Weeding it out

Updated: 2016-08-02 07:50

By Lin Qi(China Daily)

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Weeding it out

Inevitability, Li Heng's solo show, displays his latest oil creations, with weeds as the major subject.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"Li, equipped with a global cultural vision and rich life experiences, has formed a distinctive way to convey the benevolence of human nature with his artworks," says Zheng.

Weeds first appeared on Li's canvas after he experienced a low phase in his life in 2007. He had been in Nuremberg for three years by then but felt disoriented in terms of art. He also lost dozens of his paintings overnight and had ended an eight-year relationship with his girlfriend.

One autumn afternoon, when he was ambling around the city, he entered the backyard garden of a church by chance. On the lawn stood an empty chair that had cast a long shadow. On seeing it, he felt a burst of sadness that was accumulated deep inside, and in the next six months, he threw himself into the "crazy exploration" of painting weeds he saw in life.

He traveled to the countryside in different seasons seeking inspiration from various kinds of plants. There, he would sit in his car by night listening to the insects, and run on the grass at dawn and stop to hear the sound of the blowing wind.

He presented It Looks Nice, his first work with weeds as the subject, at the annual exhibition of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg in 2008. It drew much attention, leading him to exhibitions and cooperation with galleries in Germany.

But the recognition plunged him into a mental tussle with himself. Gradually, he felt that he was restricted by repeatedly painting weeds in real-life situations. He tried to use his imagination and add his understanding of the universe so that his paintings would represent his true feelings more closely.