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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese ink painting’

Tsong Pu discusses six artworks: Part III – On local recognition of local art and the cube redefined

Posted by artradar on September 15, 2010


TAIWANESE CONTEMPORARY ART INSTALLATION TAIWAN-CHINA RELATIONS ARTIST INTERVIEW

When Tsong Pu was studying overseas in the 1970s he would introduce himself as Chinese or as being from China. Later, as China opened it’s borders and more art from the country was exposed to the outside world, Tsong began to introduce himself as Taiwanese. Now, he introduces himself as a Shanghai-born artist who lives in Taiwan.

Cultural relations between Taiwan and China have always been complicated and the current success Chinese contemporary artists are enjoying globally generally outstrips that of artists who are living and working in Taiwan. Although originally from China himself, abstract artist Tsong Pu does not see much collaboration between the two countries.

“Each side does their own thing. At the moment you will find that very few Taiwanese artists show their work in Mainland China, in galleries or in museums. But you will find that many artists from China show their works in Taiwanese galleries or museums.”

Tsong believes that Taiwanese artists and art professionals need to work hard to change this situation, “to give collectors and buyers more confidence in Taiwanese art.” He goes on to state that the Chinese art market is created and supported by the Taiwanese collector.

“Much of the artwork coming out of China is being sold to Taiwanese collectors. The [Taiwanese] government supports Chinese artists, but the Chinese government doesn’t support Taiwanese artists.”

This view is expressed in the installation One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media), which we discuss with Tsong in this article. Blake Carter, writing for the Taipei Times in November last year, talked about the piece:

“I was surprised to find that some of the ropes he installed at the Biennial fall onto a bent metal signpost that reads ‘Taiwan Contemporary Art Museum.’ There is no such place. Many artists complain that Taiwan’s museums – especially in the capital, and specifically the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) – don’t pay enough attention to the country’s artists.”

Blake went on to say that “Taiwanese artists are relegated to the museum’s smaller galleries downstairs while Chinese artists Fang Lijun, Cai Guo-Qiang and Ai Weiwei get large exhibitions at TFAM.” When asked by Blake whether One Comes from Emptiness was a comment on Taiwan’s art institutions and their treatment of Taiwanese art and artists, Tsong replied, “Yes.”

This is part three of a three part series. In this part we relay to you Tsong’s views on the artistic relationship between Taiwan and China and look at two further installations by the artist. Both of these works are tied to the artist’s signature grid pattern, the repetition of 1 x 1 cm squares often intersected with a diagonal line. This grid form is represented in the weave of the nylon rope in One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media) and pulled apart and reconstituted in the separate canvases of Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media). For more on what to expect from the first and second parts of this series, please read the notes at the bottom of this post.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes From Emptiness', 2009, mixed media installation, 10 x 1075 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes from Emptiness', 2009, mixed media installation, 10 x 1075 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media installation) was shown at Viewpoints and Viewing Points: 2009 Asian Art Biennial. In your artist statement for this exhibition you suggested that people from the West and people from the East will perceive this installation differently. Could you explain further?

“I tried to pretend that the rope is just like calligraphy: more natural and softer. This soft line is like Chinese calligraphy or Chinese traditional ink painting. When you see a Chinese courtyard, it makes you feel very natural, it’s soft…. It has something representing the water, the wind, the earth. I used very simple lines or string to create circles. These circles remind me of a Japanese courtyard, its oriental elements, and the lines are like the rain. A traditional Chinese courtyard always expresses these kinds of things. I tried to … merge [this] with Western style.

The steel part is more structural – it has more strength – and represents Western art expression: strong, energetic, long lasting. I am influenced by an artist from England called Anthony Caro who creates sculptures from steel.”

Why do the circles overlay the steel?

“At the very beginning, I tried to present only the circles and the simple white lines but I thought it was too beautiful…. It didn’t have any power. [The circles overlap the steel because] the nylon rope is soft and flexible. It can’t be cut or broken and it will flow over things. Of the material, you can see that one is soft and one is hard, so they contrast. That is the basic structure [of the work]. Different style, different shape, different material, different thinking. But when they come together they can merge.”

