The Romanian artist Teodora Axente’s highly ornate paintings bear a clear debt to the Dutch fifteenth and sixteenth century panel painting tradition.
The Italian artist Nicola Samorì’s paintings are influenced by the Italian baroque in general, but also by the whole of Italian artistic tradition.
The Iranian artist Shiva Ahmadi has continually used the world of Persian miniatures as a primary source of inspiration for her highly politicised artworks.
The Japanese artist Keita Miyazaki has, over the last few years, made a series of ‘Vanitas’ metal cases which began their existence as a ‘homage’ to the seventeenth century Dutch paintings which developed into a renowned tradition in the way these exquisitely made works with their skulls, partially eaten fruit, jewels depicted human vanity in its metaphorical portrayal of the accumulation of wealth and its uselessness as a defence against the fragility of existence.
The Chinese painter Lu Chao’s works are influenced by the master calligraphers of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368). How- ever, as with the other artist’s in the exhibition, Lu Chao’s ‘homage’ is no slavish adoption of a previous technique, but merely an attention towards the beauty and power of the gesture, although in his own works, at the service of figuration and not abstraction.
Qingzhen Han’s works embrace abstraction. Often working the extremities of the surface and allowing empty space in the middle of the painting, in a stark reversal of conventional practice. Han applies a layer of white ‘gesso’ to the canvas which then, apart from the resultant light which emanates from the blank canvas, encourages us to accept that empty space is actually a metaphysical concept. Furthermore, fundamentally to the ideas she wishes to express, she can subsequently apply paint to various depths of the work as some gestures can almost disappear into the gesso, whilst others remain far more pronounced.