Déjà vu: The Chinese translation is “Jishigan” (instant visual sense), in short, “seemingly familiar”， a feeling of having experienced some things or scenes somewhere and sometime while they have never been experienced.
Déjà vu: The Chinese translation is “Jishigan” (instant visual sense), in short, “seemingly familiar”， a feeling of having experienced some things or scenes somewhere and sometime while they have never been experienced. It possibly comes from a fictitious scene or sub-consciousness in our mind, or a memory about a dream.
The visual signal of a realistic scene, the latent memory or the imaginary scene have been dislocated or overlaid with each other in presentation: just like in the creation of art, when being presented as works, the so-called “realistic scenes” instantly reveal different “spiritual scenes”. Compared with either reality or inner self, these scenes are “déjà vu”. Perhaps it is just the difference between these two sorts of scenes that reflects the artist’s art exploration and philosophical thinking.
Déjà vu, the dislocated scenes between “reality” and “spirit”.
Dining table with no one left but empty plates, stealthily watching crowds, marching bands, over-grown bushes…Pictures of seemingly boring and even meaningless scenes that cannot be called “scenery”, those are painted by young artist Tu Xi who was born in 1982. In his recent works, things of different sizes are like dreams, colorless and illusionary. He uses brushwork of black, white and gray and large areas of plain painting with cool colors to construct several clear, cold and dreamy déjà vu “realities”. The indistinct intranquility revealed behind boredom and alienation, as well as the deserted scenes and meaningless behaviors, bring to light the absurdity of existence.
The artist is making efforts to remove the dazzling colors that tainted “reality”; ignore the fake expressions that pile on people’s faces; pull out the plastic flowers and grass along the roads; strip the reality down. Only when we see the genuine flesh and bone, feel pain, sympathy and give up hypocrisy, can we paint the real scenery based on reality in our heart and according to our wish.
Through the coldness or alienation, or even a sense of despair that the artist expresses, what we can see is in fact a grand love and care.
Grand feelings aside, if we pay attention to small details, we can observe from Tu Xi’s recent works: as the main body, people gradually leave; the subjective lines and brushwork with an aesthetic tendency gradually fade as well. Facing the purposely-made-vacant or dimming pictures with large areas of painting without brushwork, just through this so-called absence and alienation that the artist attempts to find a comparatively objective trace of image of human’s existence or an inner reality.
Just like all living creatures in this society, we are all facing the seemingly normal things in reality. Many people think this is normal. They live in the society insensibly or pleasantly. However, Tu Xi stubbornly uses pictures to express the absurdity all the time, maintains independent thinking, self-examination and criticism about this society in his heart, never sails with the stream or follows the herd.
Just like this, from afar, the artist gazes upon the leftover plates after a feast or the barren ground after prosperity, and severely portrays his inner scenery.
Everything is déjà vu.