So they can exist together?

“Yes, yes. Together they can generate something new, a new way of thinking.”

Is there anything else you’d like to say about One Comes from Emptiness?

“This work was created in 2009. During this year a major typhoon hit Taiwan. This typhoon caused a landslide which covered a mountain village. Because of this event, the natural environment and the view of the landscape was changed. A house that has been moved or destroyed might not actually look so terrible in its new position. After you have viewed it for sometime, you might realise that it actually looks quite beautiful.”

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

We are interested in your installation Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media) because you showed it in 1996 and then again this year at your TFAM retrospective, “Art From the Underground“. Can you explain the relationship between the objects and each painting?

“The idea for this work comes from [Transposition of Light and Water (1992, mixed media installation)] but it is represented in a different space. I took one cube from this work and distributed it into several pieces.”

The way you have used the gallery space in Declaration Independence is quite different to how you have used it in other installation pieces.

“These are canvases, just like [The White Line on Grey (mixed media, 1983)] is a canvas. I used the same technique [to paint them both]. The ones that are the same are grouped together. The paintings are like different pages in a book; the pattern [on the canvases] resembles words without any special meaning.

This [coat hanging on the wall] is an object and this object has some dimension – it is 3D and not flat – but [the paintings] are flat, so when they are placed with the 3D objects they will have a conversation. The paintings are like a code and when I separate them in this way they are like the pages [of a book] on the wall.

The paintings have no meaning, but the objects may project some meaning onto them. Among the objects are some maps. When all these things are separate they have no meaning but when they are placed together they could have some meaning. I am not sure whether the paintings influence the objects, or the objects influence the paintings. When you open a book there is a lot of information in it. It is like this book on the wall has been opened and many things have started to happen. There is a conversation between [the paintings and the objects], a relationship.”

And is it you, the artist, who brings meaning to this book, or is it the task of the viewer?

“It should be both. I hope it is the viewer.”

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 2010, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 2010, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

About this series

This Art Radar interview with Taiwanese artist Tsong Pu has been presented in three parts. In part one, Master Tsong discusses two works in which he has used and adapted his most well known technique, a 1 cm by 1 cm grid pattern. In part two, the artist speaks on two very different installation pieces, close in date of construction but not in their theory of development. Part three talks about some of the artist’s most recent installation work.

We have also premised each part with some of the artist’s views on the current Taiwanese contemporary art industry, as developed from his roles as mentor, curator and master artist.

KN

Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, interviews, installation art

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Liu Kuo-sung London retrospective inspires potential British Museum collection

Posted by artradar on May 26, 2010


As reported by various Taiwanese media outlets, the British Museum has recently expressed interest in collecting works by Chinese/Taiwanese modernist Liu Kuo-sung.

This interest follows a well-received mini-retrospective of 25 of the artist’s paintings at London’s Goedhuis Contemporary. The museum is reported to be interested in acquiring two paintings: Rising Sun, a colour painting from 2008, and Sun and Moon: Floating? Sinking? from 1970.

Liu Kuo-sung, Midnight Sun, 2005, ink and colour on paper, on five panels

Liu Kuo-sung, Midnight Sun, 2005, ink and colour on paper, on five panels

Liu Kuo-sung is known as one of the founders of the New Ink Painting movement. Curator Michael Goedhuis explained that “Liu was the first ethnic Chinese artist in the late fifties to study Western art diligently. He spent forty years to create a new artistic language by importing Western artistic concepts into classical Chinese culture.”

Liu Kuo-sung Heaven Lake 1982 ink on paper

Liu Kuo-sung, Heaven Lake, 1982, ink on paper

The artist was born in China but moved to Taiwan in 1949, where he studied fine art at the National Taiwan Normal University. Early on, Liu experimented with abstract oil paintings before developing a unique work practice in the mid-1960s in which he applies ink and colour on special paper. His work is represented in 52 museums and art collections around the world.

