By Bao Dong
In Bian Qing’s paintings, the “landscape” is a cultural model of spirituality and a painting resource that has been historicized. These two dimensions interweave in his work, concealing one another.
From a spiritual perspective, “landscape” is a symbolic existence; it is a belief beyond reality, and it may be referred to as a “Tao”, a “state of mind” and other traditional philosophical and aesthetical concepts. Within this particular context, Bian Qing’s artistic practice correlates with that of an ancient, as they both plea for a form of art that exceeds beyond tangible reality and individual subjective feelings. Therefore, his works may have surpassed the limits of traditional painting media yet still allow us to experience a sensibility and intrigue like those visible in traditions.
From the perspective of the history of painting, Bian Qing gradually deconstructs the visual elements of mountain, rock, cloud, water and tree of traditional landscape paintings as well as brush techniques such as gou (hook), cun (texture), ca (stroke), dian (dot) and ran (coloring) before reconstructing them in a new spatial structure. The arrangement of these elements is not based upon nature or a program, and no longer follows the lead of styles of landscape painting. “Uninterested in ‘order’ but fluent in ‘context’” – on the dimensions of citations and annotations, it appears they draw parallels between Bian Qing’s work and traditional landscape painting. In other words, his paintings are a critique and extension of traditional landscape paintings. As for the legacy of modernist painting such as framing, paints, human figure and other dimensions of physical properties, Bian Qin has included them in this field that actively correspond with history and attaches symbolic “nature” with actual nature in a perceivable way.
The title, Mountain Wave, is comprised of a very pictographic and rather peculiar character phrasing. First of all, the title literally illustrates the relation between Bian Qing’s work and landscape painting. Second, it hints at his working method: to deconstruct, reconstruct and rebuild to excel and complement.
About the exhibition
Dates: Aug. 12 – Sep. 24, 2017
Venue: Asia Art Center
Courtesy of the artist and Asia Art Center, for further information please visit www.asiaartcenter.org.