Gao Xingjian's introduction to his sumptuous collection of watercolour art is a strongly worded manifesto, a rallying cry for a return to the art of painting.
The art world needs, he claims, to rediscover the simplicity, beauty and clarity of the brushstroke. Focusing on "conceptual games" and ideology he envisages bringing about the death of art, closing down the limitless possibilities of expression that painting reveals. His manifesto targets those artists whose high concept "art" brings them infamy but does not produce inspirational art to be enjoyed by all.
It is a persuasive argument on its own terms but set alongside his simple but timeless and completely stunning, classic watercolours, the effect is intensified. Intricate in their detail, haunting in tone, universal in scope, Gao's paintings alone are justification for why we need to look again at the power of a painting and reject the trends obsessing the contemporary art world.