KN

Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, Chinese artists, museum collectors, ink painting

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Chinese ink artist Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian shows 80 works in Spain – Guardian, Int Literary Quarterly

Posted by artradar on January 18, 2009


gaoxingjian4602xingjian_the_auspices1

CHINESE INK PAINTING

This exhibition references three trends we are noticing in the art world now: a new interest in ink as a medium, a turning towards the traditional arts as a counterpoint to the recent interest in political art then new media and finally, as Melissa Chiu of the Asia Society has pointed out in the video Inside Chinese Contemporary Art, the growing influence of cultural and political refugee artists on the art practices in their birth countries.

The Deluge to March 2009

Museo Wurth La Rioja presents the exhibition ‘After the Deluge’ which brings together 80 Chinese ink works on canvas and paper by the prestigious Chinese artist Gao Xingjian (China, 1940), 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature. Regarded as one of the most important Chinese writers at present, Gao Xingjian still is not well known as a painter in Spain, although he is recognized by the international art scene and his oeuvre was previously exhibited at the Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid, 2002) says Art Knowledge News.

His work has been presented in several solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the United States, and is included in several important art collections including the Singapore Art Museum, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Modern Art Sweden.

Although Gao Xingjian is well-known for having received the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 2000, his long, versatile professional career reveals him to be a novelist, playwright and essayist, a film and stage director as well as an artist of great international renown according to the Museum. 

Literature and painting encounter serene complicity in the figure of the artist, in which the one is the inseparable complement to the other, one is an extension of the other: “I paint when I am tired of writing. I write when I am tired of painting”.

Gao’s paintings are in Chinese ink, sometimes on small sheets of rice paper, sometimes on large format canvases. The gouache technique, which comes from the traditional Chinese technique of xieyi (literally “painting of the feelings” or “writing of the spirit”), allows him to create subtle, intuitive settings and characters who move in the limits between  figurative and abstract art.

Gao uses Chinese ink with light, fluent strokes, full of contrasts which explore the expressive possibilities of black, creating nuances, light, chiaroscuros, textures and volumes which spring from the artist’s own introspection. Gao paints from the emotions and his forms suggest sensations (Search, Nostalgia, Illusion) subtle natural phenomena (Momentary Rain, The Mist) or the artist’s vision of the presence (Alienation, The End of the World, The Flight).

 

As a refugee of the Cultural Revolution now settled in France, Gao Xinjiang’s art practice is irrevocably marked by his experiences. The Guardian says

Though he enjoys dancing, swimming in the sea and cooking seafood, Gao says he works “non-stop, 12 hours a day”, and never takes summer holidays “or even weekends, because freedom of expression is so precious to me”.

 

Though the Open Door policy operating since the eighties which allows new freedoms to Chinese people, has also brought with it difficulties

The market pressures China now shares with the west are, (Gao) believes, “harder to resist than political and social customs”. He feels lucky that his ink paintings were selling in Europe before he fled, and have been widely exhibited. “I could make a living, so I could write books that didn’t sell much. I always understood that literature can’t be a trade; it’s a choice.” Painting, he says, “begins where language fails”, and he works listening to music – often Bach.

Gao describes his experience of political control being all the harder to bear after his idyllic upbringing in the  intellectually-stimulating open-minded environment created by his parents.

Many people would remember their childhood as a painful, suffering memory. I am extremely lucky in comparison. My mother was educated in an American missionary school so she was very open-minded, and my father had been very much influenced by Western thoughts and ideals. At the same time he was learned in classical Chinese culture. In my family there was no sense of hierarchy, there was no patriarchal control of any kind. I was totally free, I could do whatever I liked, and I was also good at my studies so my parents did not try to influence me whatsoever, in any way. I was completely myself. The first ever sense of control or manipulation or power put upon me was when I first went to University; it was 1957. We had the anti-writers movements, a political campaign against writers and artists. That was the very first time I experienced opposition or some form of control over me.

Since my university years, I have been subject to all kind of politics, all kinds of political control and manipulation, and I very much want to separate myself from that, and I am now advocating or promoting art and literature which is apolitical, which is not used as a tool in politics, it actually transcends and goes beyond and is above politics, it has nothing to do with politics. That is the kind of art and literature I want to promote. So all those political discourses and political language, they are public, they are there to command. Political discourse is the discourse of power, and it is also a public discourse, it doesn’t represent an individual.

