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The 3rd Project Exhibition of The 4th Guangzhou Triennial

Dimensions — Analysis of Three Art Cases




As an important way of observation and expression for the Chinese, Chinese ink painting has become the unique product through the process of planting the traditional culture into a real context. And therefore the contemporary ink painting that develops under a new cultural context is gaining more and more attention in the art world. Since the writing program and norm of aesthetics that Chinese ink painting lives on have rooted in the Chinese cultural tradition, and the limitation of ink language and media, it is hard for the Chinese ink painting to extend a new artistic practice internally. Therefore it has never gained a proper opportunity to enter the contemporary progress. Whenever the contemporary ink is mentioned, the traditional ink painting will be reminded. From a doubt towards the traditional ink painting was raised and then a break through for the rule of ink painting undertook in the 1970s, the rebel to the tradition and reference from the West in the 1980s, till the series of experiments of ink painting in 1990s, the development of ink painting still bears a conflict with the “tradition”. In other words, the contemporary ink painting is in fact a cultural phenomenon of deconstructing and reconstructing the new dimension of ink painting.


The contemporary ink painters find a new breach in contemporary culture theory through deconstructing, transforming, and rearranging of the traditional language system and adopting other experiences. This exhibition shows the individual personalities from a universal artistic phenomenon through an analysis of cases, so that a more accurate direction for the research of contemporary ink painting could be found. The works of Zuo Zhengyao gain a strong trait of ink expression, combination of up-right individuals, forming an overwhelming power. He utilizes the traditional ink language to create a pattern of ink painting which is full of conception. Through a presentation of femininity issue, the colonialism, the issues of identity and right for speaking, and even the urban consumption, consumer culture and other social as well as cultural issuers are mirrored inside his works. Therefore the irrationality of the internal society is unveiled, and an attempt to find a legal way for an improvement is carried out. Compared with Zuo, Liu Qinghe disassembles the traditional ink one step further in his works. He consciously

puts the focus on the reality and social issues. The artist starts from the peculiarity of the ink material, and depicts the sense of loss in man, the absurdity and helplessness in life through a stroke image of ink painting. The solemn themes in the works of Zuo and Liu are replaced by various

absurd matters in the works of Wu Yi. A languishing joy is reflected in the simple and elegant pictures. The poetic elegance in traditional ink painting is easily and directly shifted to a fun of grace. The changes showed in these three art cases look simple, but underneath is the rich knowledge of tradition and understanding of the current cultural situation from the artists.


In recent years the researches for Chinese ink painting and all kinds of exhibitions have vied with each other. Though some did produce cutting-edge value and criticalness, most of them emerged for a profit in the market. As three typical art cases, the three artists showed in this exhibition have all worked hard for the transition of traditional painting through various aspects. They have built new dimensions for the Chinese ink painting that fits the current cultural context as they deconstruct and break the value and rules of the traditional ink painting.


                                      Director of Guangdong Museum of Art Luo Yiping

                   April, 2012

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