To The Point: Collected Works by Ren Hui
19 September – 30 October, 2015
Ren Hui moves you. His work draws you in and then forces distance to understand. As you move to understand his modern pointillism, Hui successfully creates three dimensional space of two dimensional paintings. He calls his art “uncomplicated and honest.” Hui celebrates simple subjects with a flourish of points, dots, marks — very pure and deliberate, highlighting the simple idea that it takes many to create a whole.
Born in Nanjing in 1957, Ren Hui describes himself as a “low-profile person.” At the age of twenty, he joined the army but refrained from registering as a Communist. Army life did not suit him well. “I was not a good soldier,” he says, “as I wasn’t proactive enough.”
After three years, he left the army and found work as a steel-cutter in the Nanjing Ocean Shipping Fitting Factory. A factory worker’s uniform fit him as poorly as a soldier’s, and he spent much of his time reading classic novels and writing poetry and unpublished articles. In the mid 1980s, Ren Hui left factory work for good. He embarked on a long bicycle ride across central China-from Nanjing to Tibet-taking photographs and visually documenting the life he saw around him.
When he returned from his trip, Ren Hui stopped wandering and started painting. Artwork gave him the sense of purpose he lacked in other lines of work. “I feel more at ease when painting,” he says. At first he created woodcarvings and paper cuttings. Later, he developed the method of dot painting for which he is known today. Painstakingly created from layers of paint applied in various densities, the circles that fill his paintings reference the dot matrix that underlies a photograph.
Ren Hui’s subjects range from friends and family to political figures. “My work reflects life,” he says, “We have family, friends, ourselves, history, culture, trees, flowers, buildings, demolition-all of which are reflected in my work. This is our life.”
Ai Weiwei-China’s famous artist, curator, and social commentator compiled an exhibition of Ren Hui’s work in 2006 for the China Art and Archives Warehouse in Beijing. This exhibition, along with others in Germany, US, China, Canada, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore introduced Ren Hui to an international audience. He was born in Nanjing, China in 1957. He currently lives and works in Guangzhou, China.
Please join us for an evening of Ren Hui’s art and cocktails. The opening exhibition of To the Point will take place at Pagoda Red, 400 N. Morgan, Chicago IL 60642 September 19, 2015, 5-7pm. The exhibition will continue through October 2015.
To view the entire collection click here.