The work of renowned Chinese abstract artist Hsiao Chin, a leading figure in post-war European and Chinese art, is being celebrated in a major exhibition at a gallery in Latvia.

Hsiao Chin turned 85 earlier this year and his work will be on display at the Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils until Oct 23.

The exhibition, In my beginning is my end: the art of Hsiao Chin, features more than 30 artworks from 1959 onwards, and highlights his contribution to the history of art over the last 60 years.

This collection will be on display alongside the gallery’s permanent collection of Rothko paintings.

Philip Dodd, exhibition curator, said Hsiao Chin’s “career and his wildly inventive paintings challenge most categories”.

“His peers may appear to be the Italian Lucio Fontana and the American Kenneth Noland-but in his search for a language of painting that can incarnate spiritual experiences, the only comparable painter of the time is Mark Rothko-which makes holding Hsiao Chin’s retrospective in Mark Rothko’s hometown museum so compelling,” Dodd said.

“As an interest in spirituality and art surfaces again, Hsiao Chin’s practice feels exemplary and his mix of European and Asian art profoundly timely.”

Highlights include Hsiao Chin’s vibrant large-scale works La Vibrazione del Sole (1965) and Power of the Light (1965), examples of the artist’s hard-edged paintings created during his time in the United States, and Blue Introspection (2007-2018), which is a unique abstract glass mosaic.

Hsiao Chin was part of a group of Chinese artists, including figures such as Zao Wou-ki, that settled in Europe in the 1950s.

Hsiao Chin went on to become the only Chinese artist to have launched a major international avant-garde movement, the Punto Movement, established in 1961 in Milan, with co-founders Antonio Calderara and Azuma Kenjiro.

Punto was inspired by an Eastern philosophical worldview and advanced the notion that art should be a means of meditation and introspection.

A selection of paintings by Hsiao Chin is also on display at 3812 Gallery in London. This is Hsiao Chin’s first solo exhibition in the British capital since 1966.

Calvin Hui, founder of 3812 Gallery, said: “As one of the first Asian artists to advocate the infusion of Eastern spirituality into abstract art in Europe when the art world was very much led by the West, Hsiao’s contribution has undoubtedly left an important mark in art history.”

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