Born in Henan, PR China – Nov 1966
Niu Kai lived through a time when religion or any other form of free expression was forbidden in China.
Despite all the past restrictions, however, religion never really left the Chinese way of life. As they say, the three pillars of the Chinese culture are still, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. On all these basic Chinese beliefs there is one central element; the admiration and cultivation of Mother Nature. The history of Modern Chinese Art is one ensemble of various ideologies that are mixed into a society that has never experienced free expression for the past 5000 years. This is still the case in China. Sadly modern art often played as an instrument to propagate the ideology from the Regime.
Niu Kai was born on the same year when the Cultural Revolution was launched and although he was too small to be part, it had one profound impact in all levels of society, still felt to this day.
His family was deeply affected and for years he avoided the usual propaganda, Cultural Revolution art that was and is still quite prevalent in the Contemporary Chinese art. First he initiated to work with a very traditional form of Ancient Chinese Art, known as Shan Shui, that translates in Mountains and Rivers. This brought the young Niu Kai to search for areas in China where this theme could be found usually in the most remote and pristine areas. Later as he matured Niu Kai noticed that something was happening with the Mountains and Rivers in China, as gradually pollution struck the country side and made what was once a symbol of the Chinese stunning landscape transformed into one environmental disaster as a consequence of the so called economic progress. The pollution in China was for decades an issue that was hardly allowed to be mentioned and it took a few artists to expose this natural man made catastrophe. Eventually Niu Kai felt compelled to look for new ways to express his passion for Nature and also his sincere concern to this dire phenomenon that affected the lives of all his countryman. He eventually embraced the abstract forms and the oil on canvas as he reluctantly let go the traditional water colours Shan Shui that he studied from his very early age. In his words; To let go my dear old companions; my brush and water colours was a painful decision for me, like to divorce with a loyal and beautiful wife after co existing happily for so many years.
Niu Kai has now clearly embraced the abstract form still maintaining his central theme, Nature, displaying a variety of exquisite shapes and forms in how the ancestors also expressed in their common admirable culture. The various forms and one can only appreciate its presence and choose from the numerous representations of Nature ingrained in the fabric in the 5000 years of Chinese Culture.
1985 Henan Art School
1991 Graduate from Beijing Fine Arts School
1998 International Arts Festival, Beijing
2000 First prize CCTV, Modern Art
2001 Shanghai Contemporary
2003 Seoul, The Akiko Museum
- Beijing Popular Exhibition
- Berliner Liste, Berlin
- AAF, London
- AAF, Amsterdam
- Song Zhuan – Beijing
2013 International Fair Beijing
2014 Song Zhuang International
2015 AAF London
2015 AAF London
2016 AAF London
Seoul, Paris, London, Berlin, New York, The Hague and Tel Aviv.