Bold colours and haunting composition characterize Yuan Cheng Bi’s latest paintings. Inspired by the natural monuments of Western Canadian landscape, his paintings convey the essence of the smallest stone to the grandeur of a mountain range.
His technique is a confluence of Western Canadian imagery and the calligraphic traditions of China. Washes of colour define the planes of background and foreground, giving his paintings both depth and a sense of luminosity. The details are registered with precise brushstrokes, charging each stone and tree with life energy.
Bi’s classical training began in China, first under the guidance of his father and later by one of China’s most prominent art professors of landscape painting. In 1979 Bi attended the ZiangXi Art University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. In the late 80’s Yuan Cheng Bi was awarded the title of Chinese Art Master by the province of Shandong and was accepted into the prestigious Chinese Encyclopedia of Art.
Since immigrating to Canada in 1990, Bi is perhaps most well-known for his mural paintings. 50 murals can be found throughout Alberta. Today the artist resides in White Rock, British Columbia and takes inspiration from nature to create beautiful paintings of a more modest size.
"Nature's Monuments" featuring Yuan Cheng Bi runs Sept. 15 to Sept. 27 at Stephen Lowe Art Gallery (Bow Valley Square location) in Calgary.