Thirty-three, such a detailed and abstracted number, is my age. I use this number as the name for the exhibition, to summarize my present stage.
For me, stepped into my 30s’, I am no more a reckless boy, the boundary of my perception is constantly expanding with the change in life which is also the source and nourishment for my art practice. Thirty-three is the age that contains both stress and ambition, which I have to find a balanced point between my dream and reality, between being a father, son and husband; the increasing responsibilities makes me more sensitive about the surroundings. Observation and refinement increase the depth of my perceptions and clarify the origin of my works and my practice.
In my recent years, I slowly shifted my attention towards our own mental and spiritual world. The birth of my daughter gave me the opportunity to look back into the process of human growth and development in person and at the same time, giving me an opportunity to reflect back onto my own identity. As a newborn, we are innocent and naïve, but in our crystal-clear eye hides such great power and potentials, shines the longing for knowledge, as we grow, the consciousness of our identity and surroundings become stronger which also brings us excitement and worries. However, those who walks with their dreams must face the timidity and difficulties, which are the problems that every one of us has to confront. The world that we are looking for is much broader than the world we living in so we are driven by the curiosity and moving forward. We are much smaller when standing in the universe but we will become incredibly big when standing on the idea. In pure spiritual world, our thought is like flood, and our expectation for the future is limitless. However, our journey never ends at a particular point and even if it does, it leads back to who we really are. Then I often ask myself: who I am and what am I made from? Where does my identity come from? Will the spiritual world finally be materialized at some point? Where is the “spiritual me”? am I already standing at my destination or does destination do exist?
Vague thoughts and doubts that being formed over my 33 years are gradually projected onto the canvas, whether it is the rough solid figures or the empty and winding landscape, I hope they have genuine emotion, fearless courage and pure spiritual power, which is also my ideal expectation for myself in reality.
I am a simple but serious person. When I was young, I was mischievous and made trouble all the time. I left home when I was young, my parents were worried about me and always told me to take a good care of myself. Gradually, I developed the character of being cautious and shy. Only on the canvas can the let my inner passion out and presented without hesitation.
For painting, the way how I use brush and colors are based on the interaction between external stimulation and subjective emotions, in the process of making art, my interior and exterior are reflecting onto each other in order to fuse those two section into a whole, but it is not easy for me to use this method as a way of approaching art. The visual completion doesn’t mean the painting is finished and a finished painted doesn’t mean that it is completed. I refuse to make manuscripts before actual painting and I would rather focus more on the process of making a painting. I can’t anticipate what the painting would end up to be but I roughly have an idea of what a good painting looks like, the tricky thing is that on one would tell you what is “good” or “bad”. Painting is made by us so it should contain the trace of our hands, our emotions and reaction. A good painting technique will make painting flow smoothly, and unstable emotion will also stagnate the painting visually, but those things happen all the time and we don’t need to avoid them.
Through time, the canvas starts to shows our anxious, joy, impulse, frustration, hesitation, our patience and confidence. Those are the paintings that are lively and vivid, so for me, painting is a way to unveil the fog and see through the cloud, it is a journey of seeking and achieving. It is reasonable for me to have a brief moment of smooth in the process of art making, however, it makes it unreliable and skittish to be easy all the time.
Most of the works in this exhibition are more than two meters in height. Paintings with large sizes gives me a sense of suppression which I have to wrestle with them, fight with them and the triumph of the battle gives me the spiritual transformation. The idea of my self-confirming and self-denying makes me sober so that I wont stuck into a self-indulging situation which make me lost and make the painting boring.
In my art practice, or in the process of exploring, I sincerely open my heart, interpret my own thoughts, heading onto the direction of my perception of life and express my altitude.