Bian Hong
Artist Statement

Born 1971, lives and works in Beijing and New York. Graduated in 1990 from Henan Zhengzhou Art Research Institute with focus on calligraphy and Central Academy of Fine Arts with focus on calligraphy, chop engraving, and ink painting.

Bian Hong is a representative figure of the "New Abstract Calligraphy" movement in China. She is a pioneer of this form of ink painting and has established status in contemporary Chinese ink. Her work reconstructs the hierarchies of painting and calligraphy under China's convention that calligraphy precedes painting; to her, they can be equivalent and approached with similar principles.

Bian Hong will use calligraphy for painting and vice versa. The calligraphic brushstroke shifts itself in and out of abstract expressionist gestures. The result is painting and calligraphy, but a different creation altogether, pulled from modes of Chinese tradition and Western aesthetics and abstraction.


A dish of dry ink,
a few brushes, rice paper,
face and face with calligraphy.

My heart,
quiets down,
the heart of poetry, Buddhism and calligraphy

In the void
calligraphy and brushworks
create a personal "calligraphy of Zen space."

I always make time every day for quiet,
facing the wall,
conversations between myself and calligraphy.

The creation of calligraphy spreads out from the depths of the soul, inspired by the aesthetics of traditional calligraphy and the interplay between brush and ink; the dynamics of calligraphy brings about a state of intense concentration.

In my life
meditation and the spirit of Zen
Love life, love nature,
love living, love art,
love yourself, love people,
love the world,
while creating a piece of work

One calligraphy a day,
One mountain and one body of water a day;

How splendid!

- Bian Hong in 2022