His paintings have been described as “infused with the still, reflective quality of Zen Buddhism” and it is in the spirit of xeiyi and the expression of universal feelings that we are to understand the works in this show.

See sources

Gao Xingjiang’s book Return to Painting presents a collection of more than one hundred of the author’s paintings, created from India ink on rice paper, that span his artistic career from the 1960s to the present day.

More stories on ink, Chinese artists, museum shows, events on now, art as meditation, political art, cultural revolution

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New York gallery launches series 15 New Chinese Ink artist solo shows – Yishu

Posted by artradar on October 16, 2008


Wei Ligang

Wei Ligang

CHINESE NEW INK

Goedhuis Contemporary will launch a series of 15 solo artist shows devoted solely to the modernist and avant-garde practitioners of the New Chinese Ink Painting with a special show of works by Wei Ligang (b. 1964 Datong City, Shanxi) at its New York gallery from September 25 – October 18.

A selection of Wei Ligang’s works will also be featured at Goedhuis Contemporary exhibitions in October at the Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, the International Art + Design Fair, and International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show in New York, and at two Miami shows in December, Art Miami and artAsia.

It is difficult for the West to realize how much courage is required for a Chinese artist to in any way tamper with the hallowed calligraphic formulae evolved by past masters over the last 2000 years. Wei Ligang’s paintings constitute no less than a new pictorial language in which his abstract characters allude to, but also have broken away from, the logic of tradition and emerge in beautiful, relaxed new structures of line and form.

While calligraphy has been the defining feature of Chinese culture, linked to music and dance and ranked alongside poetry as one of the highest forms of Chinese art, it is also a tremendously powerful vehicle for expression in these revolutionary times in China’s political and social history. Wei Ligang goes so far to claim that the only completely Chinese art form today is abstract calligraphy, written on Chinese paper in Chinese ink. Wei Ligang is among the leading artists engaged in a great aesthetic challenge to ensure that this most revered art form can develop so as to be relevant and meaningful not just to China, but throughout the world.

The emphatic Chinese-ness of Wei’s work, which springs in part from his desire to resist the overwhelming influence of Western art, derives from his concern to evoke echoes of the past by de-constructing and re-configuring ancient scripts while still alluding to them through his brush-work and fluctuating densities of ink. Wei Ligang’s objective is not to provide textural gratification but to stimulate the viewer to enjoy the magical transformation of a historical tradition with a continuous intellectual life of more than 3,500 years.

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New Singapore museum officially opens with contemporary Chinese ink exhibition

Posted by artradar on August 22, 2008


Nan Qi Riding Series 23

Nan Qi Riding Series 23

 

 

 

NEW MUSEUM CONTEMPORARY INK EXHIBITION to 7 September 2008

Just behind the busy streets of Orchard road in Singapore, The Luxe Art Museum occupies two floors of the newly-built Luxe building, with a total of seven hundred square meters of exhibition space and state-of-the-art lighting and display facilities. It officially opened on 6 August.

In affiliation with Yisulang Art Gallery, the Luxe Art Museum aims to propel contemporary Chinese fine arts to the forefront of the art world across Southeast Asia and beyond; by building a representative permanent collection and exhibiting renowned art thus providing a platform for critical fine art research and debate.

Its inaugural exhibition “Chinese Desires” shows contemporary Chinese ink painting by Li Jin, Associate Professor Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Wu Yi lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Nan Qi a professional artist from Beijing.

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Asian Art Triennial Manchester UK 5 April – 1 June 2008

Posted by artradar on April 6, 2008


INDIA SINGAPORE CHINA KOREA TAIWAN The UK’s first Asian Art Triennial opens 5 April -1 June 2008 and is conceived by Shisha, the UK’s premier international agency for contemporary South Asian crafts and visual arts, in partnership with Castlefield Gallery, Chinese Arts Centre, Cornerhouse, The International 3, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Metropolitan University.  

