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Artist Li Liang

Red flowers hide human desires

Throughout the ages, cultures have assigned special meanings to each flower. In China, the peony is a national flower that symbolizes wealth and honor. If peonies had a capital, it would be Luoyang, Henan province. The city has held an annual “Peony Party” since 1983, and every corner is decorated with the flowers.

It’s no surprise that the peony then is the fundamental element in all Li Liang’s creations.

Born in Luoyang, Li grew up surrounded by peonies. “I think they are some of the most beautiful things in this world,” Li said. “Their petals are tight and close, which resembles a burning fire and can be seen as a metaphor of human desire and enthusiasm.”

Although the peony is the source of Li’s creation, the flowers in his paintings are not like real peonies. Rather, they reference the noble flower.

Throughout the year, Li collects photos of peonies to use as a reference. Referring to these pictures, he dissects each peony into different parts, selects suitable parts from different photos, reforms these parts and then creates a new kind of flower using his imagination.

Non-Flower is Li’s most recent painting series.

In Non-Flower, Li covers the canvas with reds and pinks, creating a world blanketed by red and pink fog. Blooming flowers occupy a large proportion of the picture.

“It is the embodiment of strong desire hidden in the human heart,” Li says.

Sadness No. 5
In Sadness No.5, an unhappy boy with a white T-shirt rides a horse through some red flowers.

“The boy’s expression reflects my mental state at that time – confused and hesitant,” Li says.

Still, Li used red – the brightest color – to set the tone of his painting. The brilliant red contrasted with a dark background and the boy’s gloomy expression.

“Red flowers stands for hope and enthusiasm, and I want to remind myself through these blooming flowers that hope is always there for me,” he says.

Source: Beijing Today
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