Substitute for Sorrow

In this series Substitute for Sorrow an emphasis has been placed on heritage: specifically in reference to Chinese painting (Pinyin: ‘shuǐ mò huà’). By exploring the quintessentially Chinese medium of ink wash painting, this series employs new forms of expressions through the utilization and praxis of radical techniques (by delivering ink stains with the use of an atomiser, rather than a traditional ink brush). By re-imagining time-honoured landscape paintings (Pinyin: ‘shan shuǐ’, which literally means, ‘mountain-water’) this contemporary visual context challenges traditional notions of Chinese representational art.

Multiple points of view as well as negative space play a critical compositional role. Furthermore, through the use of marbled Plexiglas atop compressed Xuan paper - infused with droplets of ink - a sense of depth becomes prevalent by the shadows’ three-dimensionality (created by each fold and groove) as well as by the ink stains’ varying intensity. Such abstraction allows the mind to conjure up several imaginary depictions, perhaps connoting Chinese scholars’ rocks, a scenery of Lijiang River in Xingping, Guilin, or mere conceptual geological formations; these works embody scaled-down representations of the landscape of the mind - alluding to an alternative, painted reality.


As a side note: these works were partly inspired by the music of Henyrk Gorecki, specifically Symphony No. 3 – “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”. Symphonic yearning is reflected by the somnolent and contemplative nature of the visually monotonic works.