Prince Huei's Cook was Cutting up a Bullock Author:Tong Yanrunan Date: 2013-10-23 Size:
Everytime I read Zhuangzi’s text, I feel easy and smooth, and my heart extends to a very far distance, to the endless world. In painting, the calmness accumulated during those normal days sublimates and extends to the infinite space within the painting.

Everytime I read Zhuangzi’s text, I feel easy and smooth, and my heart extends to a very far distance, to the endless world. In painting, the calmness accumulated during those normal days sublimates and extends to the infinite space within the painting.

“Prince Huei's Cook was Cutting up a Bullock”, what is the same thing between the “Tao” for Zhuangzi and the “Ambit” for artists have searching for?

“I haven’t seen the whole bull.” The elimination of the conflict between “Pao Ding” and the bullock breaks the bond between mind and things.  

When the model sits before me, in my eyes, it is neither a complete image. They are color blocks, shadow of light, impression piled up this moment and then scattered that moment, all kinds of shapes of lights, darkness, and colors wander, intersperse and crystallize. It is only high and low, extending infinitely, walking and jumping faculae, undulating ground.

At this moment, the portrait is piling up, rendering and representing under the background painted plainly; at that moment, wandering towards the corner of the frame. I can’t help myself following the flowing impression to chase the wandering brush-touching, those touches sometimes like the hard stone, sometimes like the illusion of the water wave.

“Your mind knows that you should stop while your spirit is still wandering.” Pao Ding had forgotten the existence of his all fours, narrowing the distance between hands and mind, he liberated his mind from the restriction of technique.

I conspired together with my brush and my model. Every stroke has connection and presents the delicate changes from every moment. Directly and efficiently capture the information which will elapse in a short moment of turning. My eyes are very excited and active. I chase the moment which comes accidentally, while I can’t think and recognize anything anymore, except letting my hands follow and wander with the moment, at this moment, my mind is totally blank, nothing around me exists anymore, the model has gone, the brush and the paintings have gone, and also my mind have flied miles away. I notice that the bright spot becomes brighter and brighter, a little bit shining, closer and closer, the canvas is unable to express its flame. With saturated roar, suddenly the bright spot disappeared, it slowly turn into the black, with the smell of the wheat heaps burned up on the fields. I paint the bright spot in black, while it shines more strongly. The particles in gold and rustle, the scratches in no means, they are scattering on the faces slowly with the wind, after extremely noisy then turn back to the silent. I stretch and tight my body, focus my attention, they are integrated into the faces, and I feel that the things are all of the existence. With the vain but quiet heart, I’m waiting for all of the probabilities which would appear in the faces.

There are only few things can move one’s heart, only a very short time that spirit can communicate with the universe, and it is just these few things and short moments are what I am looking for with my whole life. The sacred figure formed through the vitality of free creation. It passes all the sensational area of different levels and has the inspirations. The visual feeling, together with the feeling out of many areas, come to the world and pass through their lives.

“If you are capable enough, you can do and you will do very well.” Pao ding who disseminated the cow has made this the boundless game of him.

The “critics” and “Tao” of Pao ding towards “yu”, “kuan”, “qing”, “jian” and “zu”, are like the touchable visual feelings in the portrait, the correct holding towards the figure and color. The correctness can be get through the active and producing integrity, and finally achieve the freedom.  Here are only the shapes integrate with each other under the light; they build and mix together this moment and then separate with each other; like a free spirit, wandering everywhere freely and easily. They turn over, while mixing at the same time; they are apart from each other, while piling up at the same time. “Emptiness” flows and walks between shapes. Light and dark, sings and flows by turns. The emptiness between the two extremenesses is a sensible plumpness, and an existent overflow. At this moment, both I myself and my brush feel free and satisfied because of liberation. One kind of power, deeper and almost can't been experience, throw into the chaos, and throw into the dark night to have a searching.

Prince Huei's Cook was Cutting up a Bullock has illustrated the relations between Tao and technique. To disseminate the cow is not to see the Tao besides the technique, but to see the Tao in the technique. Many art creations of today are just superficial techniques. If the technique of disseminating the cow is just to know the aim of disseminating the cow itself, them it is pure technique. But the enjoyment of Pao Ding obtained from disseminating the cow is the material enjoyment exchanged by the technique, but not from the technique itself. This is not the aim of disseminating the cow, but the result of unconsciousness. Only the freedom obtained without the binding of the practice can be the true freedom of consciousness and caters for the origin of art. The technique of disseminating the cow is close to Tao, which is not a comparison but one with true content. It is the situation which Tao has achieved in life and also has been upgraded from the concrete art activities, and displayed in the concrete activities.

Pao Ding, who can not see the complete cow for three years and disseminated thousands of cows in 19 years. I do the same kind of work for fifteen years, the forever 41*33, the forever front part, like the dissemination of cow. I understand the “Dao” of Laozi and Zhuangzi.

Tong Yanrunan


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[Editor] 纪晓棠