New abstraction during the epidemic

“What I am proving is that art is a life phenomenon. His deep sense and beauty of form. She derives from the soul and eventually has to return to the unchanging law of the soul, and the self-entertainment mentality and the nature of the game.” As the earliest painter who proposed and practiced expressing emotion and inner spirit in an abstract way, the core essence of abstract art seems to have never expired.

The emergence of abstract art is the necessity of reciprocating art. When there is a bottleneck in traditional painting methods; when artists no longer satisfy the previous skilled painting experience; when the entire art history system is questioned, abstract expressionist thoughts emerge. Abstract art has formed a climate before and after World War II. Masters came out in great numbers. It is another artistic peak after the brilliant paintings created by Picasso and Matisse. Seventy or eighty years have passed, and the possibility of another climax in painting is not high. Abstract art has formed a relatively perfect aesthetic system. Like the pen-and-ink system, it may only be able to seek change in this system. No matter whether the possibility of change is great or not, painting still has to continue.

In the past two decades, I have almost continuously visited important museums in Europe and the United States, and deeply impressed by the art traditions of China and Europe. In the history of human aesthetics, these two treasures have great traditional power, which is nutritious for the big tree of art. It is also a burden. Chinese abstract art and the freehand tradition of literati painting and calligraphic meaning of calligraphy are in the same line, and there is no obvious alienation in the intersection with abstract expressionism in Europe and America. The value of abstract art, like the tradition of writing, lies in the discovery of the inner expressiveness that is separated from the object image. It has great creativity and distinctive era character, and it is a permanent cultural symbol of human civilization.

I watched the Whitney Biennale in New York in June last year. At the same time, I was recommended by the artist friends of New York to the Beacon Foundation Museum in the minimalist base camp to feel the combination of materials and paintings and the thoroughness of New York in contemporaryity. Thoroughness comes from completely getting rid of the shackles of traditional burdens. Contemporary art is as spectacular as a beast that is not restricted by traditional forces. Tomburi, Gustung, Boyce, Serra… These great gods who have become masters are just human face beasts who are still being pulled by ropes. The exiled beasts have long been dead.

Wu Lintian, “Xinchang Ancient Town”, cloth with integrated materials, 50×40cm, 2020.

Every time I find the signature of the Song people hiding on the silk in the hidden place of the picture, there will be a kind of faint throb, coupled with the nourishment of the literati’s brush and ink for a long time. After settling down during the epidemic, this throb was suddenly in sight, and became a catalyst for creating these pink series. From the early fascination with black and brown to the pink line of the past six months, the epidemic has made my creation appear in a more interesting turn for me. The new works take the ancient towns, villages, and gardens around the studio as the main reference objects, and use the thin wood cloth and homemade paint as means to complete the abstraction.

Life is above all else, and art is a necessary subordinate of life. The long epidemic period deepened the scale of life, but the work was transformed from the heavyness of the previous twenty years to the unexpected lightness of this period. Life is heavy enough for art to be light. Perhaps the lightness behind it is still heavy.