct, only to move ahead. The music follows the movement of ink, instilling a sense of rhythm in Li’s painting. Without written logic, painting and music share similar qualities of aesthetic beauty that can only be truly experienced in its actual form, whether seen or heard. The symphony is Li’s inspiration. It is the spirit in his works.