Noah's Ark and Way of Liberation towards the Nether World Author:Ding Zhenggeng Date: 2010-08-25 Size:
Then God said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

Then God said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”

This is words from Genesis 6 of the Old Testament. God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and he decided to recreate human in grief, with blotting out the evil people and leaving the world with righteous and loyal men.

However, those evils never disappear since human appears in the earth, which should all be traced to its source of excessive selfish desire.

Throughout the history of human and culture, the attributors to human civilization should either have the keen insight and intellectuals to present the unknown and known existence to people so to awaken them and calling up the kindness to replace the evils, or standing at the front edge of human beings, lead people to the holy palace with bright and grand spaciousness and living happily together. In this case, for an artist with his special way of text presentation, the mind should always be supported by narration. To some extent, the method of support determines the inner depth of the carrier. Of course, the text scene presented is a key for the expansion of the artist’s ideas.

Nowadays, we say that we are living in an era without hero, because the world is relatively stable and the killings are covered in peace and justice. In the world without hot battles, there must be few individual behaviors of charging the enemies to push forward the group assault, which seems fading out the heroes from people’s life and leaving only the memories of the predecessors in old days. Is it inevitable or natural? In the present days when high technology and science have replaced man’s physical actions, the heroes are left as the odes for the past and model of sublimation education for the later generations.

In addition, in art circles, we have met more than once that some artists define themselves as elites and even in my own experience. I analyzed the root of these thoughts and behaviors in my book The Fourth Wave and even refuted the self-inflation of those people in a reserved manner. It we talk about all these things with putting an artist in the vast history of human civilization, he must be of little contribution, but what kind of art is it as to the post-colonialism which is only useful for the new measurements of the western diplomacy? It’s also the need of politics. From the other hand, those defining themselves as elites are actually acting as the roles similar to Wang Puppet Government, who we could call cultural traitor. However, the dual character shows us that the pseudo-culture to some extent has irritated the conservation and rigidness of the cultural context and creation pattern in China and promoting the wakening and arrival of new cultural scene, furthering Chinese culture into a stage of judgment. The history sweeps the characters and will of course sweep the creators in art circles.

In mid-1980s, I often talked the simple saying that “You’ll be a master sitting still” with Ran Yunfei and a couple of other poets. But what kind of attitude will we in art circles take in front of the swelling material desires?

Eight years ago, Wang Qiang, the director of Film and TV Office from Publicity Department, CCCPC and my friend of poetry talked with me about a man named Liu Yaming. I had already heard about his older brother Liu Yading, famous in study of Soviet Russian literature. Therefore, I got an idea of meeting him to see his paintings as soon as possible. On a winder afternoon in Beijing, I saw the sunshine on the ground, seemingly trying to melt the lingering snow. At that time, Yaming was thinking of transforming from realistic portrait painting to subjects of ideas expression, starting with the Temporality series. But the paintings with skillful realistic techniques in his studio filled me with a myriad of thoughts and ideas. As a matter of fact, many of Chinese artists don’t understand what the techniques are really for. Without ideas, art will be only techniques. We talked a lot that day and I realized in a sudden that different from the other Chinese artists, he has the capacity of controlling the huge scene. In an autumn of another year, after I saw the large-scale oil paintings created by the creation team of Red Red Rock in the selection for Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in Chongqing, I was strengthened with my thought and judgment.

In the middle of 1980s, on a summer evening after I had the article About Art on the research of Lu You published, I was reminded by the night wind from the Chishui River in my hometown the national spirit of China and started to study the causes for the collective decline of the spirit. Seven years ago when Yaming went to Antwerp in Belgium for his solo show, I wrote a piece of words for him and conducted the press conference synchronous domestically. I was surprised when he came back from Belgium. During the conversation at the dinner of hot pot, I realized that Yaming could do something bigger and placed high hopes on him. But nowadays are prevailing the blind following of the western-recognized paintings among the artists. It must be a dead end to follow the wind for any artist who can’t keep calm. After human created the written words, only with creating a way different from the others and impossible to be[微软用户1] imitated but to be admired could the artist grow to be a master. The facts afterwards have proved the tacit understanding on this between Yaming and me. I’m more and more confident about the future of Chinese oil paintings in contemporary painting art circles through Yaming’s unceasing creation.

A series of good things that follows has strengthened Yaming’s confidence for advancing further and deeper. As a man dreaming of doing great things for long, he was full of boundless confidence with the birth of his son. During the annual national selection of outstanding paintings, I heard a lot of good news from Yaming. I still remember that two years ago when I was busy with the printing of Contemporary Chinese Art in Shenzhen, Yaming told me his ideas of making big changes. Several months later after that, I came back to Beijing and I was reminded that there must be a lot of number ones in the future history of global culture, especially the history of oil painting when I saw the sample which was not named at that time yet now called Way of Liberation towards the Nether World. Ten months later, I saw an extraordinary scene and the idea of the Chinese cultural power came into my mind. Therefore, I’m happy to see finally that Yaming has provided me a strong testimony after many years of calling for establishment of reunion and balance with the state’s soft power rooted in national culture.

On the evening of July 16 of last year, when the sun set went down slowly, I had in my mind the following words about the oil painting of 16×3meters in size in Yaming’s studio:

He has a good control of the big scene and accurate understanding of the classical spirit. In the one hundred years of world painting history, the painting with its theme, which is created with his capabilities coming from many reasons including his personal cultural cultivation, life experience, love and the birth of his son, will bring us a surprising and shocking dramatic scene and shock wave. If he could create several more artworks like this one, there will come out golden and penetrating power created by Chinese in the art circles in history of human civilization in the one hundred years before and after, thus resetting the pole in art history. Because in the era when it’s impossible for the generation of heroism and classical masters due to the rapid development of science and technology, a man named Liu Yaming in the eastern world provides us the only exception. What’s more, in the era when people consider the classical painting has nothing to do with the contemporary times, Liu Yaming has created the possibility through the impossibility in people’s mind. As for the creation of the times, spirits of classical painting as well as the expression and catharsis of psychological and personal features of contemporary Chinese people, this has undoubtedly provided China and even the world from various aspects including the huge size, process of dark and light, utilization of light and shadow, the inner composition of the painting, dynamics, architecture, musicology, stage and the characters, presenting the only successful example of the natural logic in accordance with the existence of human psychologically.

The painting will provide us the most powerful new criticism context with new spiritual conditions of classical painting, which is the most mysterious and so powerful to reach the inner nature of Chinese people.

The language context has apparently infused a new antidote for the complicated Chinese painting circles and the relaxed and humorous world painting circles. It is intended to awaken and call up the perplexed human beings living on the earth, especially Chinese people, thus leading the beings to re-understand and long for ideals, sublimation, sanctity and beauty. Therefore, as regards to the contribution of painting art to human, its criticism and no limits of sizes will surely make him the most important classical master of new criticism in this age: because his reveal of the Chinese national spirits of anxiety, tribulation, confusion, decadence and helplessness and yearning for a better life of human being have provided us a brand new scene not imitable in the history of human’s painting art.

11:18 am, August 7, 2008, rushed at apartment in North Beijing

Ding Zhenggeng, renowned art critic

[Editor] Elemy Liu