主题：沈勤 南溪 刘庆和 蔡广斌 柴一茗 张诠 谭军 郝世明
新作：罗奇 沈爱其 马东民 李永波 王大伟 郑佳飞
Issue No. 84(2013)
Theme: Why Should We Re-Ink
Academic Host: Ji Shaofeng
A.T: Shen Qin, Nan Xi, Liu Qinghe, Cai Guangbin, Chai Yiming, Zhang Quan, Tan Jun, Hao Shiming
A.N: Luo Qi, Shen Aiqi, Ma Dongmin, Li Yongbo, Wang Dawei, Zheng Jiafei
Why Should We “Re-ink”
学术主持：冀少峰 ACADEMIC HOST: JI SHAOFENG；
In December 2012, Mr. Lu Hong and I planned and organized “Re-ink Painting: 2000-2012 Chinese Contemporary Ink Painting Invitation Exhibition” in Hubei Museum of Art, which has triggered topics and discussions about ink art. Why, then, should the theme be “re-ink”? This question has led us to reflect on China’s modernization process. Culture has been accompanying the process of modernization in China and has become a sensitive topic during the process. As an important branch of contemporary Chinese art, contemporary Chinese ink art enjoys born ethnic symbols, ethnic roots, ethnic culture and etiquette as well as other representations, etc. However, there are deeper reasons behind “re-ink”: discussions on and background of rechinesization.
It goes without saying that since 2000, Chinese society has been facing “an ever-changing pattern that is unseen in the past hundreds of years”. From this we can have a glimpse of the changes in the development pattern of Chinese society. First, we are transforming gradually from a traditional country to a modern country. Ever since the late Qing Dynasty, during the process of accepting modern civilization, our society has been suffering from all kinds of throes bought by pre-modernization and modernization. Secondly, our country is gradually transforming from an agricultural country to a neo-industrialized country, and this transformation tends to become complete day by day. The third transformation is the intensification of urbanization process, during which we are divorcing from countries and moving towards extensive urbanization. In the urbanization process, various problems are exposed, such as the “agriculture, rural areas and farmers” problem and ecological problems, which plagues us with bitter pains that countries experience during the process of urbanization. As a result, it is not difficult to observe that drastic changes in social, political, economic structures will inevitably affect the development and changes of art and culture.
And when we talk about or pay attention to the development of contemporary Chinese cultural view, such a tendency would undoubtedly catch our eyes: the “rechinesization” in the political culture of Chinese ruling party. Since 1990, traditional culture contents appear more and more often as a slogan in Chinese Communist political culture. Then what is the purpose of “rechinesization”? In fact, “rechinesization” is to take advantage of positive energy of traditional Chinese culture consciously. As a symbol of national culture and etiquette, ink art is undoubtedly a representation of “rechinesization” in the art realm. It can also be said that ink art is often endowed with the great mission of transforming Chinese society. But what kind of ink art could shoulder this historic responsibility? Hereto, the writer argues that “re-ink”, with a contemporary perspective, triggers subversion and transcendence against the traditional sense of ink painting. Re-ink is not limited to differences in medium and ideology compared with traditional ink art, on a deeper level, it is actually trying to re-construct a new field–a field of evaluation criteria and education system for “Chinese painting”. So, in this sense, “re-ink” is not the result, it is actually an issue occurred during the discussion of “rechinesization”, an issue that explores the destination of China, Chinese culture, and Chinese ink painting. Its true meaning is to present the possibilities of ink art in the future. Moreover, since 2000, contemporary Chinese ink art and “re-ink” have obtained features as activeness, impulsiveness, richness, trimmed by mixed collaboration, polysemy, multi-elements and brand new characteristics of China. They constitute keywords and visual narrative paths of contemporary ink painting. So contemporary Chinese ink art would inevitably be confronted with the question of how to respond to the ever-changing society. Of course, we also clearly see that in different periods of social development, contemporary Chinese ink art continuously keeps adapting itself to volatile, constantly changing social reality; meanwhile, it also keeps looking for new topics and new symbols to meet the challenges of society.
