Hao Liang b.1983
By Xiantonggui II
Made in 2015
135 x 61cm
Ink on silk
Published Hao Liang: This King, co-published by Guanxinting and Bonnefanten Museum, Netherlands, 2016, inside page
Exhibition "This gentleman", Mirror Garden, Guangzhou, 2016
"Garden of Crossing Paths - Paths and Nodes of 15 Artists", Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, 2015
Provenance Asian Private Collection
Description "From Immortals to Ghosts" is a series of works by Hao Liang who studied portrait painting and the wisdom of literati in the late Ming Dynasty. This work depicts the portrait of walking behind a strange rock, the light spot introduced outside the painting, and the mortise and tenon structure outside the painting. The work "Yixiantonggui II". The ghost worker's face in "Youxian Tonggui II" is actually the same as Shi Tao, but after adjusting according to the principle of physiognomy, it has been judged as two people. This painting reflects the view of the Five Sacred Mountains in traditional portraiture. The tenon and tenon joint chosen is the most peculiar structure in ancient Chinese architecture. The three pieces of wood are connected in six directions through a point. This accuracy comes from the whims of ghost craftsmen. The same series of works "From the Fairy Thong I" has been collected by the Centre Pompidou in France.
In essence, "Xian" and "Ghost" represent the balance between wisdom and practice that Chinese intellectuals have achieved. The artist discusses the contradictions and balances in the identity of Chinese literati through his works.
In June 2017, Hao Liang's exhibition project "By the Fairy Tale" at the 2014 FIAC Paris Contemporary Art Fair was collected by the Centre Pompidou. The Centre Pompidou said that the reason why it strongly hopes to collect "You Xiantonggui" as a collection is because "this work conceptually reflects the relationship between traditional Chinese culture and modernity, and also reflects the relationship between the two. The complexity of the works is very open in concept. It is not a simple formal transformation, but a conceptual transformation. From the works, we can see the modernity established in Chinese culture.”
Contradictions and Balances in Literati Identity
Hao Liang's 2015 work "From Immortals to Ghosts II" is the second piece in this series. It is a revisit to the tradition and historical process of literati painting. This work is not based on scholarly textual research, but a reinterpretation. Generated in association. "Xian" refers to people who have entered the world, transcend the world through self-cultivation, and refer to the portraits of literati. "Ghost" is taken from the Chinese idiom "Ghost and Axe", which is used to describe the superb craftsmanship. In the works, it is embodied as a mortise and tenon structure, and the joints of three pieces of wood form the connection points in six directions. This tenon and tenon joint is extracted from the three points and one line in the beam-column structure of the building, and it just fits the spirit of the sergeant and the craftsman in the work. In essence, "Xian" and "Ghost" represent the balance between wisdom and practice that Chinese intellectuals have achieved. The artist discusses the contradictions and balances in the identity of Chinese literati through his works.
Hao Liang tries to reach the other side of the double helix structure of the literati spiritual DNA by cutting into portrait painting. If it is said that landscapes approach the way of all things by creating images of nature, then portraits observe the breath of creation by creating images of themselves. Therefore, portraits share the same concept of "expressiveness" in the genealogy of Chinese painting.
Hao Liang pays attention to the way in which portraits were completed by literati and painters since the Ming and Qing dynasties. He believes that modern people's understanding of ancient "scholars" mainly comes from written records and portrait paintings, and the inner spirit conveyed by the portraits of scholars is regulated by literati. But the painting itself is done by artisans. These paintings use interesting paradigms. For example, the hands of the "scholars" are all the same, and they all point to the hands of the immortals. This identity is the code left by the literati, which makes such portrait paintings unique. From this, he described the state and characteristics of "shi" in the work "Youxian Tonggui" by using the techniques of artisans to draw portraits and the literati's speculation on objects.
The prototype of the character portrait in "From the Immortals to the Ghost II" is from the late Ming Dynasty's Qishi Shitao. In Shi Tao's 1674 work "Small Photos of Pine Plants", he sits on the rock of Panasonic in the image of a monk. On the left side of the picture, a child and a spiritual monkey walk towards him. This man who used to declare his "different" with the declaration that "the men of the ancients cannot be born in my face, the heart of the ancients, and cannot be put into my stomach" actually responded to the fact that it has existed for a long time in the history of Chinese art. , and the constant voice about how the artist's autonomy is established, the difference is that this man foresees the advent of modernity with his sensitivity.
In Hao Liang's writing, the bamboo pole in Shi Tao's hand has become a warm tool. The pattern of clothing and the texture of the strange stone are in harmony with each other. Will slowly fade away, at this time, people, neither as a member of the "individualists" nor as a member of the masses, but quietly emerge as an autonomous medium for feeling the world? As a medium for feeling the world, if "I" is to truly describe a person, then he may be like this: his clothing patterns may be no different from the veins of mountains and the ripples of water, and his gestures are in response to the wind. In response, his form and back will eventually return to the earth, he is not a subject outstanding in the landscape, he is a part of the whole world.
Today people do not see the ancient moon, this month once illuminated the ancients
Hao Liang’s complex view of creation methods reflected in the series of works “By Immortal Tonggui”, his artistic practice was greatly influenced by the theory of the literati artist Dong Qichang in the middle and late Ming Dynasty. The core of Dong Qichang’s theory is to integrate the past art history Treating it as a whole, the artist’s first and foremost is to summarize his own art history, and then respond to him in his personal work, and then there is the importance of association, facing the present need to recall history, but not obsessed with history. middle.
Due to Hao Liang's own long-term experience and personal sensitivity, his image work has three levels.
The first layer is the artist's relationship with nature. The artist's description of nature is not simply a realistic representation or depicting its texture. When the artist observes nature, he pays attention to the inner emotions at that moment, and the artist tries to deepen his cognition of the material.
The second layer is the re-understanding of historical images. These images come from text or painting images, when the artist captures and processes them, it is actually a process of reorganization and reconstruction. For example, "Remains" in "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang" borrows images from historical paintings and texts. When these images are organized together, the artist cares about its meaning in the present and the associations it evokes.
The third layer is that the artist pays attention to the surface and interior of the image, the actual meaning and the conferred meaning generated by the sense of twists and turns. The image you are looking at is like this, but the meaning it may point to is completely reversed.
Hao Liang believes that the current fascination with form has overshadowed content, and it is necessary to explore the generation of form in order to help re-creation. Reshaping the literary creation system is the center of his work. Hao Liang participated in and understood the construction of contemporary culture by looking for the modernity within the culture, and discovered the openness of literati art. This is a special working method that can accept different cultural resources, and many things he is interested in can enter into this. In the work system, it becomes his work material.
The issue he focuses on is no longer the pictorial and material aspects of literati art, but more on its spiritual aspect, which is about the intersection and creation of methods, ethics, history, the present, the universe and thinking.
Hao Liang also benefited from his own thinking and imagination, wandering between contemporary, modern and ancient times.