Gao Xingjian: Painter of the Soul (Hardcover)

Gao Xingjian: Painter of the Soul By Daniel Bergez, Sherry Buchanan (Translated by) Cover Image

Gao Xingjian: Painter of the Soul (Hardcover)

By Daniel Bergez, Sherry Buchanan (Translated by)


Special Order—Subject to Availability
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000, novelist Gao Xingjian is also an artist whose paintings are exhibited worldwide. Born in China in 1940, the multitalented Gao also excelled equally as a critic and playwright, but when his avant-garde plays were banned, he left China in 1987 and settled in France, where he lives today. A champion of a return to painting as a pure, intuitive form of expression, he remains as free from the diktats of the contemporary art market as he was from Communist censorship.

Illustrated throughout with two hundred reproductions, this stunning book showcases for the first time over two decades of Gao Xingjian’s visual oeuvre. Gao’s groundbreaking technique allows him to work with ink, a traditional Chinese medium, on large canvases. Inspired by a dreamlike inner world, Daoism, the Chinese literati painting tradition, and Western modernism, Gao Xingjian’s masterful ink-wash paintings envelop and transport the viewer to another plane. Daniel Bergez’s accompanying text draws from Gao’s Soul Mountain and other works to offer insights into these enigmatic landscapes and figures. Also included is an interview with the artist that reveals the motivation behind Gao’s unique pictorial creations.
Daniel Bergez is an author, painter, literary and art critic, and professor of French literature. His books on the relationship between pictorial and literary creation, including Littérature et peinture (Literature and Painting), are authorities in the field.

Sherry Buchanan is a publisher, editor, and author. Before she created Asia Ink, she worked for the Wall Street Journal and TheInternational Herald Tribune in Brussels, Paris, London, and Hong Kong.
Product Details ISBN: 9780953783977
ISBN-10: 0953783979
Publisher: Asia Ink
Publication Date: March 15th, 2014
Pages: 264
Language: English
“Like his writing, his paintings convey poetry, intellect, and powerful narrative. At the same time, Gao . . . is a master of ink technique, and his works exude a creative energy born of Chinese tradition while being thoroughly universal and contemporary. . . . Whatever the current winds of whim and politics, Gao’s place in China’s cultural history appears to be indisputably set.”
— New York Times, on an exhibition of Gao Xingjian’s paintings

“A mesmerizing gallery of ink-wash works that illustrates the different techniques, themes and periods in Gao’s extensive body of work. The . . . book, however, is more than just a monochrome beauty. Bergez . . . plumbed the depths of Gao’s works in brush and pen to surface the profound harmony between his writings and paintings. The result: a visually sumptuous read that is erudite yet approachable.”
— Huang Lijie

“[Gao] has been both lauded and criticised internationally for the complicated, elusive and labyrinthine structure of Soul Mountain, which eschews a traditional plot for a series of personal, evocative ruminations. . . . His paintings, though deep, are burdened by no such convolutions. Their beauty lies in their intense simplicity. His works (always black ink on paper and, later, canvas) blend the abstract and the literal in remarkable, decisive ways. Images are fluid and interpretation is open, like a Rorschach. Is that a tree? A telephone pole? A bleeding wound? . . . Collected, the images are nothing short of astonishing.”
— Madeline Gressel

“Highly readable and enjoyable. . . . Generously oversized, the book beautifully illustrates Gao’s work.”
— The Bangkok Post Magazine

“A triumph.”
— Jessica Harrison-Hall