墨痕 • INK TRACES
In my garden, there is a plum tree near the pool where I wash my ink-stone,
The plum flowers bloom with very light ink traces.
They do not need any praise of their beautiful colours,
Just remains the pure and sweet smell of the whole universe.
Wang Mian (1287–1359 AD)
What is it that leaves a trace? What is it that drives and produces the infinite changes and variations of ink? What guides the strokes, what moves them, what animates them to score the paper or to merge with it? What inspires the brush, so that it flies and dances leaving deep, light traces, which overlap each other, to join the infinite space?
This exhibition proposes to us to see, feel and connect with reality, with life, through the way of the ink and the brush. It is a journey to a place where the physical world loses its consistency and gives space to another emotional state. Four artists from four different countries and environments have found a common source, a way of art-expression that by means of ink and brush connects all of us to Nature and its endless changes.
The art of the brushstroke has its origin in China where it was favoured by the existence of calligraphy and by the fact that the execution of a painting is a spontaneous and rhythmic process. In the Yuan period, the union between calligraphy and painting was affirmed, hence the use of the word “writing” by Chinese scholars to refer to the act of painting. The purpose of painting is to express (make appear) the transformations of the universe (Dao) through the silent poems of nature, thus achieving a feeling of joyful plenitude.
“Through the shape, write the spirit” asserts Zong Bing (375-443 A.D.) in the first text on aesthetics of Chinese landscape painting that we know about. “What is rooted in the physical reality melts with the spiritual” said the famous painter Wang Wei (415-443 AD). Therefore, in Chinese painting instead of the landscape becoming an object of perception, “山水” (landscape – mountains and water), it aims to immersion, taking root in that which produces the animation of the world. This experience of immanence makes us lose ourselves and become one with the landscape. For this reason, the creative process is based on a sense of analogy, not on imitation: A landscape is where the depth of the invisible becomes in its growth eminently visible. Can its transformations be expressed through the ink and the brush?
This is certainly the most essential aspect of the aesthetics of Chinese art, and it unfolds through other fundamental notions such as emptiness and qi. Emptiness is as a dynamic principle of transformation. Only through emptiness can things attain their full measure and human beings approach the universe at the level of totality. The qi (“breath-energy” or “life impulse”), circulates in a polarized reciprocal way (yin-yang) in the body of every living being. It embraces both the sensitive forms and the dimension of the spirit, and links the heart and the hand requiring the brush stroke to be incarnated.
Nowadays, surrounded by a dense and saturated world, overwhelmed by a society based on consumerism and technology, we cannot lose this connection with a real and global nature that widens and deepens our life experience and restores our humanity.
If we understand culture as a resource, in the world we live in today we have the opportunity to enrich our existence by learning from other cultures. Our mental structures can expand; our emotions can be richer and subtler.
In Chinese painting, ink and stroke is the foundation of everything. It has unlimited possibilities for artists to express their emotions or perceptions in a very rich and delicate way. The four artists showing their works in this exhibition present us different ways of expressing, each one through their own resources, questions, experiences and feelings, the possibilities of working with ink and strokes.
In her paintings, Guangying Dai creates a “space”, a kind of space that allows the viewers to be immersed in, where there is air, atmosphere, breathing, life, and a magical distance from the real world. This space is filled with flowing air; it is quiet but vibrant and dynamic at the same time. It is a place where the painter and the viewer can communicate. In these spaces, all the things are in relation, they create a special feeling by the quality of the work of ink and strokes.
With her theatre-acting background from J. Grotowski, Claire Betti find completely in the creative process described by the masters of chinese painting.Chinese painting has been the breeding ground for all her pictorial work. In constant search with the spirit of a painting traversed by subtle perceptions between introspection, the breath of the stroke, letting go, movement as an act of sincerity, as a way of breathing
For her, the shades of Chinese black ink are the color of concentration, contemplation, the color of the inner world. Painting’s a journey which tames darkness and translates it into one thousand one nuances of light.
In her work, she strives tirelessly to represent lightness, fragility, but also strength and movement. These complementary dynamics were already animating his work as a theatre actress. Today, she uses the Chinese ink and brush as tools for expressing her interior landscapes.
As Grotowski said, There are many different artistic techniques, but when somebody is artistically in an internal search, it is inevitable that he practises a technique which has its analogy somewhere else.
Through all her works, Ruth Castilla Mora explores the possibilities of ink and its capacity to evoke the atmospheres, rhythms, alternations and tensions that animate natural processes. Her paintings, through the subtle variations of ink, transport us to the evanescent elements of nature, to the transitions between form and formlessness, to their vibration and breaths.
Akhiljith’s works include copies of the famous Chinese paintings, which he draws during his study of Chinese landscape painting under Guangying Dai at China academy of art, Hangzhou, China. Reproducing works of great Chinese artists is considered to be a significant part of the curriculum of learning Chinese art. Its is while rigorously practicing the stereotypical Chinese brush work and patterns as part of his training, this artists finds something beyond the technical aspects in Chinese painting.
A careful abstraction of the artist’s reproductions seems to indicate not only the artist’s dedication and hard work to imbibe the essential technicalities, but also his intense effort to understand the care of Chinese philosophy hidden within each the Chinese paintings.
Through initially the artists aim is to find appropriate expression for himself using the medium of ink which he found sensitive enough to express his feelings, it is the philosophy he gradually becomes familiar with and hereby deeply engaged with the paintings.
The artist believes that in order to reach the extreme level of perfection achieved by the Chinese masters, one must be deeply engaged with the works. Initially the way to this deep involvement is lead by the painting themselves which according to the artist creates a space of interaction with the viewers.
The reproduction reveals that Akhiljith has become immensely successful in his venture of searching for appropriate expression of his thoughts, and also in discovering the space of interaction with the paintings he has chosen.
Thus we not merely perceive a few imitations in front of us but get an opportunity to be familiar with an ancient philosophy, through the eyes and honest get extremely skillful brush strokes of a young passionate artist.
GUANGYING DAI • Hangzhou, China
CLAIRE BETTI • Lausanne, Switzerland
RUTH CASTILLA MORA • Barcelona, Spain
AKHILJITH VELLUVA • Thrissur, Kerala, India
@ GALLERY 27
PANCHEERA PAUL ROAD
PHONE: 0484 2229099
“From time to time, strange twilights interrupt the enlightened story, the light’s cleaving into countless small flickering and ambiguous flames, The resistant ground is removed under the feet, the events begin to make an infernal dance around a consciousness again displaced. And the certainties which mock at the confrontation come from your forgotten depths. ”…
Working as a lecturer in Painting, Govt.College of Fine Arts Thrissur Education Senior Scholar programme China academy of art, Hangzhou, China (2017-Present ) Master’s programme for exchangestudents in Media Arts from École supérieure des beaux-arts d’Angers,France, 2015 M.F.A in Painting from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan , West Bengal. (2013-2015) B.F.A in Painting from College Of…
Born in 1976 in Barcelona, Spain. B.F.A. (Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts) from the University of Barcelona. After starting the practice of far-east painting and calligraphy in Paris in 2007, she studied Chinese traditional landscape painting at the International College of China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou (2010-2012). She lives and works in Barcelona. In…
Born in 1978 in Hanghzou, Zhejiang, China. Graduated from Chinese Department of China Academy of Art , received Bacherlor of Arts in Traditional Chinese Landscape painting in 2000. Graduated from Chinese Department of China Academy of Art , received Master of Arts in Traditional Chinese Landscape painting in 2004. Graduated from Chinese Department of China…