Dream in Conscience and Talent
—— Comment on Philosophical Ink Paintings of Xianrong Wang
Duan Li(Duanmu Gong)
Appreciating works from Xianrong Wang can easily remind us of the famous quote by Shi Tao that artworks should go with times and his works have obviously risen to the level of reflecting the times. Shenzhen Evening News’ publication of his philosophical ink sketches as public services advertisements is itself a confirmation and compliment of his art form. It has been published a few days in a row and audience could enjoy it now.
For senses and principles, it is hard to explain in words, but together with drawings people could be easily enlightened. Xianrong Wang borrows painting to tell the truths. He has his own stylish point of views which are rich, interesting and profound. His art form is simply conveyed, easily comprehended and genuinely creative.
The highest state of traditional Chinese painting is to capture the essence, which reminds me of three figures. The first one is Wei Wang, noted poet of Tang dynasty and also originator of literati painting. Su Shi thought his works were painted inside poetry with poetry inside painting, which is the highest state that Chinese scholars have been pursuing. The other two are famous modern artist Zikai Feng and well-known contemporary comic artist Cheng Fang. Xianrong Wang’s philosophical works maybe influenced by them, but at the same time have his own unique artistic expression symbols and creative style. Each of his paintings, no matter concerned about current social situation or thoughts of state affairs, make people ponders over one truth or even more truths. His over 200 pieces of paintings are actually topics listed for us to rethink about culture, which distinguish themselves from Wei Wang’s Buddhist character, Zikai Feng’s folk sketches or Cheng Fang’s sarcastic comics. They are not only photogenic record of the moment but cultural intelligence filled with passion and aspiration of the world. Xianrong Wang established a new form of art with his honest outlook to question and push humanity in order to express his contemplation on world and human being. That is rare treasure in a modern world. What is treasurable is not only to explore art but the spirit into the world, attitude about the world and cultural reflection hidden in the art, for it requires not avoiding the reality or eager for quick success, but clear mind and cultivation for conscience. Conscience is times responsibility and artists’ morality. Talent is the expression form and artistic effect. Dedicating conscience to talent, Xianrong Wang has been progressing to the philosophy of the unity of knowledge and action brought up by philosopher Yangming Wang in Ming dynasty. That is the positive inspirations given to us by his philosophical ink sketches or folkloric philosophical paintings, which defined in popular term, is positive artistic energy.
Shenzhen was built upon innovations upmost in economy and perceptive area across the country. Originality has been rooted in Shenzhenese, and it has been cohering into a kind of urban quality in much broader internalized cultural expression. Philosophical Ink Sketches of Xianrong Wang are one of those kinds. In his works we can read about his independent observation, expression, visualization and effect. That independence is originality. Only originality produces value, only which attracts attention. It is the quality of a Shenzhen artist, foundation of the city, and a worldwide cultural wave being led by Chinese.
More paintings are shown in this publication compared to the public services ads in Shenzhen Evening News. After years of exploration, the works symbolized his maturity and further development in art.
It is very inspiring. Congratulations and looking forward to more accomplishment.
(Duan Li(Duanmu Gong), writer and calligrapher, inventor of Dream Culture, Secretary in charge of Shenzhen Dream Culture Institute, and vice president of Shenzhen Original Art Association etc. His book Dream is not Dream was awarded 2011’s Top Ten National Self-improvement Books.)