When I visited the famous Chinese traditional garden in Suzhou in 2014, some of the bonsais which created by ancient artist there left me a strong impression. At first glance, these bonsais made by rocks and plants were quite similar with the landscapes existed somewhere which one might feel familiar with. However, as we know, they were just made with imagination. By this way, the artist created the order of the landscape to create the order of their mind. It inspired me much.
Traditional bonsai and modern art installations are similar in their forms, but in retrospect, the artistic concept bred in the middle kingdom put what we meant to express beyond the subject. As “one’s heart’s desire is best described with the matter” and “a lyric verse in the guise of scenic depiction” are methods driven by such concept. We use substance as a vehicle to fabricate an intuitive truth in Tao or Zen, so that both creators and viewers can enter into a meditative state of mind. Comparatively speaking, westerners weigh more on what is being aid, while we care more about what is left unsaid. In our culture, perception rather than articulation is encouraged.
Fueled by this very concept, my practice of recent years integrated ancestral aesthetic values with universal artistic expressions. I attempt to create ” synthetic landscapes” and create a world that strikes familiar but non-existent with realistic images. That is where the concept of the show ‘white’ come from.
Beijing is a city that embraces snow. Perhaps because I was a north-born, snow has become some kind of invisible bond between me and the city, stirring nostalgic emotions. Snow is a matter with such powerful coverage that it purifies the city’s foul colors and mellows out its rampant edges. My favorite moment is when the end of winter is drawing to a close. With the temperature rising, the thick snow cover begins to melt away. It starts with a large pile, which breaks into several smaller ones, and each small one decreases day by day until nothing remains. The process seems so tragically beautiful that makes me want to put a stop to it. This collection of works in “White” uses many geometric figures, which are reminiscent of imperial city’s gray city walls, rectangular bricks, round tiles, vermeil gates, and stone steps of grand palaces; while the snow imitated with powdered white marble gently falls on this authentic yet imaginary Beijing. Together they construct the bonsai of order in my heart, like I’ve pressed that stop button and frozen that instant.
For the last seven years since I was back from UK, I have been fascinated with the cultural heritages of traditional Chinese architectures, gardens, paintings, ceramics, etc. In admiring these works of art, I’ve gradually learnt to comprehend our philosophy of life and my own cultural identity in morose contemplation.
Enjoy the show.
About the exhibition
Dates: 2018.12.23 – 2019.02.23
Venue: Aye Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and Aye Gallery, for further information please visit www.ayegallery.com.