Tang Ke, born in 1972 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, now residing in Chengdu.
Tang is a new classical artist. With an aim to seek the ancients, Tang employs modern painting materials and experiments with unique painting methods, establishing the platform between classical culture and contemporary communication. Through his work, Tang has gradually created a suspenseful, psychedelic, and uncertain language system. His works include "Translucent", "Beautiful Beauty", "Visible Part", which are widely collected and exhibited.
In 1994, Tang graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. He began his career working in interior design; during this period, he was exposed to a wide variety of materials and media which opened doors to his future vision. Tang’s early techniques combined crude oil paint with fine lines of spray. Later, his style gradually evolved past this rough tension of soft harmony. His later work began to reflect more personalized moments.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Tang began experimenting with transparent acrylic film. In contrast to conventional media such as canvas paper, the acrylic film—which is underneath the painting—is transparent. This special quality requires the artist to fully consider multiple factors during his creation process, such as the effect of different lighting. Therefore, the pigment has to be more diluted, strokes have to be more confident, and tactics have to be more concise. When the film receives light from the front, traditional oil painting modeling and techniques are displayed; when the back receives light, all symbols on the screen seem to drift away from the plane, floating into space. In order to reinforce this visual impression, Tang sometimes paints both sides simultaneously, further separating the image into a series of individual brushstrokes. When painting on the transparent film, the effect of the work changes with the light. There is a sense of uncertainty, but it is this sense of uncertainty that defines Tang and the status-quo of today’s society.
Tang emphasizes that the “painterliness” from ancient works of art puts us in direct dialogue with the ancients, and this "paintability" is presented haphazardly through the creation process as well as the control of haphazardness. Tang seeks the starting point from the ancient paintings. He tries to keep these "hints" given to him by the ancients as much as possible while fusing the contemporary sense of "painterliness" with a traditional style, so that his works are virtually infused with the temperament of rice paper and silk. At the same time, Tang proposes that the coordination between ancient painting and traditional architectural space is lost in translation in modern architectural spaces. Through his, brushwork, transparent materials, background lighting, and other mechanisms, Tang hopes to create an atmosphere that presents a direct platform to engage with the ancients.
Tang’s work has been exhibited internationally, including ARKO Museum, Seoul, Korea (2012); Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA (2011); Fondation Louise Blouin, London, UK (2010); China National Convention Center, Beijing (2010); Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2009); doArt Beijing, Beijing, China (2007); Hushen Gallery, Shanghai, China (2007); Soobin Art International Gallery, and Singapore (2005).