It was the last day of painter Sang Huoyao's exhibition, running from March 23 to 30, at Today Art Museum. Viewers were still wandering among Sang's art works, appreciating his Chinese paintings which he dubs Sang's Squares, his signature works.
Sang, who gained a master degree in Chinese Painting from the China Academy of Art in Beijing has been working on contemporary Chinese paintings for decades. His Sang's Squares have come to define one approach to contemporary Chinese paintings.
"Contemporary art approaches have given many possibilities to Chinese paintings. These paintings seem to be far away but they act as ties between Chinese and Western arts," said Sang, also vice curator of Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou. He exhibited 25 art works at Today Art Museum, including three installations and one video piece.
Since 1978, contemporary water ink art has been enriching and developing its own domain. With the introduction of a "space" concept and multiple "brushwork" combination, water ink arts has had a breakthrough in space, shape as well as formal language, leading to a liberation in the traditional thinking behind the art. From subject to spiritual theme, Chinese water ink art is still inclined to traditional landscape scenery and human ideals.
When other artists were still exploring with lines, Sang found he could use squares to promote Chinese paintings. Sang's squares are combinations of traditions and contemporary, East and West.
"The origin of Chinese paintings lies in water and ink, not beelines. And contemporary water ink paintings must focus on planes, not lines," he said.
Since then, modern water ink arts has entered the visional field and psychological experience which traditional water ink cannot reach, promoting the generation of new arts with a human character.
Yin Shuangxi, art critic and professor at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing thinks that Sang's paintings still retain a Chinese traditional drawing style though they are given modern aesthetic sense and novel visual form.
"They are actually an Eastern artist's understanding and his ideal values toward cultural and contemporary life. People would see his expression and pursuit of human care in real life," Yin commented at the opening ceremony.