SHI LE, CHINESE/CANADIAN
FALL, WHITNEY #2, 2008
acrylic on canvas
signed, titled and dated on the reverse
48 x 48 in — 121.9 x 121.9 cm
Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Deeply saturated, Shi Le’s paintings appear more real than real. Painting Southern Ontario as seen through a kaleidoscopic lens, the artist cites the Group of Seven as an inspiration. Trained in traditional Chinese ink wash techniques, Shi adopted a more prismatic, pointillist style in order to better capture the Canadian landscape that he observed while studying at the University of Waterloo. The artist explained his choice of subject in 2015, noting that "people's devotion to the land is an eternal theme in artwork. Such sentimental attachment can cross faith, ethnicity and ideology, connecting people all over the world. That is the reason why I concentrate on landscape painting."
In this particular work, after acclimating to the riotous array of colour, the eye is softly drawn to a small red maple in the clearing, much younger than the surrounding forest.