Deconstructing traditional cultures and constructing contemporary cultural values
Source:Artintern.net Author:Wang Duanting Date: 2013-08-20 Size:
When Luo Ying first contacted me, she said she paints Chinese painting. I was puzzled about it because I do criticism of Chinese contemporary art and from what I’ve known, contemporary art and Chinese painting involve different language systems and values. But the moment I saw the pictures of her paintings that she sent me, I was amazed at them because her paintings are a deviation from traditional Chinese painting, offering us different intepretations.

  Evaluation on Luo Ying’s pop painting

  When Luo Ying first contacted me, she said she paints Chinese painting. I was puzzled about it because I do criticism of Chinese contemporary art and from what I’ve known, contemporary art and Chinese painting involve different language systems and values. But the moment I saw the pictures of her paintings that she sent me, I was amazed at them because her paintings are a deviation from traditional Chinese painting, offering us different intepretations.

  Luo Ying’s paintings carry with them the viewpoints and features of contemporary art. I was impressed that she transplanted modern artistic values in traditional painting and I think she has made a good attempt in transforming the traditional art into the contemporary painting.

  In general, Luo Ying’s paintings are of two kinds: first, her borrowing and learning from traditional pianting images in her own paintings; second, her ridicule of contemporary life and symbolic expression. Different may the two types of painting look, they possess the same style , both taking on the views and features of contemporary art. Luo Ying made modifications to traditional painting and the images that we all know turned out to be both familiar and new to us.

  Luo Ying’s method to turn old images into new ones goes like this: first she would use the technique of Baimiao (line drawing in traditional ink and brush style) or Gongbi (characterized by fine brushwork and close attention to details) to reproduce some famous ancient paintings. Then she would add some thick lines and Chinese characters in bold type. She would also make some holes by burning the paper and turn the paper edges into irregular shape. After her modification, the old paintings became works of new cultural meanings.

  Luo Ying’s paintings seem to maintain the original structure of traditional paintings but her modification has brought us a new interpretation , which was in accordance with Derrida’s Deconstruction. Her borrowing from and modification of traditional paintings are pretty much the same thing as what Xu Bing has done to Chinese characters in his Unable to Explain Book. Virtually, modification of traditional art is an important branch of Chinese contemporary art in its endeavor to become known internationally, whose members include Xu Bing, Gu Wenda and Cai Guoqiang. These artists have created a new visual sign and established the contemporary cultural values on the basis of traditional art disconstruction and are well-known painters in the world. But in Chinese painting circle there are not many successful instances like them. In this respect, Luo Ying’s exploration is undoutedly fantastic.

  That Luo Ying could do it must be attributed to her knowledge structure. In my eyes, she is a scholarly painter who has done long-term painting practice as well as penertrated into the academic problems of contemporary art. She has written and published a lot of papers and books on line in traditional Chinese painting and it is amazing that a painter should have a profound understanding of artistic problems. It calls into no question that the innovation of Luo Ying’s artistic view is founded on her reflection on culture. It also ascribes to her visits abroad whch brought her an international perspective. In other words, Luo Ying’s new artistic view is obtained through reading and her experience, as the Chinese saying goes: reading many books and having a lot of travels are beneficial to one.

  In addition, Luo Ying’s paintings are not restricted to the expression of her own sex, rather she has got a vison beyond sex in her paintings. In light of this, she is quite special among female painters.

  Now Luo Ying with all her talents and courage for artistic exploration has hewn out a unique path and we are expecting greater achievement from her.

  Researcher of Chinese Art institute and commissioner of the expert panel from National Contemporary Art Research Center

  Wang Duanting

  June, 2013.

[Editor] 常霞

    Artintern