Still Life Award 2023

Li Ning

A Room of One’s Own

Bankside Gallery: Rising Artists, Jackson's Painting Prize 2023
70 x 50 cm


Still Life Award Winner

“Under the influence of old masters such as Titian and Botticelli, from technical and spiritual fields, I realized that figurative paintings could carry religious, psychological, metaphysical meanings, and be allegories. These paintings contain another dimension of time and become abodes for spirits to live on. The divine quality of painting makes me believe every single painting requires painter to devote full enthusiasm and full diligence into it. ‘Malherbe, it is said, worked with prodigious slowness: yes, because he worked for immortality.’ — Ingres.

I believe that a painter should look beyond his/her subject. Beyond it means, a painter ought to discover his/her subject’s potential to transcend its physical form. The core is the combination between physical observation and spiritual imagination, as a painter should neither limited by his/her subject nor fall into total ignorance of his/her subject’s natural character.

A painter’s relationship with his painting is familiar to that of an admirer with his lover. If I am allowed to change Russell’s remark a little here: ‘The muse of art is a cool lover. Only by enthusiastic hands holding the sword of calm, one could possibly touch her heart.'”