Yin Siwen is a graduate of the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA in 2017. Initially he graduated from the studio of new realism of the Department of Oil Painting, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, in 2013 when he received a bachelor’s degree, and he has studied at the 5th studio of the Department of Oil Painting for a master’s degree, learning from Prof. Liu Gang, since 2014. Yin held a solo exhibition entitled “Now” in 2017. His graduation creation “Absolute Center” was on shown at the CAFA Art Museum.
Interview Time: May 20, 2017
Interviewee: Yin Siwen (hereinafter referred to as Yin)
Interviewer: Lai Yaqian (hereinafter referred to as CAFA ART INFO)
Editor: Lin Jiabin
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
CAFA ART INFO: Hello, would you like to talk about the reason why you chose CAFA three years ago?
Yin: My first reason is that I thought the teaching of the academy offered future artists a better platform and more conveniences, to help young people become qualified artists. On the other hand, CAFA is located in the capital Beijing, where a lot of resources are on offer, many unique advantages, with the possibility of creating many successful artists. In addition, Beijing’s artistic ecological chain is relatively complete.
CAFA ART INFO: Would you like to talk about the influence of your mentor Prof. Liu Gang on you during the last 3 years?
Yin: The academy includes two teachings: the curricular teaching and the in-depth extracurricular exchange, and I think the second one gave me the biggest harvest. Sometimes, when Prof. Liu talked about other things, for example the life or past experiences, his words would inspire me.
In addition, the present teachers have changed their previous roles, to be both friends and teachers. We usually have an in-depth communication, so he can have a three-dimensional understanding of my creation, and I believe that my teacher Prof. Liu would be satisfied with my graduation creation. Prof. Liu also arrived at my solo exhibition and offered me inspiration. Prof. Liu has played a very important guiding role in every key point of my creation during the postgraduate stage.
“Absolute Center” series of works is significant for Yin Siwen, and it plays the role of a connecting link in his creative career. Yin said that: “My first creation is a work of the deconstruction of space when I was a postgraduate student in CAFA, and now I use this black and white drawing to put an end to my postgraduate study after three years. “Absolute Center” series of works is a tentative attempt at abstract forms and colors, and it is separated from concrete images, taking forms and colors as the subject, to construct a new order of planar painting and the performance of painting language is in the first place, the rhythm of the painting and the composition of the color form a new painting of curiosity. I am happy to show the thought-provoking part which is still remembered, and it is also the ultimate goal of my creation, forming the self-discipline in the painting, with the self-discipline of language that guides me to create better works.”
CAFA ART INFO: It is obvious that it fully uses the transitions and changes of black, white and gray in the “Absolute Center” series, and you said that it is a response to the first work created during the postgraduate stage, could you talk about the relationship between “Absolute Center” and the first work created during the postgraduate stage?
Yin: “Absolute Center” is a continuation of my works after I was a postgraduate student. I actually have an overall arrangement for my creations. I once tried to create a series of work in the distorted spaces of operating rooms when I was a graduate freshman, which is my first work during postgraduate study. I have made some material experiments since then, and then gradually found the direction of creation. My current work has matured itself, only the basic dotsremained on the screen, lines and surfaces, which is a flat structural relationship, and I took it as a clue for my long-term creation, which has been extended to the present. It is both a progressive process and result of the constant pursuit of changes that the continuous process of the early “Dot” series replaced the“Absolute Center”, and I hope that I can make a little change in each painting, and then continuously promote my creation, to form more possibilities.
CAFA ART INFO: How did you develop the “Dot” series to the “Absolute Center”series? I see the “Dot” series are colored, while the “Absolute Center” series exhibit only black and white, why did you make such as change?
Yin: We are now faced with many colors of strong visual impact which have never appeared during the ancient times and traditional Chinese painting, for example, fluorescein red, fluorescein yellow, yellow green. I wanted to directly show the impact brought by these colors, so I used these colors directly rather than reconciling them. Because only one color was simple for the screen, through rigorously integrating the relationships between dots, lines and surfaces, so that the screen was of a basic power, I was then able to form a visual impact. The starting point of creation was straightforward, and I was keen to carve these simple things, after trying to show a large number of tones, I decided to create steady ones with spatial changes for my graduation creation. The graduation creation “Absolute Center Series No.3” is a summary of my works, but I also hoped to make some new performances in the course of the creation.
CAFA ART INFO: In the change and development of the “Dot” series to the “Absolute Center” series, did you encounter any problems, how did you solve these problems? And where is the innovationthat you just mentioned?
Yin: When I participated in some activities, some people thought my paintings dislodged the artificial, some thought my paintings were partial to design. As long as the viewing path is designed in advance, it will be strict and it is easy for people to think of it in this way, so that I subjectively made a new attempt, and tried to reflect a feeling of Chinese ink in my paintings, trying to create in-depth performance of painting through the creation.
CAFA ART INFO: “Absolute Center” located in the exhibition hall offers people a strong attraction to the wall, did you pre-design it?
Yin: This visual effect can be both said to be designed in advance and to be a beautiful accident. The vision of the screen, optical illusion is an important topic for abstract painting. No matter if it is narrative or not, the painting uses the vision to impress the audience. In the painting, the attention matches the vision, which is a very interesting question. In the “Absolute Center”, I want to create this feeling that the more detailed the viewer sees, the less things one can see, but one can enter the painting with only a hasty glimpse.
CAFA ART INFO: What plans and expectations do you have for your future creation?
Yin: The artist is always hoping to do something that others have never done. I create as I am interested in it, and I think it has never been done by others, which gives me the energy and impulse to finish it. In addition, if I think the logic of a work is self-consistent and rigorous, I will do it right away. After graduation, I will create a series of works, continuing to develop them in terms of painting, maintaining the basic elements of a formal structure, dislodging part, and I hope the graduation creation is a start. I may be engaged in work related to painting after graduation, so that I can ensure I have time to paint and to continuously study. I hope that I can fully express the ideas of this stage in both the quality and quantity of my works, in the following 3 or 5 years.
Photo courtesy of the artist