Thrilled at the Graceful: A Brief Talk on Li Gang the Hundun Boy
Source:Artintern.net Author:Liao Fangmao Date: 2013-08-14 Size:
Li Gang grew up in his artistic creation in the exciting years of the contemporary Chinese contemporary art that is like a rising wind and scudding clouds, and at the fervent moment when the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts rides the whirlwind of the art circle. We are honored to see the contemporary Chinese artists grew up and thrived one after another; we are more than glad to join in the efforts at this crucial moment.

  Li Gang grew up in his artistic creation in the exciting years of the contemporary Chinese contemporary art that is like a rising wind and scudding clouds, and at the fervent moment when the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts rides the whirlwind of the art circle. We are honored to see the contemporary Chinese artists grew up and thrived one after another; we are more than glad to join in the efforts at this crucial moment.

  In recent years, Li Gang focused his efforts on the “Bragging” series. His unique works with ox-head as the theme are placed in a chaotic, meditating situation. From his illustrative, strong modeling in his early years, we find that his “ox” is the oriental cattle that is diligent, persevere, holding itself aloof from the world and working silently; while Li Gang goes further to a symbolic semantic situation in which he makes his ox holy. The white ox, the white ox is not a husky, fierce wild ox, or a fighting bull in a towering rage or at the mercy of the people; it’s a kind person who is allusive to sacred, specific creature that carries a suffering land on his back, looking up or glazing, or looking on the living things on the land and the chaotic world.

  In a gentle, graceful course, Li Gang adopts a thrilling overturning method, whereby he collocates the original peace in irrational expectations – a standard ideal is abruptly expropriated; a profound situation is lively presented again.

  Li Gang wonderfully combines thrill and secluded charm together so the he can sow seeds for the scared aesthetics of the first generation of Chinese contemporary fine art; he makes breakthroughs in “qualitative changes” in a unique form between “current ripple” and “broken skin texture”, which is the key that Li Gang can attract the maximum attention of the art circle at the present stage.

  Out of Hundun (chaos), yin (feminine and negative) and yang (masculine and positive) are generated that give birth to all things. As it was mentioned by the ancient people in chapter Zhuang Zhi – Emperor Yingdi: “The emperor of the South Sea was Shu. The emperor of the North Sea was Hu. The emperor of the Center was Hundun (chao). Shu and Hu often met at the place of Hundun, where they were given a warm reception by Hundun. So they planned to pay back Hundun for his virtue, saying: ‘Everybody has seven apertures, so that he can see something, hear something, eat something, and breathe the air. But Hundun has no those apertures. We can try to cut apertures for him.’ So they cut an aperture everyday for Hundun. After seven days, Hundun died”. This means that Hundun, in order to fuse yin and yang, made no difference between the sun and the moon. If it was to be cleared defined, Hundun would ’s perish. This refers to the very essence of nature’s grand design, which is like Li Gang’s works wherein his nature, techniques and thoughts are presently in an organic whole that can’t be separated.

  In Li Gang’s works there is description of a process of introspection, and the so-called introspection is not the outward appearance of art spirituality but in his intellectual trajectory in smooth brushwork, free and supple presentation in coherent composition. Viewers are guided into the paintings, get fused through the mind, and further into the universe that has created chaos to comprehend.

  Li Gang’s cattle series of works born out of chaos boast damp, embellishing, rinsing and smooth characteristics of the oriental water color painting. In oriental philosophy, life originates from water, the ocean and the soil, whereby all things are born; the free liquidity of water is used by Li Gang in his creations so that his works can fully depict the flowing vitality in continuous dynamic beauty in an endless succession, making the viewer gasp in admiration the powerful force that created the universe in chaos.

  Some twenty years ago a call for China to “link with the world” was pervasive in China and today, twenty years later when China is truly linked with the world, China no longer lacks the extrinsic “display capability” but it must with rely on humanitarianism – a “shallow force” intrinsic in itself in making a foundation for its great and impressive culture.

  It seems the place of Hundun, the “humanistic thinking”, is really moving towards us in a graceful manner once again.

  (Liao Fangmao: Curator of Taiwan A-7958 Gallery)

[Editor] 常霞

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