The culture of fire: According to Chinese legends, fire was discovered 500,000 years ago by Sui Si, who started a fire by rubbing stones against each other. Within the 5 elements, fire and water do not get along with one another. However, fire is an important element within Liang Guo Jian’s experimental water ink paintings. Moving beyond the traditions and boundaries of tradition Chinese painting to face the challenges brought about by the onslaught of new technology on traditional arts, Liang embraces his own unique style of artistic expression by incorporating the element of fire into Chinese paintings. By moving ink and water to the flicker of fire in the wind, and emulating the glow and depth of the flame, birth and destruction co-exist in the same frame, resulting in a visual effect that is both mesmerizing and sorrowful at the same time. In his experimental water ink paintings, Liang makes use of different methods to demonstrate various forms of fire, while maintaining its traditional and cultural essence, transforming his experimental water ink paintings into a form of artistic language, an emotion, a mental state, all while demonstrating the flexibility and strength of Chinese water ink as an artistic medium.

Liang admires the works of numerous master artists such as Zhang Da Qian, whose vibrant and bold ink splatter works inspire him, and Lin Feng Mian, whose works exude a sense of quiet and calm. , Liang draws inspiration from the creations and styles of many of the great artists before him and just as the burning of fire symbolizes the continuity of a form of traditional Chinese ceremony, many of Liang’s paintings also exhibit his boundless appreciation and respect for these earlier great masters of art.

Lost - liangs experiment Chinese painting

Key words: Ethereal, Emptiness, Mountains, Illusion of Water, Merging, Destruction, Memory, Confusion

The specialized mounting format and viewing mode of traditional Chinese painting stems from the unique characteristic of this art medium, forming the basis for an aesthetic style unique from its western counterpart. Poetry, calligraphy, stamping and ink wash come together to form a dynamic visual experience. As the traditional Chinese saying goes, ‘Vast enough is the space that allows horses to roam; Dense is the space where embroidered flowers cluster’. Using the expressive technique of traditional Chinese painting, emptiness and space are represented as white on rice paper, representing both water and sky, but also expressing the boundlessness between these two elements. The spirit generated by this embodies the essence and characteristic of the Chinese culture and civilization.

The spirit of Chinese painting also permeates Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, which are three fields dominating humanistic spirit of China: Confucianism focuses on harmony and difference and while maintaining individuality in conservativeness and restraint.

On rice paper, water and ink merge seamlessly to create images of stately mountains and flowing rivers. The resulting effect is an illusion of universal change, formless and vast, expounding quietness similar to the calmness exuded by the Heart Sutra.

Linking the Past and Present: Liang’s ink wash inherits the traditional style while breaking the moulds of traditional landscape, using deft strokes of bold black calligraphy to convey and evoke innermost thoughts and emotions. At the same time, gold foil is added to break up the monotony of the black, creating a new interpretation and twist to traditional ink wash, all while maintaining the strength and vigor of the medium without compromising its classical beauty.

With the silence shattered, heaven and earth become one. The act of burning reflects the cycle of birth and destruction, where in the rubbles of destruction lie hidden the meaning of life, nature, spirit and soul. Fire and wind movement has reached its highest level, soothing the traces of destruction back into a state of tranquility. The burnt fragments from the blank portions of the painting are mounted on different materials, further enhancing the final visual effect, with the gold and silver base plates acting like ancient bronze mirrors, directly reflecting the eyes and emotions of the observer. Hanging these in a host of environments will cast a different light on the paintings; evoking inspiration and thought, while losing yourself within the realm of ink wash painting.

他在欣赏张大千式的泼墨山水,同样怀恋林风眠的静寂意境。依 健伯之见烧火是中国人一种祭忌行为,在他的许多画作经常充满对这些艺术大师表达无限缅怀之情。