LONDON, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- An exhibition of paintings by Chinese contemporary artist Li Xiaobai was launched on Friday in London's Hai Gallery.
Running until Nov. 15, the exhibition -- "Past, Present, Future" -- collected 12 paintings in two series: Bikes in China and Tor on Dartmoor.
"My inspiration came from the landscape of Plymouth where I am now living and from my memories of the early years in China," the 56-year-old artist told Xinhua.
The series of Bikes in China mainly reflected early memories of the painter, who was born and lived in Nanjing before he went to Britain in the 1990s.
"When I was young and living in China, there were a lot of bikes in the streets," Li recalled nostalgically. "Bikes were once part of people's life, when hundreds of thousands of people rode their bikes each day to and from work and school."
Nowadays, bikes are being replaced by cars. "My paintings are an historical observation to reflect the changes in China, which I would like to tell the Western people."
He learned painting techniques in China, but enjoyed being a painter in Britain, said Li, who is now teaching in colleges and high schools in Plymouth.
"Here people have had art education since they were children," he said. "When they grow up, they know how to appreciate. Therefore, the audience pushed me to improve."
However, his root in China was reflected in the paintings.
"An obvious influence was composition," he said. "Chinese traditional paintings were simple, with large areas left white without background."
The Dartmoor series was landscape paintings done on Chinese rice paper.
"Dartmoor is unique in its landscape," he said. "It is barren yet beautiful. Its huge expanse of space gives me such a huge sense of well-being, and I try to capture this in my paintings."