Feng Xiao-Min: 'Brush of Light'

03 May - 01 June 2024

Feng Xiao-Min's captivating artworks, characterized by their profound interplay of form, light, and colour, will be showcased in the exhibition 'Brush of Light' at Opera Gallery Hong Kong from 3 May 3 to 1 June, 2024. 


Feng's canvases are imbued with a distinct, wordless feeling that transcends the boundaries between movements in contemporary and historical painting. They evoke ocean vistas, starless nights and endless dark matter, drawing the viewer in with subtle washes of paint and forming seemingly boundless scenes reminiscent of twilit skies.


The artist, who moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux- Arts after his early training in China, fuses an Eastern aesthetic sensibility with Western techniques. In his paintings, resonances of both Chinese calligraphy and American Abstract Expressionism can be found. Manipulating acrylic paint as a calligrapher manipulates ink, he precisely controls the flow of paint and water. The result is an image that incorporates a uniquely broad range of influences, from Turner to Zao Wou-Ki.


The paintings on show here serve as a kind of antidote to the claustrophobia of modern life. “In a somewhat chaotic world today,” the artist explains, “I would like to bring and express through my works, and this exhibition in particular, a kind of balance, purity and serenity.” Warmth, softness, depth and diffusion all have their place in his paintings, their combination amounting to a subtly powerful effect: the rare dual feeling of wonder and tranquillity. 


He is not inspired by a specific subject or location; instead, he focuses on the spatial configuration of the image as a whole. The vivid colours and bold contrasts he uses bring his hazy subjects to life and create an atmosphere that is at once soothing and intense. He conveys a sense of movement and transformation, capturing fleeting moments wherein light dances and metamorphoses.


Each brushstroke is imbued with deep artistic intent, created at a rare intersection of technique and expression. Each canvas embarks on an emotional journey, guided entirely by the artist’s intuition. As he put it, “only natural things will last over time. Artistic creation is part of the same philosophy.” 


Feng Xiao-Min’s paintings are timeless. They go beyond the canon of abstract painting, referencing the raw and powerful energy of the world outside the gallery: skies and oceans, hopeful dawns and dramatic dusks. Ultimately, his work is a homage to light, and an invitation to open our eyes and contemplate it with renewed wonder.

Feng Xiao-Min: 'Brush of Light' exhibition views, May 2024 © Felix Wong