‘The constant balancing of harmony requires all my attention and I have to look out not to fall into one of both sides’

Qiangli Liang (Guangzhou, China, 1964) mainly paints still lifes in the tradition of the Dutch seventieth century with an eastern twist. The artist studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Guangzhou. The thinking in collectivity and the search for balance and harmony in the composition are elements from his Chinese background that he implements in his overall western paintings.

The objects are placed on a smooth surface, mostly a table. Other than that, the space is hardly defined. The objects are those we can find in a classic still life like fruit, bottles, bowls, rolled paper or a box. The composition is centered and has one or more color accents. Because of the peaceful and subtle coloring of the surfaces, the object appear to be even more on the foreground. Joyful green pears, sensual red peaches, fierce red onions or a bright blue box, mostly put next to an object with a contrasting color.

Liang limits the amount of colors per painting to ensure a certain degree of soberness. It’s not so much the individual objects, but the balance between the colors and sections that make the composition interesting.

Liang uses sober brown and grey shades as the background for his still life. These are quickly and coarsely painted on the surface with a broad brush. The painter aims for the work to appear spontaneous rather than photorealistic. He leaves the brushstrokes visible, in some objects applying the paint in with impasto technique providing texture to the surface. The objects seem to come alive, almost jutting out of the picture plane.