Postmodern Ink of Qin Feng
Source:artintern Author:Peng Feng Date: 2014-05-26 Size:
  Qin Feng’s art is related to ink, which reflects on many of his works painted by means of ink. Those paintings in which greasepaint and propene were used are also an embodiment of the spirit of ink painting; there are many ink-related stories behind some devices which is seemingly unrelated


 Qin Feng’s art is related to ink, which reflects on many of his works painted by means of ink. Those paintings in which greasepaint and propene were used are also an embodiment of the spirit of ink painting; there are many ink-related stories behind some devices which is seemingly unrelated to ink paintings. Although ink painting now can not be labeled as a fashionable art in the art circle, Qin Feng can name himself a real ink painting artist irrespective of others’ opinions. Certainly, he is neither a pre-modern traditional ink painter nor a modern experimental one but a new postmodern ink painting artist.

  In despite of some abstract elements, the ink painting is not a kind of abstract painting for we can still recognize such themes as figure painting, landscape painting and painting of flowers and birds and so on. Meanwhile, as for traditional ink painting painters, painting, like poetry and calligraphy, is an important way of expressing ambitions and achieving self-cultivation, so there is a great difference in spirit in their works. The experimental ink painting, however, differs in many aspects from the traditional one, especially the former has reached a great height in terms of subjects and words. Besides, experimental ink painting is rich in abstract works, images and devices, but it attaches much importance to outward visual effect rather than inner spirit seemingly due to the influence of modernism and formalism. On the surface, Qin Feng’s ink painting looks more like experimental painting, even as if it were especially in such aspects as large size, new medium and abstract displays. But as far as spiritual aspect is concerned, Qin Feng’s ink painting is totally different from the experimental one, for the latter is craving for the outward appearance advocated by the western modernism whereas QinFeng makes his art deeply rooted in the tradition of Chinese culture. If we say that experimental ink painting is the outcome of full westernization, we can also say that QinFeng is the return to tradition. His painting is more of western-style when compared to traditional painting, but more of China-style when compared to experimental painting. In his paintings, China, West, tradition and modern go hand in hand in pairs compatibly for which QinFeng calls himself a postmodern ink painting artist.

  QinFeng has drawn some sizable paintings with ink, propene and greasepaint. Those paintings are similar to the modern abstract expressionism, but, in fact, paintings by QinFeng are quite different from the western abstract art masters because the latter do not paint with vigor or life force, which results in their paintings being devoid of splendor or being short of it. Although the action painting by Jackson is related to body movement, the movement has nothing to do with physical strength. Instead, his drop color painting is weak and is of no force for which it can not be regarded as top painting from the standpoint of Chinese aesthetics that advocates LiTouZhiBe that means painters should paint with full vigor and life force. Even works by Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Harttung who were said to be inspired by Chinese calligraphy have just the form rather than the true nature of calligraphy under careful analysis for they also lack in vigor. The works of QinFeng are saturated with masculinity that could not be matched by any other western abstract art masters. Surely, in the view of Western philosophy, vigor is a pre-modernism concept; vigor art is pre-modernism art; art through vigor is pre-modernism aesthetics. The westerns who are bathed in modernism could hardly accept the pre-modernism of vigor. The value of QinFeng’s art is that it breaks restriction of Western modernism and boldly connects art with Chinese culture. Someone may think that QinFeng who lives in multicultural America knows how to distinct his cultural identity through Chinese tradition. But I do not think this is his strategy. Because people who made contact with him would know vigorousness is purely himself. QinFeng not only successfully embodies his masculinity in his works, but is also good at cultivating his noble spirit in life. QinFeng’s art is picture of his real life. His pursuit for pre-modernism makes his works more characteristic of postmodernim.

  The power of QinFeng art comes from the thorough communication with rich ancient civilization and from the unrest burst of primitive impulse. If ancient civilization could blur us in the brightness of the sun, primitive impulse would drench us in the spirits. QinFeng splits his works into Culture and Lust, which are conflict and concession between civilization and lust both existed in mankind. That is, civilization lost impetus without lust, and lust would corrupt if not be ushered by civilization. QinFeng is good at assimilating power of ancient civilization and primitive impulse, thus rendering his works hallucinating.

  How do we construe the might of QinFeng’s arts? When we fathom his arts through the illusion of sun and spirits, we would naturally recall Friedrich Nietzsche’s profound understanding of ancient Greek art. It is well known that ancient Greek art reflect its civilized society in the mind of initiation thinkers. Yet they can not explain that tragedy also exists in ancient Greek, in that a civilized society that born refined arts should not have tragedy. Nietzsche subverts the explanation of initiation thinkers about ancient Greek art, in which ancient Greek artists created wonderful arts not as a reflection of eudemonia, but as anesthesia of torment. Visual art and tragedy share the same purpose, in which the pain of life is to be released; but via different ways that visual art is through illusion, and tragedy is through intoxication. Hence we fathom QingFeng’s woks in two ways, an initiation-thinker way, and a Nietzsche way. In an initiative thinker’s view, the power of QinFeng’s works is the realization of the might of China’s culture and society; in the Friedrich Nietzsche’s way, the power of QinFeng’s works is the call for the might needed by China’s culture and society; both of which are closely connected to China’s culture and society.

[Editor] 曹英