Shen Linag's new series 'Bast Paper and Painted Book' extend his exploration of common objects and include recent work that introduces elements of contemporary life into traditional painting. Starting from Eastern aesthetics, Shen then uses traditional Western methods and materials to create paintings with an Eastern spirit.Read More
'Bast Paper' Series challenges the values of traditional literati painting. He makes subtle observations of everyday life in his paintings of red onions, melon seed husks, and garlic skins, which literati felt had little value, or commonly seen willow branches and butterflies. Objects are depicted with exquisite technique approaching that of Realism, and the accumulation, day upon day, of smeared, layered, and molded pigment exudes the charm of landscapes in the Eastern ink-painting tradition. Shen's paintings are both concrete and abstract.
For 'Painted Book' Series, Shen Liang gives expression to and extends interest in copying the work of old masters. Shen discovered that the paper jackets of old books have a sense of time and history that is similar to that of old paper. He then started copying ancient paintings, painting them on the backs of book jackets to express traditional charm with the qualities of old books. He further added elements of falsification, ridicule, irony, joking, and humour to make the work contemporary. Shen's 'Painted Book' Series is part graffiti, part painting, and also part ready-made object.
Although Shen Liang has a background in Western painting, he still cherishes his own culture like a true literati. The spirit of the Eastern literati tradition is evident in his paintings, but he renews this spirit by using Western techniques. Through the alternating use of banter and solemnity, and entirely new features in his work, Shen joins Chinese traditional culture with contemporary life.
Text courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.