“Re-ink” goes beyond the idea of taking ink as the cultural essence and representation of Chinese culture. It exceeds all conventions and norms of ink art, gets rid of principles and rules posed onto ink art, destroys basic rules of ink art, and opens the door for ink art into contemporary times. So “re-ink” as a new form of ink art is placed inevitably into a contemporary cultural context with increasing openness, rich vitality and diversity. Not only does it lead to a second understanding of ink artists towards ink art, but it has enlightened ink artists in that they consciously or unconsciously blend their own visual thinking and self-expression into reflecting contemporary cultural issues. An indisputable fact is that re-ink art has quietly deconstructed the concept of on-shelf ink art. Re-ink is not confined to a cultural form, it has saved on-shelf ink art from the “a little belated” dilemma with its open, inclusive, international, subversive characteristics. It has become a cultural representation of this era and was spread to various artistic forms. Thus, some traditional elements are successfully converted to contemporary expression of feelings. Re-ink has found effective ways of expression in the contemporary cultural context, and has participated in wider international cultural exchanges with a diversified ethnic identity. The distinctive changes bought by re-ink are reflected in the following four areas:
1. Ink art-related installations and images
The contemporary qualities of installation art make it a major postmodern art performance. One of its characteristics is space and volume. Traditional ink painting emphasizes reel, appreciation, long-time preservation. On the contrary, installation art can be eliminated immediately after formation and does not seek for eternality and immortality. The evacuation of boundaries of space and time, the disappearance and reconstruction of language features of ink art in the critical spirit of contemporary society have aroused discussion about the forms of re-ink produced by the combination of ink art and installation. Factors such as the Internetlized survival reality, the intervention of advanced technologies and multimedia tools, virtualized spiritual experience are changing the way people live. Thus expressions of re-ink without brush nor ink, such as design ink art, light & shadow ink art, image ink art emerge, pushing expressions of ink art shifting from upon the shelves to under the shelves, from paper medium to mixed medium, from two dimensional to three dimensional, from static to dynamic. This not only changed the way ink art is presented, but also revolutionized ways of reading and aesthetic habits.
2. Feelings and expression of non-ink artists
The essence of re-ink is not ink or material, but the concepts presented. Under new narrative context, some mature artists have placed more emphasis on traditional foundation with a focus on individual originality while highlighting contemporary cultural characteristics. As they are not burdened by ink, they enjoy more openness and freedom in exploring new possibilities of ink art.
3. New images of ink art
There are still some artists sticking to exploring on-shelf ink art. They still persist in using the on-shelf ink art as a weapon against artistic and social revolutions. Although they are still using the traditional medium, their art is completely different from traditional ink art. Their art is produced by contemporary artists’ reflection on contemporary social life. It is concerned with the living conditions and living circumstances of contemporary people: It has a consistent awareness of questions boasted by contemporary art and highlights the spirit of questioning, which reflects profound humanistic care that goes straight into the depths of contemporary art.
4. New ways of ink art in micro-era – micro-narration, micro experience, micro expression
In the era when popular culture arises and the image era steps forwards, the global integration of capital has inevitably brought great changes to human souls. And people born in post 70s or 80s are both sensitive to the changes of the times and the survival experience of themselves. They are romantic, fantastic, or even with traits like sleepwalking or delusion. They are surviving in a void of Internetlized reality. They have created a discourse space reserved for themselves. It is especially noticeable that while the micro-blog and micro message are quietly changing the way we live, arts are also changing quietly. We can see almost real images, fast and convenient mobile reading; we can see numbers begin to squeeze texts, interfaces constantly bully paper, reading pictures take the place of reading texts, which can be summed as a kind of individual micro-resistance against society. With passion inside their inner selves, they keep a true record of the social reality we live in. They have melted macro narration by micro narration of social and artistic life, socialist experience by micro experience, and ended a generation’s collective experience and collective memories by micro expression. Ink art of micro-era still reflects the intrinsic art form and profound shift in the mentality of a new generation of artists. This is not only a shift in visual images, but also passionate thinking and visual imagination of the youth in micro era harbor towards the volatile society. Confronted with drastic changes of macro-structure of society as a whole, the society would inevitably compel them to make self-reflection and judgment. So how should we respond to social changes? Micro era has brought about disclosure and transparency of the world’s information, and invoked many problems we never met or thought of, which are hard to answer if we rely solely on existing stock of knowledge and ideas. Therefore, in order to solve the problems, the new generation of artists are keen enough to seize the cultural pulse of the micro era and astute enough in answering cultural issues of micro era. It is no exaggeration to say that ink art in the micro era contains re-ink’s hope and vision towards the future.
18:30, June 21st, 2013 at Sanguandian, East Lake