The Concept of Cutting-Edge Ink Art Author:Ping Jie Date: 2013-09-27 Size:
A unique phenomenon about Chinese ink art is that it is more than just an issue about media or techniques. It’s about artistic ideologies and philosophies.

A unique phenomenon about Chinese ink art is that it is more than just an issue about media or techniques. It’s about artistic ideologies and philosophies. In other words, it’s about “the spirit of ink”. When “spirit of ink” is put forward as an aesthetic concept, what it needs to deal with goes beyond water, ink and paper. It evolves into an independent kernel of values and system of theoretical criteria.

With the approach of a digitalized era of information, in what form can the spirit of ink dwell in a multi-dimensional context? Is it supposed to be imbued with a sense of contemporaneity, new media and a new face? As an integral part of contemporary art, how can the language of ink art manage to win wider recognition and in the meantime to maintain its unique cultural heritage?

Cutting-edge ink art inherits and carries forward the spirit of ink as well as the values and aesthetics of contemporary ink in a three-dimensional context. Nowadays people’s lifestyle, concepts and their surrounding environment all witness dramatic changes. The spirit of ink in the traditional sense has been imbued with new content and meaning through the expression of contemporary ink. Moreover, cutting-edge ink further manifests the three-dimensionality of the spirit of ink by means of intergration with cross-media and interdisciplinary installation.

With the introduction of various mediums and the development of technology, the meaning of “cutting-edge” has been greatly extended. It does not merely deal with the relationship between water and ink and goes beyond the three dimensions in the traditional sense. It reflects the breadth and depth of multiple dimensions. The concept of ink spirit can reach out to all kinds of realms and develops into all kinds of multi-dimensional forms.

During the past three decades, a group of artists with the vision of ink spirit and the courage to practice ink art beyond the realm of ink and paper have pioneered their way to push the boundaries of cutting-edge ink by a variety of means. Xu Bing’s Silkworm Book (1994) .Other prominent examples include Zhang Jianjun’s performance installation Footprint (1997), Shen Fan’s A Tribute to Huang Binhong (2006). Many artists have managed to extend the boundaries of their practice in a three-dimensional context. In the above-mentioned works, the expression of ink art changed. But the spirit of ink remains and continues to develop. What they pointed to is not pure composition of materials but the dimensionality of ink spirit.

The proposal of the concept of cutting-edge ink is based on the achievements contemporary ink has made in the three-dimensional context and the feasibility of multidimensionality. Ink art going three-dimensional is essential for the development of contemporary ink. It also sheds light on the possibilities to further explore the presentation and collection of cutting-edge ink, its integration with architectural environment and interior design, and its interaction with high-tech and new materials. The development of cutting-edge ink is expected to be seen both from the inside and the outside.

A New Spirit of Ink will continue to explore and study the reading of cutting-edge ink, its material and spiritual nature to promote the future development of cutting-edge ink art.

[Editor] 纪晓棠