主题：林海钟 吴强 董天昊 马骏 刘琦 梁硕 赵鹏 姚媛
新作：杜小同 刘野 曾健勇 谢晓虹 杨光 韩方
Issue No. 89(2014)
Theme: Cross-boundary Ink Paintings and Individual Strategy
Academic Host: Fu Xiaodong
A.T: Lin Haizhong, Wu Qiang, Dong Tianhao, Ma Jun, Liu Qi, Liang Shuo, Zhao Peng, Yao Yuan
A.N: Du Xiaotong, Liu Ye, Zeng Jianyong, Xie Xiaohong, Yang Guang, Han Fang
Cross-boundary Ink Paintings and Individual Strategy
学术主持：付晓东 ACADEMIC HOST: FU XIAODONG
Imagine a vast coordinate where the contemporary visual cultural system exists, the horizontal of which is packed with the development of different scientific fields of human civilization and the vertical of which extends the timeline of the ancient history and unlimited future of anthropology. Everyone has his own track in the time and space he has lived. On the one hand, we are facing with the Chinese contemporary art which is generally based on the system of the western contemporary artistic values. There is urgency to rethink the internationalized criticism and universalism as well as to seriously treat the immense cultural resources provided by the local cultural system. On the other, we are always in the zoo composed of the eastern and western politics, economy and power, in the network constituted by the increasing international exhibitions and communications, and in the unpredictable communicating domain formed between the artists, intellectuals, media and collectors. In the worldwide resonance and competition of thoughts, no one can escape the mutual influence between him and others.
WHAT IS CROSS-BOUNDARY INK PAINTING?
“Cross-boundary ink painting” is the ever-changing real-time relationship between the contemporary art and ink painting. “Cross-boundary ink painting” not only depends on the stepping-in of other media, or with the thinking patterns of different art media, such as installation, image and performance, habitually brought in by the artists from their original working fields. It also includes the stepping-out of the explorers themselves from the ink painting medium into the surrounding systems and the knowledge system of different fields outside ink painting. On the one hand, “cross-ink painting” presents the obvious difference between the similar languages in the same cultural domain, and the disagreement, the estrangement and foreignness between each other. On the other, it reflects the mobility and mutual integration of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary communications. There is a need of some challenging dialogic standpoint and the acknowledgement of the ever-blurring boundary between the “ink painting” and the “contemporary art”.
With the infiltration and integration of different knowledge systems, the simple extension of ink painting as a kind of medium undoubtedly underestimates the value of ink painting itself as a kind of knowledge system. Although “ink painting” is named after its material, just like drawing paper, canvas cloth and photography, ink painting has not been directly categorized into the kind of drawing paper or water color whereas the “feature of ink painting” or the “spirit of ink painting” has been repeatedly discussed. As for the customary understanding of “ink painting”, I’ d like to take it as a subject of knowledge system with a complete set of traditional aesthetic formula and internal accumulation, which represents the “Chinese art spirit” as what Zong Baihua saidas well as. It is also the reason why we cannot simply regard it at ease as a medium which can be arbitrarily disposed without any specific meaning or attribute. Just as in Chinese painting, “brush and ink” never refers to the simple sum of the tool and material – the “brush” and the “ink”, but a complete set of standards and requirements of the “brush and ink” as an aesthetic category. The name is just a metonymic reference. Only when ink painting itself becomes a system with a complete set of values and methodology, it is possible for it to have real exchange with other categories and disciplines. The system includes the gradually formed traditions, which had been sublated and reserved traditions in the history, including not only the classic traditions of Chinese literati paintings but also the scroll paintings, the religious and tomb frescoes and the folk art traditions in the Han and the Tang Dynasties, in which there were the integration of different art categories such as stone carving and utensils, with the cultural psychology of times existing in every fragment. Can we regard the “ink painting” system more broadly as various cultural spirits, aesthetic habits and historical knowledge about Chinese tradition? Even in the far-off ancient times, the ink painting did not exist alone but was closely related with religious faith, decorum, social custom and interpersonal communication, and was at first mutually infiltrated and mingled with the ideological views of the whole society at that time. Therefore, ink painting has always been featured with the record and blending of history and a history which has always been changing, accumulating and filtrating. From the “concavo-convex temple” with western painting style in the Tang Dynasty, the “integration of the features of calligraphy into painting” by the literati in the Song Dynasty and the introduction of western perspective represented by Giuseppe Castiglione in the Qing Dynasty to the period of painting reform after 1949, ink painting has always been self-updating, reviving and expanding itself in different systems with the “cross”-boundary approach.
ABOUT INDIVIDUAL STRATEGY
The construction of an overall and macro theoretical system always tries to categorize specific individuals into the abstract and general language, making the individuals the footnotes of the whole and thus depressing the potential of the individual existence to become social criticism. In the current issue, the selected artists, with their respective ways of treating and imitating the traditions, combining their own specific knowledge systems and characteristics, have conducted trials which are placid in the appearance but progressive internally. What has been changed is not only the appearance but more of the thinking patterns. In this issue, the artists have more resorted to the traditional way of ink painting as well as the traditional picture composition and modeling, but at the same time have applied more conceptual art or iconological transformation. The traditional form has also become one of the necessary implementation conditions to express the core of the works, while the new ways supporting the traditional techniques such as the narrative, criticism, emotion and introduction of special subjects of the works have become the different individual strategies for each of the artists.