Borrowed from the ancient Chinese philosopher Hui Shi, “heaven is as low as earth” underpins this exhibition’s theme which seeks to explore the obscure interplay of that which is seen but not quite understood and just out of reach.
Magdallene Ekatoras is an abstract artist who is one of only two foreign artists recognised in 2004 for their contribution to abstract art in Shanghai where she resided for over a decade. Mr Li Lei Deputy Director, China Art Museum, Shanghai held a joint exhibition with Magdallene Ektoras and has written glowingly of her talent and abilities. Please see attached letter of recommendation.
Magdallene has received particular acclaim for her monotypes constructed with acrylic on rice paper. The uncommon fusion of the weighty, almost weather-proof surface of acrylic, against the fragile organic nature of rice paper lends to the creation of unique images and textures. She also works with a range of other media, including fabrics and photography.
'heaven is as low as earth’ is Magdallene’s first in Melbourne since relocating from Asia. It forms part of a larger body of work which draws inspiration from ancient philosophies and overlooked ideas, in the elusive search to bring meaning to our transient existence.
Letter of support for Magdallene Ekatoras
Li Lei is an abstract artist, a trustee of the Association of Chinese Artists, Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Young Artists Association, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute, and the executive director of Shanghai Art Museum. Li Lei has been creating and researching abstract art since 1996.  He is also the founder of Art Shanghai and presided over the organization of the Shanghai Biennale2006 and 2008
Magdallene and Li Lei held several exhibitions together, and in 2004 were both selected to participate in a major exhibition in Shanghai called 'Shanghai Abstract' which was a 20 years overview of abstract art in Shanghai. A publication was also produced to mark that exhibition called: Shanghai Abstract - A 20 Year Overview of Abstract Art in Shanghai. Mingyuan Art Centre, November 2004.
Li Lei writes of Magdallene’s work
“Magdallene and I held a joint art exhibition just over ten years ago and it was one of the best memories ever in my creative career. At that time, I was convinced that Magdallene would become a significant artist because of her excellent judgement in composition and her talent to control both colour and form. More importantly however, she is able to blend her feelings, thoughts and philosophies and express these in her works – qualities that are vital for any outstanding artist such as Magdallene.
Artists are solitary creatures, but you will also find creative strength is born out of the intensity of solitude. This creative strength is evident in Magdallene’s paintings and it moves every visitor who views her work. I believe that Magdallene's paintings express many truths about life."
Mr Li Lei
Deputy Director, China Art Museum, Shanghai
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