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Li Yanpeng is an outstanding Chinese printmaker - in many ways. He is extremely serious about his art prints. He creates them in reduction woodblock technique - realistic images of rural scenes from the Loess Plateau along the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtse River. His compositions are painstakingly created with extremely fine lines.
Li Yanpeng is one of today's recognized and established top artists in China. His woodblock prints are rare and prices are elevated. However not expensive when you take into consideration how much time and effort it requires to create one design and when you look at the edition sizes of only 20-30.
The artist's subjects are unusual - goats, cattle, donkeys and the local people from the Loess Plateau. No artist who strives for fame and recognition would normally choose such subjects. It is nothing that caters to an international art collector public. But that is Li Yanpeng. He lives for his art, and he could care less about what an international art scenes buys easily. And nevertheless, or maybe just because of his "neglect" of the market, Li Yanpeng has become so successful.
The Loess Plateau is the unique source of Li Yanpeng's motifs. This region covers a huge area of ca. 640.000 square kilometers, 3 times larger than France, along the upper and middle parts of the Yangtse river (Yellow River - Huang He) in Middle to Northeastern China. Living conditions are harsh and in relative terms few people live there. Economically this area is one of the poorest of China. Nevertheless the total population is around 40 million, because of the sheer size of the plateau.
Among geologists, the Loess Plateau is considered a problem zone due to its vast soil erosion. The erosion is the cause of deforestation that took place for maybe two thousand years. The long process of erosion formed bizarre landscapes. The scenery that you can see on Li Yanpeng's prints, is not the product of wild imagination, but a meticulous depiction of what he sees.
The inhabitants of the Loess Plateau face extreme temperatures from minus 30 degrees in winter to 30 degress plus and more during the summer. People therefore built their homes like caves deep into the hills.
Today great efforts are made by the Chinese government and the International World Bank to improve the ecology and economy and thus the standard of living of the local people.
Li Yanpeng was born in Hebei province in China. In 1981 he graduated from the Print and Painting department of National Academic Art College.
The artist works as a first-grade, professional painter and printmaker at the Hebei Institute of Arts. Li Yanpeng holds several posts of responsibility and recognition in art associations. He is a member of the Print Art Committee of Chinese Artists and chairman of Hebei Artists Associations.
Li Yanpeng's art works have been exhibited widely in and outside China.
The artist is represented with a woodblock art work titled "High Autumn" in the portfolio of the famous Muban Foundation, based in London.
Li Yangpeng works in the woodblock medium. The prints that we have encountered so far, were made in reduction woodblock technique. He uses oil colors for the printing.
Like most Chinese printmakers, the artist makes small editions of 20 or 30 copies, signed and numbered. The reason for these small editions of Chinese printmakers has been the absence of a market. This has begun to change recently and edition sizes for top artists like Li Yanpeng may go up.
Prices for the artist's prints are elevated for a contemporary Chinese printmaker. But when you look at the immense work and time that is required to finish one artwork, plus the small edition size, the price is more than justified and a bargain for the discriminating art collector. From what we know by our Chinese partner, Li Yanpeng's stock is currently mostly sold out (summer 2004).
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Works by emerging Chinese artists in BUYDIRECT.