2018 05 上海
Evolved around the subject of nature, Xuesong has been painting images that transcend the figuration of men and nature. His recent paintings focus on mountains and trees, where the dimensions of the imagery seem to have broadened and enriched in comparison to previous works. In addition, the details on these works provide imaginations to the viewer, through which one could roam among them leisurely. The perception of nature can often be infinite. People yearn for the knowledge of and intimacy with nature, although often this kind of exploration, without exception, returns to grasping a perception of the self. For this eternal subject in the tradition of painting, we discover that in Xuesong’s works, he has adopted a willful approach to visualize the landscape of his mind in order to be freed from artistic conventions, so he can project human emotions with natural textures. Under his brush, the stones and mountains, in the company of streams and breezes, shape a unique world where vegetation under the sun and nurtured by the air appreciate the gift of life. The forms of these stones and trees are analogies for the rules and orders of this world, sublimated and visualized, to resonate with the viewer’s sentimentality. Xuesong relies on his acute and accurate observation and perception, and draws from the trainings he has honed in his youth and the experiences he had accumulated. With which, he extracts the secret of things and the spirit of nature from the chaotic world with wit and sophistication, and condenses his discoveries through the brush, into the worldly reference of such ideological of order.
Xuesong’s works gradually incline for the monochrome. His execution on canvas has attained a level of mind-hand unity over long periods of practice. His application of the ink, either dense or light, integrates self-constraints with freedom. The succinctness in his ink signals the form of his subject, instead of imitating its form. For any details in his paintings, or any part of his composition, the ink marks are not isolated, but connect, extend and expand into their surroundings, so they render the vastness of a world at large. Only then, a simple yet vital life would grow, where one would experience the purpose of creation through sublimation and dispersion. In other words, Xuesong’s work is not aimed at building and constructing nature, but to allow the natural order to become self-evident. He transcends the notions of “learning from nature in order to teach oneself”, what he achieves is a natural order and law that are precise. Such precision enable a comprehensive provocation of human emotions from the landscape, where its monochromatic scheme does not make the work seem unnatural, but rather its distinction of reality and fiction, the artist’s technical skills become less important than the sense of vitality and the ultimate humanist concern discovered in the atmosphere rendered.
Such impressions from Xuesong’s paintings are supported with his ubiquitous “nameless objects”. These ambiguous clusters or shadows seen upon first glance, do not amount to “the shape or form of any object”, an approach that most artists try to avoid. However, these scattered and nameless ink marks are self-efficient and appropriate, without impeding on the establishment of truthful sentiment when one is confronted with nature. These marks can be the enshrouding dense mists and thin clouds, the withered grass and bamboo nestled among the stones, or the ebb and flow of wind and stream. Together, they convey the laws and essence of nature in an alternative dimension. Not many artists can achieve this level of representation, as it demands one’s lasting desire for improvement and one’s enlightenment shaped by tireless practices.