Booroom Gallery presents the first significant exhibition of Li Chevalier in Russia. It includes 17 major works executed in a special author's technique, which took many years of tireless experimentation to create.


In her practice the artist combines the millennia-old Chinese skill of working with ink, calligraphy, European tradition of writing on canvas, contemporary music and multimedia. With several educational backgrounds, from art to philosophy, she incorporates the contemplation of Eastern culture and the critical eye of Western culture. Her original visual language, at the crossroads of two cultures, is universal and appeals to everyone.


Chevalier, who has been called one of the successors of the great Chinese masters of the 12th century, combines different materials in her work. She applies ink not to rice paper but directly to the canvas, mixing it with acrylics, pigments and sand. The ink contrasts with the opacity of the quartz fragments. These are poetic collages about eternity. For Chevalier, the notion of poetic "emptiness" is the opposite of the physicists' definition. It is not a scientific vacuum devoid of energy, but a filled universe ready to manifest itself on a blank sheet of paper. Black and white, fundamental to Chinese cosmology, take on new meanings in her paintings with the help of virtuoso brushwork.


"In my paintings, the image is built on the relationship between black and white. This dichotomy is rooted in Chinese culture, which is based on the juxtaposition of 'yin' and 'yang'. These are contrasting and complementary forces that explain the world: day and night, masculine and feminine, water and mountains. I am close to the paintings of Chinese intellectual artists, whose paintings are mostly black and white. The process of creation for me is a spiritual journey akin to meditation, and it corresponds to my philosophical artistic language ," she explains.


Li Chevalier believes that today's world is built on mutual interest and the infiltration of cultures into each other. "Through the historical combination of ink and canvas that is personal to me, I explain my own vision and experience. It is a kind of message to artists living between continents. Traditional ink painting involves thin rice paper. I wanted to present the techniques of Western artists - collage, playing with textures and other experiments - in an Eastern aesthetic. This is how Chinese tradition evolves through time and is converted into a contemporary artistic language," Li says .