The Logic of Sensation
Why do we paint? Sensation, that is what
When ancient people started to paint, they
went on to create pictographic scr ipts.
Then painting went beyond its pictorial and
narrative functions and, in its transition
from sensory stimuli to that of the nervous
system, it empowered the brain to think
logically. Words and languages are the
most universal symbolicsys tems but
painting expresses the nature of perceptible
substances and matters.
The logic of sensation is a beam of light and
what we need at the bottom of our heart;
it helps to guide us in this chaotic world.
Roland Barthes’s conclusion about visual
objects is that "I see, I feel, hence I notice, I
observe and I think".
The works of the four artists featured in Art
Season’s current exhibition express their
unique sensations being at ease. However,
never have they been satisfied with brush
as the medium, and their works exhibit
Xinjian’s paintings comprise a powerful
pure visual space woven by hand. The colors
of the senses are applied by the palette
knife to massive strokes so as to render
material deconstruction to visual images,
transforming them into a bas-relief painting
suspended between sculpture and painting.
His painting depicts things existent between
objects. "Still Objects" series describes
supple human body, beautiful and fleeting,
which is in continuous motion but various
postures, trying to breaking away from a
colorless beam of light. The body stops at
the beginning of time. The triptych work
"Metropolis" and "South Sea – White Tiger"
symbolize catastrophe merging with the
flowing rhythm of power in perpetuity; the
body passes a vast space and the summit
where time meets; visions fall from the
pictorial codes and achieve the harmony
of heart and soul, to bear witness to Igor
F Stravinsky’s sunflower in a prehistoric
valley of silence, accompanied by the music
from Le Sacre du Printemps.
Macchie defines Tian Lu’s paintings and
makes sure that hisi s different from
French artist Georges Seurat’s pointillism
school, which is defined specifically by the
use of dots. Tian Lu’s subjective dots and
patches cover the entire canvas, break from
easel paintings, and go beyond the frame by
creating an exotic, illusionary and bizarre
landscape. His work is meticulous like math
and has a minute hold on the pictures and
patterns. Black, white and gray dots alone
trigger our sensory logics: life has been
entrusted to a piece of luggage; to a ghastly
and empty geometric form; an grand
idealized building, which has been divested
of time and by vegetation; to cold violence
that pervades the still, gray emptiness and
is about to be obliterated by ruthlessness.
Halting his cartoon style painting patent, He
Jia holds a circular PV board and conducts
a new painting experiment. I picture him
doing graffiti as translucent as marble.
Unfortunately, unlike Paris, Beijing does
not permit graffiti on the streets. In Paris,
you may mark at will the walls of a lane
a celebrity used to inhabit; you may spray
your truck and drive it around everywhere.
Even on museum exhibitions may graffiti be
found. He Jia seeks to transform himself
into a shaman with his gorgeous mystical
graffiti paintings full of mythological visions
like "Life of Extravagance" and "Moonlight
in the Water". Maybe he wants to reflect
Beijing, the Vanity Fair that is filled with
corruption and decadence, where people
wear a mask out of bravado.
Romantic and talented in literature, Lan
Yi upholds the notion-centric trends of the
Tang and Song Dynasties. What with birds,
flowers, fishes and bugs, he uses complex
lines and level planes to create luxuriant
Tang style paintings: in golden, dark green,
diamond-blue, dark red and rouge pink
hues. He tried to preserve the or iental
borders but cannot help resorting to inlaid
Byzantine painting style. He seems to try to
rebuild a new artificial Chinese-style ideal
of landscape, and to render it irresistible
like drug so that he can indulge himself in
the mirage of narcissism.
The works of these artists at this exhibition
do not connect you directly to the theme.
So wel l versed in ar t i st i c exper iment ,
they put on the easel the essence of their
imaginat i ve por t rayal , which has been
engraved upon their mind before the act
of paint ing commences. The opposi t ion
b etwe e n t h e v i s u a l o b j e c t s a n d t h e i r
visualizations damps the complexity and
produces images that could not have been
pictured by the visual senses. This gives the
typical analogical art of painting multiple
meanings and helps you see the spirituality
of the age.
Only when are we face to face wi th the
canvas can we escape from the trivialities
and conventionalities of life.
Only when are we equipped with the courage
to send the Curiosity spacecraft can we
become involved in major contemporary
events – that calls for 2500 million dollars.
The artist paints his ideas. More importantly,
only when you step out of the canvas, with
your numbed senses, can you save yourself.