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Luo Quanmu

Araki Nobuyoshi
Au Hoi Lam
Cai Guoqiang
Cao Hui
Christian Schoeler
Fan Mingzheng
Fang Lijun
Feng Zhengjie
Han Jinpeng
Huang Jia
Ji Dachun
Jia Juanli
Jia Pingxi
Jiang Huajun
Justin Cooper
Kang Haitao
Klavdij Sluban
Li Hongjun
Liang Quan
Lui Chun Kwong
Luo Quanmu
Marc Riboud
Ng Kwun Lung Tony
Parry Ling Chin Tang
Qu Guangci
Roger Ballen
Shen Liang
Sheng Shanshan
Song Chen
Song Kun
Sui Jianguo
Tan Jun
Tan Ping
Tian Tian
Tsang Chui Mei
Vivian Poon
Wang Chuan
Wei Qingji
Wei Yan
Wu Di
Wu Haizhou
Xia Xiaowan
Xiong Yu
Yan Shanchun
Yin Zhaoyang
Yu Aijun
Zach Gold

Not present narrative
Huang Ya Ji
Since Descartes (René Descartes), Western philosophy for the discussion mainly painting reproduction, painting, painted objects so that the ductility of the existence and expansion of reproduction to be possible, even to the Impressionists, Cezanne (Cézanne) the depth of the pursuit of painting, through the get rid of things on the skin to become commensurate with the experience of self-Pro is now evidence, arguments still stand on the outside world he’s there, go through the various artistic methods to ask the meaning of existence. In contrast, Luo Tsuen wood paintings, specimens from the landscape to the series, or Zen (2007), logging (2007), quarrying (2008), which seems to actually paint the scene from memory from the artist put together, is ideal from the heart to get the specific historical imagery, and emotions into a full show of lies.

Luo Tsuen initially thought the painting and see the wood for the method, early maps (2000), Tiananmen Square (2000) or Landscape (2002), (2006), are both the western and terrain awareness for the path to take scientific analysis of the way to the canvas stretched, overflowing the whole picture, especially landscapes, is the anatomy of Chinese landscape painting strokes, it seems like the corner of Guo Xi’s landscape maps look like smoothing; but then, Romania has Tsuen wood rocks and complacency out of the landscape began to shrink, to become free in the space of a scene, then they turned into a deer with the painting, accompanied peacock stone or rock fountains, the “Vision and Hua Pu” and said: “clouds of change off between Margaret Temple, thousands of state-stricken, “life everywhere, to be habitat, and livable, you can visit the magical, is described in the Chinese landscape and the natural relationship between all things.

Luo Tsuen idea of ​​wood on the rocks of the performance of the pursuit of art, works of both free and depression, that is, with its stated: “between the rocks is between abstract and figurative images can follow the inner feeling to walk in, more than anywhere less or a little, not limited by shape, the pattern of rocks a bit like a mind map, full of strange cave, it’s muscle is almost neurotic. ” Luo Tsuen wood for the description of the whole process of rocks, not like the attitude of Western artists is the physical release, on the contrary, Luo Tsuen wood tight body, so that all of the muscle was exposed to re-curl in the lines, there is room in the dark, depression surrounding scenery, isolated from the artists very personal-dimensional, this dimension and is tightly isolated from the screen, do not see the possibility exists in the outside world, do not see past the next; despite living in which biological, but smell of life present sex – Lo Tsuen wood painting is a slice for the past, an illusion, a dream of the hypothesis.

It is not hard to explain Luo Tsuen specimens preference for wood, and scenes directly from the museum display in the acquisition, which put together from memory or photographs of the artist as the smoothing process after the re-constructed analysis of the rocks, became the only exist in the canvas in a past moment; but, interestingly, these specimens are there is a comfortable, this feeling is not in Hiroshi Sugimoto (Sugimoto Hiroshi) see photo – can echo this Song to observe the natural paint , always focussed on the literary nature of thinking, but Luo Tsuen memories and photos of the wood through landscaping and Song visited the mountains, secret view of the different flora and fauna of the painting – Lo Tsuen wood living in cities, live in the moment, but then in the past has not there are things from life is the reflection of extreme personal feelings inside, and freely, not bitterly, but also depression, self-and external to agree to this condition.

