Li Jikai 李继开

Born 1975, China

Li Jikai graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute of painting in 2004 with a master’s degree, currently lives and works in Wuhan and teaches at Hubei Academy of Fine Arts Institute of Animation. In his own art he mainly engages in painting.

Li Jikai belongs to a generation of Chinese artists who were born in the 70’s and have already established strong reputations in China and internationally as the new face of contemporary Chinese painting. His work is considered typical of the Ego Generation whose work focuses on the artist’s inner world and illustrates a transitional stage within the process of individualization born out of the recent socio-economic transformation of China in the past 30 years. Like the Surrealists of the 20th century the artists of the Ego Generation set out to explore and discover the artist’s own sub-conscious and dream world.

In many of Li Jikai‘s large-scale, chromatically reductive paintings, a diminutive human appears to be observing the world and its tenuous relationship between humanity and environment, a focal points of his oeuvre. This lonely figure has withdrawn from the turbulent outside world and has become a spectator of life.  A ‘Peter Pan ‘ figure who will never grow up?. As Li Jikai wrote, “when I grew up, we mainly struggled to cope with life, accept arrangement, become who we are now……what I only know is that we seem to be not really the creator or participant of our own life, but rather, a spectator, dazed, isolated from the group, then, time passes by.’

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