Seeing into my artwork is like going on a very dangerous journey, one that requires the participants to let go of their security and preconceived mindset, and must be willing to experiences doubt and suffering. From the beginning of my artistic career, I was deeply in love with the Ancient Chinese calligraphy, not because of my affinity as an Asian person, but because of the essence. In my point of view, the essence is the source that is closer to the truth. Ancient Chinese language is elusive, it can have multi-meanings and multi-levels of understanding depend on each individual’s cultivation.
See the figure below for example. Fig. 1 Ding Shimei. River. 2008 http://www. skyren-art.
com/en/dingshimei/calligraphy-/210-xijingyue. htmlThe Ancient Chinese character for river, one wriggly line in the middle and a few lines on four corners. Can you get the idea? From this jump off point, I develop an eye for mark makings. I learning that to make marks is the first step in deconstructing an idea or concept of a two-dimensional artwork.
Historically, I was influenced heavily from Rembrandt’s paintings. I don’t think he is a virtuoso painter, but I appreciate the quality of minimal and simple, slap of paints that he puts on the canvas to show the subtlety of light. Here I am not talking about the chiaroscuro, but the part that is in the darkest area of most of his painting. It seems like nothing, but it is everything! See the figure below. Fig.
2. Rembrandt. http://www. artwallpaper. me/wallpaper/archives/2202/rembrandt-wallpaper-paintingWhen carefully observe Rembrandt painting, I discover that each brushstroke is direct and right to the point, nothing is wasting. Analytically, I adapt the idea of simplify my marks, thus is able to conserve energy, and at the same time, using the reserve energy to do more.
Which bring up another key artist, Tom Freidman, that I found very intriguing and able to appropriate some of his mind-blowing, simplistic concept. Tom Freidman “tooks every day materials and turn it into something greater than themselves,”? this concept is rather disturbing. I always try so hard going outside of myself to find the next big things, in the end, it’s always turns out crabby. In his work, 1000 Hours of Staring (1992-97), he stated, “I like the challenge of its ultimate essence, its essential self, again and again,”² is so profound, by “renewing the understanding”? of a piece of paper, he is able transcend itself.
Like Freidman, I favor the minimalist’s concept of returning to the simple form (Freidman refer to as “suchness”), as a “coping mechanism” against the invasion of Wifi and the bombardment of a “pop-trash” culture. Technology and new media are fast on the rise and has become a necessity, while corporations and entrepreneurs take advantage of the trend to delivers advertises and propagandas. No matter where we turn, there are more sex on television, trashy pop-ups on internet, and apps for literally everything one can imagine, neuroscientist David Eagleman warns, “as our dependence shifts onto the Net, so do our vulnerabilities. ”
1. Tom Friedman. Artist Biography.
Gagosian Gallery. ttp://www. gagosian. com/artists/tom-friedman (accessed on September 29, 2014)2.
Tom Friedman. Not Something Else. Tomio Koyama Gallery. http://www.
tomiokoyamagallery. com/exhibitions_en/tomfriedman-exhibition-2009_en/(accessed on September 29, 2014)3. Ibid. 4. CNN.