Butterflies in the mining, logging people, quarry, Luo Tsuen wood gradually change the details of the plot base, Zen people, who overflowed the background logging worse than trying to fill a vacancy in the past of the muscle in the management vision intertwined, opened to determine the sense of space, light, color and create an ideal world the sense of place and narrative, to capture the end or is about to begin a fuzzy state, this state is a Luo Tsuen sense of the unique atmosphere of wood works, he found universal things are fixed between or after certain things, and emotions are referential, is implied, but can not say clear the mystery; quarrying and rocks (2007), Luo Tsuen wide range of wood like the past imposing mountains spindle composition into a bit more party, full of change patterns, fine cracked rub enriched Yamagata also provides a sense of order. Luo Tsuen rocks to show the performance of quality wood with a white face specific strokes, revealing the impressionistic qualities of winter, not frozen waterfall down into the pool after the lead of the visual scene, S-type waterside to the line of sight through the scenery around the screen at the same time be attractive, but also as the childhood as careful to explore the unknown adventure.

Everything is accelerating, this is a portrayal of the world, so over the past decade, the next decade will be the case, the whole world and had been flying from the side, Luo Tsuen wood is in this circle never quiet the din of the flow of the moment He let the audience favorite on into another world, like the mysterious obscure things, let us enter the story, and then more and more deeply, feel the magic, things began to emerge in the end had finally seen the artist that the human or expression of that beginning.

Narration of absence
Yaji Huang
Since the time of René Descartes the debates upon representational painting have been focused on the possibilities of extended existence or representation of objects depicted by artists. Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne pursued depth of tableau through breaking away from the appearance of things and representing the scenes with subjective perception-an idea from positivism. All these arguments are, however, based on an assumption that there are Others existing in the outside world and the significance of their existence won’t be understood except through diversified art forms. In Luo Quanmu’s paintings, from landscape to specimens such as “Butterfly Catcher” (2007), “The Logger” (2007), and “Rock Collector” (2008), the seemingly realistic scenes are in fact composed of memorial collages of the artist. The materials in these collages are retrieved from an ideal history fabricated by Lou, and before being transformed into concrete images, they are permeated with the artist’s emotions.

Lou’s early paintings revealed the angles of the viewer’s gaze. The “Map” (2000), “Tiananmen Square” (2000) and two “Shanshui” (2002), (2006) unfold topological features on canvases with western scientific perception and methodology. Nevertheless the brimming landscape comes from a dissection of traditional Chinese landscapes – it seems that a fragment of Guo Xi’s work has been flattened to be scrutinized like a map. In Lou’s later works, mountain rocks apparently have shrunken from the excessive landscapes, becoming an image drifting in space. In other paintings, the mountain rocks are replaced by stones beside deer or peacocks, or fountain megaliths. Like what the Xuanhe Painting Guide has pointed out: “Haze shifts among the cloudy sky over the roof of a Buddhist convent, its forms are ever-changing. “In Chinese paintings, the most prominent delineation of the relationship between men and nature is the livable, playable and restful environment.

The changing rocks are the embodiment of Lou Quanmu’s art: seemingly carefree but intrinsically restrained. In a statement Lou said:

“Mountain rocks possess forms that are both abstract and figurative, their shapes are paralleled to our mental topology, and their apertured, coarse textures are like our nerves.”

Contrary to the western artists who tend to liberate objects from their forms, Lou’s mountain rocks are contracted, and their once exposed textures and grains now curl up. Arranged in the somber, desolate surroundings, these rocks are confined in the artist’s personal dimension, a dimension absolutely isolated in the painting, a dimension without any connection to the outside world or the future. Despite the existence of lives in this dimension, the audience is not able to feel any of their presence. Lou’s painting is a section of the past, an illusion and a dream.

