Date: Jun 8th to Jul 31st
AroundSpace Gallery is honored to present Inner Mongolian artist Han Garidi’s solo exhibition in June, The Pastoral, showcasing more than twenty newly created paintings.
A native of Horqin Grasslands, Han graduated from the Fine Art Department of Chi Feng Academy and studied at the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Art. Academically trained, Han has mastered classical visual art techniques and the magnificent landscape in Inner Mongolia has inspired the grand temperament of his works. Han shares the 19th Barbizon School artists’ respect for land and people, holding a humble perspective towards them. He tirelessly portrays meadows, mountains, ranches, fields, lakes, shepherds, livestock, horses, as well as changes of climates and seasons.
Han’s landscape paintings derive from his observation of nature but are not simply loyal representations of nature. Despite choosing outdoor landscape as subject matter, Han is not interested in capturing ever-changing lights and shadows. Instead, he follows the principles of Paul Cézanne, who used essential structures, shapes, and color panes to reflect his comprehension of the world. Han prefers horizontal compositions, and uses one-point perspective, bringing the viewer’s sight to the distance with him. Han uses geometric shapes to simplify
the outlines of objects, reaching the core of his subjects. Han’s palette is somewhat realistic but not without his own manipulation, earthy colors such as yellow and ocher formed warm golden tones that reminds us of the fields painted by Jean-François Millet.
Han Garidi uses the names of locations to title his works, Daiainta la Sumu, Snowscape of Wuzhumuqin, to name just a few; these unfamiliar but romantic names evoke viewers’ imagination of unknown places. The Han Mountains, a sacred place of Horqin Grasslands, are also made known through Han’s paintings. The Huang Gang Ridge series, created in 2023, is composed of large panes of mountains and fields, simply decorated with buildings, animals, or people at the vanishing point on the horizon. The paintings of this series are simple and sublime, an aesthetic code promoted by Taoist philosopher Zhuang Zhou: Heaven and Earth proceed in the most admirable way, but they say nothing about them. Han’s other smaller paintings feature more saturated colors, basic shapes and reserved brushstrokes, candid but with rhythm, capturing a grand view in a small canvas. Han Garidi does not hesitate to reference or draw inspirations from other media or styles: he adopts the way of rendering trees from traditional Chinese ink painting and creates his own visual vocabulary; while in his Five Animals, we recognize the influence from folk art in the contours of animals.
Han Garidi’s art easily reminds us of the scenery depicted in the fourth-sixth century poem, the Song of Chi Le: the endless azure sky/And the boundless prairie/The wind bends the grass to reveal/Herds of cattle and flock of sheep. A majestic landscape that is so far away from the maddening crowds of the city and so close to nature and one’s inner self. Like a visual poet, Han Garidi creates an idyllic pastoral with a steady, simple, and solid art style, which provides a restful oasis for our minds.