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wong tsz mei Art Blog

Innovation coalesced with continuing Chinese qualities(part 1)

by tszmei , January 24, 2011—12:00 AM

Topics: characteristics of Chinese…, the imperatives of tradition

1)Tradition and Modernity

Traditional Chinese painting has always been a prize bloom in the garden of painting. It enjoys equal renown with oil painting in the history of art and is keenly sought-after by art dealers all over the world. As China abounds in works of art from many periods,many masterpieces of the illustrious great masters of the order generation, besides in styles reminiscent of traditional paintings, they also embody the profoundity of cultural values radiating in visual forms .Such achievements have already earned the painters respects and admirations.Some precursors even wanted to go farther by developing a new mode of apprehending the visible world and inner reality,not merely viewing their milieus through the visions of our old masters ,but they also intended to encompass the powerful traditions in their art works. Therefore they contextualized all the acquired novel techniques,the expressive methods of new ideas to modernize Chinese paintings. It is the appropriate process of stylistic evolution.And some works gaining the interpenetration of the tradition and modernity have remained the most fascinating product of modern arts which displaying the distinctive national features with zeitgeist. Is the innovation of the presentday Chinese painting follow the evolutional way of some successful examples of the modernized Chinese painting?

To successive generations of the Chinese avant-garde ,the most advanced artistic manifesto,each major lead out of the compass of Mainland China have opened potentialities to explore. Above all, Contemporary is an epoch of dramatic stylistic diversity for experiments in painting method.A feeling of sudden and infinite expansion of aesthetic possibilities can be detected in most Chinese avant- garde painting;the variety of styles,sometimes even within the work of one artist over a short period, reflects the sudden concentrated and rapid exposure to so many developments. With equal conviction and unmistakably individual predilections,paintings of delicate tonal modulations;of sombre solidity;of broad flattened areas of colour; of robust simplifications and so forth quite startling to the viewers and we marvelled at the imaginations and inventiveness of the avant-garde painters.

2)Appreciation and investment

Presentday paintings of every description are exposed to the public via various channels by which to circumvent state intervention or the jurying process make the access of art now a commonplace. In former day, A glimpse of the plush interiors of the leading auction houses or a trip to the forbidding galleries can give the visitor second thoughts about purchasing a piece of artwork. Therefore purchasing artworks seemed to be the activity of a handful of connoisseurs and high-livers at that time. Over the past years, as average people could buy what they like through internet,and then the gap between arts and public is narrowed. Some ambitious persons even thinking of buying fine art as an investment. Why not? As it is little difference of speculating quality fine arts and other financial products to make our assets increase in value. Moreover,the purchased work could be hung for appreciation, to savour it over time,but other speculating items could only be knocked in safe or deposit in bank without immediate function. Nevertheless, to the uninitiated the prospect of buying quality fine art can be daunting, and to buy the contemporary Chinese paintings would demand much more care or attention, for the westernizied-cum-Chinese eclecticism blurred the distinction of the distinguishing characteristics of Chinese paintings. Therefore, before launching an investment in art,in the uniqueness of an artistic style,we start by educating ourselves about the art market as much as we do about the art itself. Rarity is one of the criteria to valuate an artwork and Chinese quality is unique which is in a class by itself. To make a comprehensive survey of the miscelaneous artforms, Chinese painting should not be mistaken for western painting. It is the same that the misattributions of Van Gogh, Manet, Renior would not happen,as their idiosyncrasies stand out noticeably.

Nowadays, public exhibitions,selling art online are established as the crucial,indispensable means of putting the producers and consumers of art in touch. As independent artists,they made their living by selling on the art market to clients who might be anybody at all. An increasingly important intermediate role is played by art dealer, whose ongoing commercial gallery shows(both the online marketplace and the traditional bricks and mortar) made contact possible. Furthermore the linking of exhibition and periodical publications are to become a regular feature of art and media market. Therefore, we are easily dazzled by the flood of art informations and invariably would not be equal to the strain on our concentration to scrutinize every piece of work. And still the fact remained that most of the public preferred not to make up their own minds and simply relied on the expert opinion. It turn into the causation that artists were compelled to woo the critics and to organize their own promotion. Many sounding rhetoric of art criticism may not be totally reliable.Should the practised connoisseur and the less experienced art lover alike know the aesthetic standing of Chinese art which offers us the unique feast to the eyes, the contemporary Chinese painting actually following the imperatives of tradition without sticking to the old ways would not be overlooked.



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