We are creatures of changes and transformations. Through time and circumstances we change within and with the planet we live in. There are no consistency in our existence and our environment and physicality thrives on constant transformation.
Through the ages painters has always try to capture the transformation of light and shadow within their art while sculptors create physical objects that distort the perception of reality. The painter allows us a window to view an alternative reality envisioned by him/her while the sculptor manipulates objects into 3 dimensional creation. I always believe the painter is more attune to our viewing perception as we all see the world through a bounded framework; the design of our eyes. Our vision is controlled by the shape of our pupils and eye lids as well as our cerebral cortex. A painting provides a “window” towards the artist’s imagination and the sculptor construct an object of his/her imagination for us to interpret. What the sculpture mostly fails is on distorting the reality beyond the created object while painting can frame us within his/her canvas.
There is a short coming of a painting though. Whatever technique he/her employed in which ever medium him/her have chosen it seems always to fail to capture the essence of change within our world. This is mostly related to the fact that a painting, in its 2 dimensional form, cannot fully absorb the true essence of light, shadow and time.
Our world cannot be viewed without light and shadow and this 3 dimensionality formulates rules and boundaries that guide our activities and action. This is of course related directly to time as the change of lights and shadows becomes intertwine with our behavior and action.
For the better part of the last 10 years I have always quest for a method to capture the transformation of these 3 elements. I have struggle intensely to overcome the inadequateness of my paintings and try profusely to “paint”, or “sculpt” inconsistency into my art but have always been disappointed with the result. Thus this year, 2012, a revelation happened in the pursue of my philosophy in embracing the ideology of chaos.
I realize myself, as well as many artist before me, has been seeking a solution to replicate this transformation in the wrong way. We have been trying so hard to mimic this naturally occurring phenomenon I realize we have completely gone in the wrong direction. We should not have been to mimic, but to embrace these changes through methods that are much more related with a sculpture.
The method I realize is to create a painting by first considering all 3 elements of light, shadow and time as the preliminary criteria and not to add them afterwards. I realize we have to stop trying to capture the moment of the light rays or shadows during that specific period of time and embrace all the moments in one single stroke. In other words I realize the French Impressionists methodology were wrong.
In order to capture the instability of the aforementioned elements we have to be honest in accepting them. Fabric is one of the most malleable materials in the world and it is so flexible and variable in texture and transparency that the possible geometrical composition is infinite. Owning my background to architecture, the fabric has been used extensively in many building design and one of the most common method of usage is that of the tensile membrane structure. This is engineered by pulling the fabric very strongly in any appropriate direction and introducing protruding structure to create a taught and stable solid form. The form itself can be created in an infinite amount of composition and it is with this amazing level of manipulation that I start to think about the play of shadow and light.
The first series of “tension” paintings is about the 5 seasons.
But there are only 4 seasons in our planet so what does the fifth entails? The first series of spring, summer, autumn and winter painting are connected to my feelings of Beijing and its seasons. The fifth is about the overexpansion of the city that escalates pollution, which in turn affects all these seasons. It is a metaphorical reminder of how progress can change the perception of the weather and how we, as part of the city and planet, need to constitute reflection in our attitude towards the environment.
Each painting composes of the same geometrical theme of tensile fabric structure in 3D protrusion but each form is unique to the relevant painting. The color and texture employed are also relevant to the theme of each artwork but all of them share the same idea: when different angle, time or luminosity strikes the artwork, the light and shadow alters differently to the created form. This can all be achieve by means of natural light guided by the essence of time as well as by artificial illumination. The location placement as well as direction of the canvas also alters the aforementioned qualities and this represents the metaphor of constant transformation in our world.
Alternate reality has become so imbedded in our lives where 3D TV, touch screen technology as well as virtual reality cyberspace has subconsciously merges with our physical reality that the boundary of what is real and artificial seems blurred. I believe paintings needs to embrace this change and introduce chaos and tactile physical form that remind us we need adaptation in our lives and nothing is ever static!
Size: 130cm x 130cm
Medium: Tensioned Fabrics over Canvas with Acrylic Protrusion Rods