A wonderful echo is faintly to be heard when the works of Ms. Ingeborg zu Schleswig-Holstein and Mr. Shan Fan are displayed in one room.
This echo comes from the different understanding of the notion “abstractness” between the eastern and the western artists.
The most attractive character of abstract art is its uniqueness. The heart of the artists is their unique painting brush. The concrete forms and images are digressed and abandoned to the greatest extent. The inner meditation of the artist is presented in the most subjective way. The work is composed with pure colors, structure, symbols, points, lines, surfaces and textures.
Ms. zu Schleswig-Holstein’s works are the best example of such formless and spontaneous rendering of colors, which possesses a special aesthetic power. A grandiose, elegant and emotional world is constructed through saturate and powerful colors. The deepest feelings of the artist are conveyed in such candidness and passion. While what Mr. Shan Fan pursues is the quality of oneself after the model of the bamboo. It is the ultimate goal of Chinese liberal expressive painting style. The gesture, character and spiritual likeness of the object is more important to the artist, and can be portrayed with just a few clean and simple strokes of the brush. These two seemingly different artistic forms both contain the zen philosophy of finding a vast world and immense wisdom in things as tiny as a flower or a tree.
The metaphorical expression of the two styles conveys completely different meanings and taste to the viewers. Ms. zu Schleswig-Holstein’s work brings the viewers strong visual shock. Her aim is to present her inner world. A world, although not visible, is a brand new horizon. Her choice is to put her invisible inner world to expression using colors and her own hands on the canvas. Her works are a kind of adventure. Every stroke and every bit of color carry a bit of unpredictable mystery.
Mr. Shan Fan paints bamboo with a quality of expressiveness that the meaning and rhythm seem to flow. Simple colors and smooth brushstrokes combine and form an ingenious poetic character. The beauty of bamboo woods is condensed and presented black and white on the paper. Flowing in between the brushstrokes is the implicitness, simplicity and state of enjoyable ease and self-content that is unique in traditional ink and wash painting.
The expressive styles are completely different. But their works share one thing. That is the expansiveness which is limitless. The stained palette of Ingeborg and the waving brush of Shan Fan both give their works a boundless space for the viewers to freely use their imagination in these artistic worlds.
About the exhibition
Opening time: 6pm 3rd April, 2014
Duration: 2014.04.02 — 2014.04.12
Location: 2nd floor exhibition hall of Building No.1, Today Art Museum
Courtesy of the artists and Today Art Museum, for further information please visit www.todayartmuseum.com.