Shanshui Totem—Chinese Shanshui Painting Exhibition by Xu Longsen

Asian Art in London Set in Motion by Landscape Totem Pole


Landscape Totem — Xu Longsen’s Landscape Art Exhibition

and Rebirth of Landscape International Seminar Held Simultaneously in London

On Nov. 4 and 5, 2011, Rebirth of Landscape — London International Seminar was held in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Co-sponsored by the School of Oriental and African Studies, National Art Museum of China and Asian Art in London, the seminar included a half-day round-table discussion and a one-day international seminar.


In the afternoon of Nov. 4, scholars, experts and journalists participated in the round-table discussion held in the former residence of British poet and playwright, T. S. Eliot, after visiting Landscape Totem - Xu Longsen’s Landscape Art Exhibition at the Brunei Gallery in the University of London. In the discussion presided over by Wang Tao, scholar of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Jan Stuart, director of the Asian Division of the British Museum, the attendees shared their opinions of Xu Longsen’s giant landscape paintings. They also intensively discussed the international identity of Chinese landscape art and whether the global context and contemporary public space had created an opportunity for the third evolution of landscape paintings. The attendees included Roderick Whitefield, Chinese expert from the University of London, Shao Dazhen from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, China, Shane MaCausland from the School of Oriental and African Studies, poet Yang Lian, Shelagh Vainker from the University of Oxford, Jiang Jiehong from the University of Birmingham, Italian critic Angelo Capasso, Richard Vinograd from Stanford University, Yang Xiaoneng from Stanford University, artist Xu Longsen, Li Xiaoshan from the Nanjing University of Art, Wang Yuechuan from the Beijing University, French curator Xing Xiaozhou, Zhang Hongxing from The Victoria and Albert Museum, Juliane Noth from the Free University of Berlin, Sajid Rizvi from Saffron Books, gallery director Michael Goedhuis and Li Jing from Beyond Art Space in Beijing.

On Nov. 5, a series of keynote speeches were delivered in the School of Oriental and African Studies. Shao Dazhen and Roderick Whitefield presided over the seminar in the morning. Angelo Capasso talked about “Landscape — the Traditions of China and the West”; Yang Xiaoneng talked about “Evolution and Confusion of Modern Landscape Paintings”; Richard Vinograd talked about “Monumental Landscape”; Shane MaCausland talked about “Geometry in Landscape Paintings”; and Jan Stuart talked about “Experiments of an Ancient Innovative Master, Xu Bing”.


Richard Vinograd, Shelagh Vainker and Zhang Hongxing presided over the seminar in the afternoon. Roderick Whitefield talked about “Winter Landscape of the Yuan Dynasty from General Munthe Collection”; Yang Lian talked about “The Pursuit of Canonism — Xu Longsen’s Deep Landscape Paintings”; Wang Yuechuan talked about “Walking with the Universe — the Ecological Aesthetics in Xu Longsen’s Giant Landscape Painting”; Jiang Jiehong talked about “From Decorative to Monumental — Chinese Scrolls Rephrased in Western Public Space”; and Li Xiaoshan talked about “Endless and Boundless Chinese Landscape Paintings”.

The emergence of Xu Longsen is unparalleled in Chinese landscape painting domain. His spectacular and gigantic landscape paintings have become part of contemporary culture, which can be regarded as landscape painters’ active response to a modern public space. Among the new works by Xu Longsen exhibited in London, a cylindrical landscape installation with a height of 8.2 meters and a diameter of 1.2 meters stands above the other. Its name is Landscape Totem. The artist wrapped a rotatable cylinder with Chinese rice paper and used a lift shaft to paint on it. European audiences are amazed by the unprecedented landscape form and the all new experience has transcended the boundary between eastern and western art. The gigantic size coexists with the subtleness of ink and wash, blurring the boundary between time and space, mixing history and geography and motivating the audiences to climb to the spiritual top.



Landscape Totem - Xu Longsen’s Landscape Art Exhibition

Sponsors: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, National Art Museum of China

Co-organizers: Asian Art in London, Beyond Art Space

Duration: Nov. 4, 2011 - Jan. 6, 2012

Venue: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London