That might explain why Lou is enchanted by specimen. He staged a scene of a museum that displays the pieces of his memories and mental pictures through the laying out and reconstituting the cross-sections of rocks. The procedures only exist in a momentary flash on the canvas. Though there are similarities between Lou’s themes and those of Japanese photographer Sugimoto Hiroshi, Lou’s objects are at greater ease than Hiroshi’s. Like to the literati from the Song Dynasty, nature is the anchor for Lou, only literati in the old time depicted mountains , woods, birds and flowers through visiting and touching them personally. Lou, a city dweller, can only piece up the past objects with the present conditions. Lou’s works reflect his personal emotions and he candidly identifies such emotions with sentiment.

In “Butterfly Catcher”, “The Logger”, and “Rock Collector”, Lou gradually changed the excessive details. The saturated backdrops of the “Butterfly Catcher” and “The Logger” attempt to fill up the waning past; the artist created a place and a story in an ideal world through mingled textures, entangled prospects and a certainty in the unfolding space, light and colors. Lou grasps the ambiguous status of something about to set out or about to end. Such a fashion is his unique style because he has found the myth in things and in emotions that can’t be represented no matter how they are depicted or implied.

In “Rock Collector” and “Shanshi” (2007), the grand mountains comparable to Fan Kuan’s have been moved slightly to one side, the capricious configurations and the rugged hills nonetheless give out a sense of order. The white rocks demonstrate Lou’s brushwork that presents a wintry feel, and the running waterfall leads viewers toward the background where an S-shape pond transverses the canvas from left to right. Seeing this picture, a cautious adventure we’ve conducted in childhood has been revitalized.

Over the past decade the world is moving faster than it ever has and in the next decade it surely won’t slow down. Things are flying by as Lou Quanmu is grasping the still, tranquil moments among all the bustling incidents. Looking at his paintings , the audience can not help themselves but fall into the world of mythic ambience he created. We enter it, feel it as these intriguing things emerge gradually, and at length, we realize what the artist tried to show us.

Painting is a strange thing
Luo Tsuen Wood Interview 2007
text / Li Danni
visitor: Li Danni (hereinafter referred to as Lee)
of the respondents: Luo Tsuen wood (hereinafter referred to as Law)

Lee: You were born in 1965, many of the same age friends in the art market has hit it big, you do not feel pressed for time, known to be as early as possible?
Luo: I always think they are adults, I enlighten late, stuck it in his own world. Early success of early resuscitation of people, it should be, I do not feel time pressure.

Lee: It sounds like “time” is very strange here in your form, such as you draw the samples and rocks are like a time tunnel from the lira out of the monster, you put them on your screen, there is no life objects absurd it seems to take life, and you create time and space on the canvas, is a mysterious and even strange places. You like a shaman, to the time of formalin injection shaman, shaman do feel good?
Lo: Haha, I feel good. You can not grasp reality, to control things turned to the mysterious space.

Lee: Mysterious space seems to be deep?
Lo: the picture itself, I do not like very flat, thin texture. I want a semi-like corrosion or corrosion through the texture. Vision of things is to force some kind of psychological.

Lee: You are a time fault in the figure, it is now 2007, we come back to your childhood, then go back to the 1970s, you had lived in the “Cultural Revolution” of late?
Lo: Yes, this sounds like very old. My primary school in 1973, I remember the street covered with posters, the procession with flattery, I have participated in the school’s chorus, probably sing “Hit Lin Biao,” like the song.

Lee: What is your family background? Calm at that time had it?
Lo: My family background is not good, my grandfather was a big lumber Nantong boss, be regarded as “rich peasants, counter bad right” molecule, “Cultural Revolution”, when my father was so affected as they suspected possession of my house under the floor of the counter-revolutionary material. I remember one time my father was taken away, leaving when he gave me a bright glass beads.

Lee: That thing that made ​​you feel fear it?
Lo: No, at that time very small, just remember the glass beads are pretty sinking. Later I also went to visit cousins ​​and my father, with a matchbox in his cell, made ​​of gadgets to us to play. That’s left me the impression that very strange, all very bizarre.