 

Asia Triennial Manchester 08 shows fresh and innovative work that represents the best of contemporary visual art from Asia: a festival of visual culture that not only celebrates Manchester’s diverse communities but also explores cultural, artistic and political debates of the 21st century. The international programme features stunning venue-based exhibitions, surprising site-specific new commissions, innovative residencies and extraordinary publicly sited work by artists from Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. None of the work featured has been seen in the UK before and for some of the artists ATM08 will be their UK debut. 

 

The inaugural Asia Triennial Manchester (ATM08) programme echoes Manchester’s radical political and social history, reflects new artistic practice, and seeks resonances between the city and Asia by exploring the notion of ‘protest’ – in its widest sense.  

 

Castlefield Gallery is working with Channel A (Hongjohn Lin and Ella Raidel) from Taiwan and p-10 (Woon Tien Wei, Jennifer Teo working with collaborators Jeremy Chu and Kai Lam) from Singapore who will reside in Manchester in the lead up to ATM08. The gallery space will become a hive of activity with both groups presenting new site-specific work that has been developed through their time in the city. 


Channel A will reinvent the identity of the 18th century bogus Taiwanese, George Psalmanaazaar, as an estate agent, in order to explore the notion of property and fantasy in Manchester and Taiwan. p-10 will create a symposium platform for an accumulative research based investigation into different notions of ‘localness’ within the context of the international Triennial and Biennial. Chinese Arts Centre has initiated both a residency and exhibition programme. 


There will be two artists’ residencies, March – April with Chinese artist Mao Yan Yang, who will continue his interrogation of the media’s depiction of events focusing on the Triennial’s theme of protest and May – June with Hong Kong comic artist Kong Kee


For the exhibition, the Centre is working with two Mainland Chinese artists, Chen Shaoxiong and Qiu Anxiong, who both use Chinese ink painting in an experimental way. Using their daily life story and a modern city portrait, they create new ink paintings and animation, which illustrate a sense of insecurity of the rapid urban development in China.  


Cornerhouse is staging “What do you want?” with artists Tejal Shah, Jasmeen Patheja, Shilpa Gupta, Surekha and Shaina Anand, all living in India and working amongst a new generation of artists with activist concepts. The exhibition and community project challenges traditional cultural opinion, contemporary political issues and controversial social situations, the artists use photography, performance, sculpture, video and new media to analyse problems faced by Indian women and those living within conventional family structures. 

 

The International 3‘s project features Chinese artist Han Bing whose work uses photography, video and performative social interventions to question everyday living and the impact of human progress. Han Bing’s art manifests a kind of amor mundi — love of the world — investing ordinary objects with a subtle sense of the sacred. For ATM08, Bing is planning to involve approximately 100 local people in the European premiere of a surprising outdoor performance in Manchester on Saturday 12 April. 


Manchester Art Gallery presents contemporary work by two Korean artists, Gwon Osang and Choe U- ram. Gwon Osang makes extraordinary life-size sculptures of people. He uses hundreds of photographic images to build up the surface appearance of his models, including the face, their hair and their clothes. The process gives his beautifully crafted figures both photo-realist and surreal qualities.  Following a recent Manchester residency, Gwon is now creating new work including a sculpture of the musician Graham Massey – best known as a member of Manchester’s electronic pioneers 808 State. This will be exhibited from 5 April together with an existing work Control. 


Manchester Art Gallery also presents Gwon’s first major UK solo exhibition from 21 June – 21 September 2008. Choe U-ram uses precision cut and polished metals, machinery and electronics to create stunning kinetic sculptures inspired by sea creatures and plant life. Two of the artist’s enormous robotic works, Urbanus Female and Urbanus Male, will be exhibited for the first time in the UK in the gallery’s atrium 5 April – 21 September 2008.  


Source: press release 

 www.asiatriennialmanchester.com

Posted in Anime, Chinese, Feminist art, Indian, Ink, Korean, New Media, Performance, Photography, Sculpture, Singaporean, Southeast Asian, Taiwanese, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »