Li Huayi

(1948 – )


Not on display
Further information

In Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol of energy, benevolence, courage, passion and leadership, as well as arrogance and temperament. Li Huayi, one of China’s most important contemporary ink artists, has produced a lively representation of this mythical animal.

Li was born and grew up in Shanghai in east China during a transitional period when old and new, as well as the artistic traditions of east and west, co-existed. Li studied ink painting with Wang Chuantao (1903-1978), who incidentally was the son of Wang Zhen (1867-1938) who painted an important work in the Gallery’s collection, Nine years facing the wall (338.1989). He also studied western-style painting with Zhang Chongren (1907-1998), who became close friends with Hergé, creator The Adventures of Tintin, when he studied at Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium.

Li emigrated to the United States in 1982 and studied at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. A decade later, he turned his attention to the classic masterpieces of Chinese landscape painting. His ‘careful study of the classics of Chinese and European painting, as well as the modern American practice of abstraction, has yielded paintings that are at once firmly rooted in the history of Chinese art and instantaneously meaningful to contemporary viewers’ (Kuiyi Shen, “In his virtual world – the recent painting by Li Huayi”, in Waterfalls, rocks and bamboo by Li Huayi, Eskenazi, October – November 2014, London UK, p.10). Li’s landscapes are in the collections of many museums worldwide, including the British Museum, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harvard Art Museum and M+ Hong Kong.

Place of origin
ink and colours on silk
23.7 cm height, 40.0 cm height with mount
Signature & date

Signed c.r., ink "Li Huayi”. Not dated.

Gift of Giuseppe Eskenazi in memory of Edmund Capon
Accession number
© Li Huayi