A throwback to Chinese literati paintings - SHINE News

2023-04-10 18:36:53 By : Ms. Aimee Zhang

Chinese screens (pingfeng) are a unique artistic form of dividing space. Seen and unseen, in and out, the artistic form perfectly defines "segregation" and "integration."

Artist Wan Heng places Chinese screens on walls in the exhibition "Refineness and Resplendency – Wan Heng Paintings on Screen." Grommet Blackout Curtain

Taking place at Long Museum West Bund through October 16, the exhibition features 45 paintings on screens themed around flowers, birds and a pine tree series.

Wan's paintings are on rice paper covered with foil and framed in wood, making them appear like a traditional Chinese screen.

When entering the exhibition hall, visitors might be surprised to find a daunting-sized pine in a flowerpot in the center. This pine was transported from the artist's own garden in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, where he plants nearly 200 pines and pine bonsai.

Born in Wenzhou in 1983, Wan graduated from the China Academy of Art in 2006.

His works are influenced by royal paintings of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), featuring meticulous brushstrokes, carefully arranged compositions and elegant palettes.

Some critics say Wan's screen paintings are reminiscent of paintings found in Japanese temples.

"In fact, I purposely shied away from the Japanese screen-painting style, which is more decorative with colors," Wan said. "I wanted to express traditional Chinese elements pretty close to Chinese literati paintings."

Among his works, the pine tree series is inspired by his rediscovery and recognition of Chinese literati paintings in recent years. Wan purposely "escapes" the hustle and bustle of urban life and chooses a reclusive life of his own. He seems to be lost in the pines in his garden, observing them and reflecting them on rice paper.

"In my eyes, pine is one of the most important symbols that stands for the spirit of Chinese literati," he said.

"Two Pines Up in the Clouds," ink and color on paper with silver foil, four-fold screen, 2022

Dates: Through October 16 (closed on Mondays), Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10am-6pm; Fridays-Sundays, 10am-8:30pm

Venue: Long Museum West Bund

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