Journey with a Drifting Boat
Yuan Ru Gallery, Taipei
October 2 - November 14, 2021
Between the movement and the stillness of the virtual boat, a spiritual home is formed

Text|Li-Hao Zhang

"The empty boat is moving and quiet, and it suddenly seems to go in time. It is for Liang Xing to see if you touch things. Because the wind reaches this shore, there is no Jichuan period."

──One of the Five Poems of Nanchi Zayong by Jiaoran in Tang Dynasty

Since the Wei and Jin Dynasties, with the gradual disintegration of the unified feudal system, in the face of the treacherous changes of the political situation, many literati and gentry were reluctant to be fettered by secular values, and instead actively pursued the display of their own life and beauty, which greatly contributed to the increase in arts. The Lao Zhuang ideology of advocating non-conformity, self-discipline, and even the beauty of the landscape, to avoid the world, has become a trend for a while, thus providing a favorable and fertile soil for the flourishing of art and culture, and also for the later rise and prevalence of landscape poems and painting.

The term "Xu-zhou" is the product of the development along this historical context. In Zhuangzi's "Lee Yu Kou Pian", it has been mentioned: "Wandering with full food, like a boat that is not tied, but also a wanderer." It is the image of wandering the rivers, lakes and seas through unmanned boats to symbolize nothingness. Obsessed, until the spiritual realm of ecstasy. Regardless of whether it is coloring according to the category, dyeing red and blue, or dividing the ink into five colors and calculating the white as the black, the painting and calligraphy has removed the advantages and disadvantages of the painting art in the long historical evolution. Talent and mood are often more important to the key to the appreciation.

Being in the same body with creation, art comes from temperament

Because of the position, the exhibition of "Xing Zhou Xing" brings together six artists including Taiwanese artists Yang Ziran, Wu Jitao, Ke Weiguo, Yang Ziran, Tao Gang, Lin Lili, and Hong Kong artist Mai Cuiying. The main theme of the exhibition is one On the one hand, it is the reappearance of the traditional spirit of the aforementioned literati expressing their ambitions, and on the other hand, in the face of the reality that the global epidemic is still unstoppable and the traffic is blocked, trying to outline people’s concerns about traveling to other places and pursuing stability in the world. Empathy projection.

Bu lived in Changhua Xiushui for many years. With a solid foundation in painting and calligraphy, Yang Ziran's creations mostly come from the land and life, such as people who pass by on the road, shabby objects abandoned on the side of the road, or clouds drifting over the treetops, etc. All kinds of themes are stained with his freehand brushwork, showing a completely unobstructed and eclectic artistic style like daily notes. For example, in the exhibition "Mountain", a geometric abstract mountain shape is painted purely with thick ink, and the upper part is dotted with round ink to form a sunny day, exuding a full of innocence and fun.

Most of Wu Jitao's paintings are based on the tortuous and complex topography of coastal headlands, but he is not blindly realistic, but expresses his emotions through careful layout. He often layered ink colors and rubbed fine brushes to make the paintings show a vast and vigorous atmosphere between the mountains and rivers, the density and the lightness, which can be said to be unbelievably interesting. For example, the recent work "A Thousand Thousands of People Are Like a Sea" is drawn on a Japanese gold-hidden paper version of the twilight quartet from far and near, showing the splendor before the night arrives at a glance; but the size is small. "Sleeping Tour. "Thousand Rocks", "Sleeping Tour. Although the two works of "Mountain Silence" are written on stone, they are very magnificent within a short distance. At the same time, they also echo the narrative imagination of the "Mountain on the Sea" that has traditionally been used by literati to travel with open arms to surpass the world.

Born in a family of calligraphy and painting in Keelung, Tao Gang's understanding of traditional landscape painting is not a problem. The works exhibited this time are mostly landscapes that blend real and imagined landscapes, such as "The Peaceful Yearning". Under its rational layout and the clever use of multiple media, it changes with the perspective and the light. Wandering, the landscape in the picture cascades out like a photographic film with black-and-white reversed image texture and strong contrast between light and dark, which takes the viewer to a cold, empty, and foreign country.

Harmony with Wanhua, swimming is almost the beginning

Originally from Hong Kong, Mai Cuiying has had a good relationship with the Taiwanese art circle for many years and has exhibited here many times. She loves nature and said: "I have carried forward the joy of green through paper, pen, and ink, reflecting a world that is quiet and far-reaching rather than action-oriented." Therefore, her works have always been fond of the use of elegant colors, simple and delicate. His brushstrokes continue to bloom on the screen like plants, such as "Yellow Flowers" and "Green Meadows" on display, which are difficult to distinguish at first glance. Creative energy.

In contrast to Mai Cuiying, for Ke Weiguo, trees not only have the functions of stabilizing the soil, regulating the environment, and maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, but they are also an important symbol of perseverance and strong wind in art and literature. Therefore, he has been diligent in visiting the towering trees all over Taiwan, which has become the focus of his recent works. In the exhibition, the two works that share the title of "Symbiosis" treat trees as human beings. Ke Weiguo left them with a solemn portrait of standing upright, and he can fully feel his deep obsession with the beauty of trees formed by nature without artificial human resources. The four-meter long scroll of "Dream Like a Dream" is dedicated to this exhibition, with a strong pen and delicately depicting the scene of the trees in the forest. An alternative portrayal of "Hundred Steps, No Miscellaneous Trees in the Middle", to return to the initial state of "the tree is not a boat", and then to reflect the original intention of personal creation.

Most of Lin Lili's creations use delicate and soft rendering brushstrokes to lead the viewer into a picture filled with a damp and drenched atmosphere and full of a sense of time. This time, from the earlier "House Shaped Boat" to several series of works specially tailored for this exhibition under the name of "Ferry Boat Head", it can be seen that she has transitioned from portraying her personal life experience to her transformation. Responding to how the traditional landscape painting of "one bank, two waters" presents subtle changes in contemporary views. At this point, the objects or moments that suddenly appeared in the memory are all quiet and beautiful in the hazy dreamlike scenery...

It can be said that these artists have each embodied their understanding and re-creation of the traditional calligraphy and calligraphy of literati, and appreciate their natural and purely single-minded works, in addition to temporarily staying away from the hustle and bustle of the world, and in an aesthetic creation that transcends utilitarianism. After getting a little consolation, I want to come to you and I should also be more able to realize that everything in the world arises from the cause and meets unexpectedly. It is like a vain boat, no matter if it moves or stops, it poetically shows the feeling of absence and eternal spirit. Family yearning.
Exhibition Photos
Chi-Tao Wu
Zi-Ran Yang
Winnie Mak
Gang Tao
Wei-Guo Ke
Li-Li Lin