The code of the word - A brief evaluation on Han Zhibing’s color ink painting with the theme of lotus
Han Zhibing has been widely regarded as a painter with the overall quality for traditional culture. The straightforward personality can not overshadow his deep insight into the life and society. He has a ceaseless desire to explore the art from within and also immerses himself in such a complicated process. He has infused the implication of life into the color ink painting devoted to the lotus so as to combine the traditional world with the contemporary world. In his opinion, many problems existing in the modern consumption culture can be screened away through the Zenist serenity. With regard to the traditional culture aimed at the cultivation of human nature, it can be reborn through a new visual picture. Hence, his color ink painting has been a transition from the traditional to the contemporary.
His creation of works is more like the routine experience of the life, which is similar to the Zen meditation. In the daytime, he will engage himself in the trifle routine for the website for Chinese artists. He can bury himself in the studio only in the depth of the night. Therefore, the painting can not only give him the solitary moment away from the daily life but also enable him to meditate deeply. Each piece of his works has been a medium of his spiritual meditation as well as the self expression in isolation.
For Zhibing, the art is a looming self-perception and also a temporary self-liberation. His works have the quality to exert influence on the viewers. It can free your heart from the external influence as well as relieve you from the strain of various desires. With the bold stroke, he can create his work as the ink pen scratches on the soft face of the Xuan paper. Zhibing has found infinite pleasure in it, thus turning the external world into a quiet, stainless and pure one. It is even more precious in the contemporary time.
AS noted by Pierre Bourdieu in The Rules of Art, all artistic works have embodied the special code which is hidden behind the change of color during the creation. The code has represented the essence of the experience and unique style of the creator. Maybe Zhibing has neither realized the code in his works nor figured out what code to follow during the process of creation. However, each of his works has observed the invisible logic, based on which his works can be interpreted.
In most cases, his works of color ink painting aim to make a simple but sensitive record of the most common scene in the lotus pond. He can also effectively combine the inspiration gained from sketching with the experience. But it does not mean that he only focuses on interpreting the beautiful scene. In the series of Lotus Fragrance, we can catch a glimpse of his unnoticed observation of the world. It also features the poetry and joy that mingle the reality with the personal illusion. What is worth mentioning is that some lotus leaves in his work have extended towards the edge of Xuan paper. Featured by the tendency to extend outwards, it can enable the painter to cut loose from the limitation of the paper. In other words, he can create his works more freely. He often says that the straightforwardness and joy are far from something to be found. Instead, they are the mind’s natural release of artistic emotions when it is least expected.
By virtue of rationality and instinct, he can release his boundless talent in his works. It is also the balance between control and liberty as well as the struggle between the concrete and the abstract. In the most relaxing state, he has indulged himself in his works. The spatial feeling in his works is impressive. Sometimes, it can depict the narrow space in the crowdedness. Sometimes, it is most spacious. It is just like the breathing of the human, full of the essence of life. It can also reflect the expansion and shrinkage of the vigor, leading to the complementation between virtuality and reality. The vacant space has been reserved to lead the human emotion in the virtual world. Hence, he has utilized the vacant virtuality to restructure. His works have made a feature of the dimly discernible sense and the transience of life to the fullest. Through the method of combining the virtuality and reality, he can interpret the philosophy of universe in the most inspirational manner.
In Zhibing’s works, they focus on and outstand China’s traditional culture to attitude and stance of nature. Under control of this spirit, he quite naturally changes oil painting into visual language of Chinese painting. Colorful lotus lines are abstracted from autography and lines, and lines, sometimes thick or thin, sometimes reflect broken lines, hidden lines or exhibit style of self, sometimes swift, dignified, concentrated and divergent, which seems to make time visible and let people feel life and people’s feeling status. From his perspective, each line is loaded with internal historical experience and there is no need to make any explanations. It has relationship and meaning existing in this world. He admires for simple aesthetic very much and seeks few lines to express more meaning, but the whole painting shows endless when exploring, yet hard to find anything. He could use brush to sweep and form between existence and void. He uses autography lines being abstract to film as an eastern aesthetical spirit that from gaining soul yet forgetting form to forgetting self and gaining Buddha.
In his work, we can find he uses his heart and soul to master whole of painting that is in line with relationship between works, work and audience. Recently created in Wutai Mountain, he always seeks new language between spirit and without spirit. He likes to focus on truth and simple object, sorting out and strengthening this consciousness from his feeling. The lotus is colorful, whose purpose is not to shine in blossom but for lotus nut within lotus. When lotus is falling, it is withered, yet still sticks to new life. In modern city experiencing transformation and in society full of business, this kind of characteristic is quite pretty for being plain and endurance that is far away from enjoy and flash. The kindness and truth becomes scarce and touching in modern city life. This is what he wants to express from his own experience. But lotus works exhibited in Russia, he introduces western painting theory that is good at seeking grey from all kinds of colors and finding life from grey by sometimes using plenty of blackish green, red or grey to express vision. This language comprised of colors, lines and space and mixed color through vivid moving change flat painting into poetic and free movement. The certain and strong autography lines focus on central subject, enrich painting content and exhibit double spirit between pure natural beauty and pure painting. He uses all kinds of skilled water and ink lines to express series of vivid pictures. Those quiet and tranquil, clear and dignified lotus flavor seem to jump out of painting being constructed thousands of times in his inner heart. Different color movement and mutual exchange and penetration show natural wonderful change and moving rhythm attracts attention of audience.
The lotus painted by ancient painter is always simple and brief, quiet to extreme and scholar deeply understand its meaning. They always compare themselves to lotus when viewing and admiring it. They just narrate content, never to create, which is a dream each intellectual desires to make come true. I use painting method that is completely new idea and language to approach art self positively. His colorful lotus is not for seeking curiosity or to vulgarize common of the people. His attention on people, under special circumstance, is full of aesthetic narration and expresses his inner heart. He always finds balanced point between Chinese traditional painting and modern art. We have reason to believe there is a secret tunnel between his art and himself connecting with daydream as an artist and cultural and Buddha are keys to enter into dream.
Writer Zhang Wei The famous art critic