Long Museum (West Bund) will present artist Li Shurui’s solo exhibition, “High Light: Splendor Worn Thin in the Recesses of Time,” from January 31 to April 10, 2021

The study of “light” and “color” and their cultural connotations constitute the core of Li Shurui’s artistic practice. The artist is convinced that the use of “light” and “color” can embody, record, and shape individuals’ needs and spirituality in different cultures and times, which is also related to their collective ideology in a broader sense. In recent years, the artist has developed a more comprehensive system of work methods. Drawing from her life experiences, Li Shurui explores the boundaries of the painted medium, as well as the functional, social and political nature of light and color through a highly personal approach and its extended practice.

Marking the artist’s first museum solo exhibition in China, “High Light: Splendor Worn Thin in the Recesses of Time” unfolds from Li’s long-standing subject matter and work methods in a non-linear fashion through seven series of multi-faceted and inter-connected paintings and installations.

How is the perception of sunlight today different from that a century ago? Does the technological evolution of artificial lighting continue to influence our perception and memory of the world? The exhibition opens with Pixels of The Images That Represent Eras, embarking on an archaeological investigation into light colors as embodiments of epochal characteristics. The artist has been consciously collecting information and materials on light and color from different periods and regions for a long time, who perceptually abstracts and archives these visual marks from different eras in an attempt to present an evolving cultural landscape illuminated by light and color. In the same vein, abstract paintings such as Prosperous and Age of Prosperity present specific fragments of this subject, addressing the regional and contemporary nature of light and color and making social commentaries.

The other thread of the exhibition revolves around the artist’s evolving exploration in the language of painting. Over time, the artist has abstracted various illuminations and the characteristics of human visuality into colors and spots of different sizes. Adopting these essential linguistic elements, Li Shurui attempts to construct artistic vocabulary and grammar of a personalized language. If the highly condensed and analytical abstraction of Deep White is a comprehensive presentation of this linguistic system, her recent Making Up for Lost Spring and All ze Knows is Sky and Colors integrate figuration and abstraction to unravel and transcend this system. The inherent logic and driving force of their evolution are that the artist, as a living individual, opens up to more real and tangible life.

The term “highlight” is both an artistic terminology and embodies a kind of moment and situation. Whereas “high light” subtly underscores the so-called notions of “high art” and “high culture.” The title of the exhibition, “High Light: Splendor Worn Thin in the Recesses of Time” responds to the artist’s above-mentioned creative threads and indicates some of her ongoing transformations.