Lee: When did you start like painting?
Lo: painting my initial feeling is very strange, a child my family large frame hung on the wall, there are many family photos, including a blue two-inch photo, I always think it is very strange, very In particular, but do not know exactly where is not the same. It was later learned that his father painted. It makes me think painting is a very wonderful thing.

Lee: Then his father began to study painting?
Romania: a very casual start. My father recuperate at home, nothing to teach me to paint. I remember him holding a conch to do according to my ashtray painting, he is an amateur like painting, taught me not the way to college, he asked me to draw the lines according to conch lines, more is the application of line techniques, this effect is difficult to change overnight, it might be kind of complex. I had mentioned a child with a horizontal line to draw an egg, an egg is full of composition, I have this painting hanging in the home, without the perspective not stylized trained to convey the vitality out of what may be more .

Lee: Now the children are in the classroom draw geometric objects.
Luo: I can not have these things at that time, my mother working in the scrap yards, she took back a lot of clean paper and the back of a good picture to me, I did as photo copying. At that time little album, thanks to my mother, working facilities, can often bring back very rare at the time, or discarded materials of art works and pictures.

Lee: It sounds like the plot of the novel Hera Barr, waste products in the asylum where access to knowledge.
Law: It is a infinite number of information age, you will not understand my situation at that time. I remember my mother to get back a picture card, like the time of the Renaissance portrait of an Italian girl, this picture is very rare at that time very valuable, I copy a lot of copies.

Lee: So you draw things very quiet preference?
Romania: Not exactly, but I want to express this part. My routine and not the same college trained, not according to the relationship to the performance of light and dark, but from the thing itself, from the way you feel to express. Not by experience, is more intuitively to express.

Lee: your parents support you paint?
Luo: I decided to test art school, they are supporting, my father always wanted me to read the Academy of Fine Arts, to achieve his dream.

Lee: When did you decided to apply for fine arts?
Lo: junior high school.

Lee: Even the “Cultural Revolution” has just ended, not all of the education system back on track, junior high school graduates can not direct the university entrance exam, right?
Lo: Yes, but I decided not to in high school, go directly to work.

Lee: You went to junior high school to work?
Luo: I am 16 years old on their own to feed himself. School is horrible, too much, then that test requirements of art and cultural studies in schools is not very high, they see it. I just can not tell the family learned to Towel go to work, started a mechanic, thinks it’s too complicated, I will ask to carry a towel, just sat still, the printed pattern of the towel from the left Lindao right, is the automation mechanical artificial parts. This mechanical brains do not work, can I have time to review homework.

Lee: Your thinking is very strange, is not studying in school is more convenient?
Luo: I want to be free, in school there is no such freedom. I like an adult, can smoke, you can not control others, the school the kind of atmosphere too depressing. Moreover, some subjects I do not like, do not want to spend time on those things.

Lee: I saw this and you seem very different, you sit here, very mild, unlike such a rebellious people. Plant life to give you great change it?
Luo: I remember the master ferocious, often abusive, very depressed. But now think about that period of life so that I may become able to endure, to take the living, to insist on doing what he wanted.

Lee: School of Fine Arts is very well apply it?
Lo: do not go well, I took the test three times. Not admitted to the first year, I was entirely based on their feelings in the picture, with the college, they are not the same. Later, the factory does not allow the university entrance exam, I will resign to concentrate on pro forma Nanjing, while sweeping the street to support themselves, while repeatedly adjusted to meet the exam requirements.

Lee: life in Nanjing University, what is interesting is the life you imagined?
Luo: I just want to paint, rented a house near the school picture, no other ideas. Although I draw the comparison crooked, probably there were few teachers recognized my hard work it, that I be able to insist on drawing down.

Lee: When graduate? What was able to sell paintings have thought diverted?
Luo: 1990 graduate, returned home to teach art in Nantong, a high school. Three years later, and a friend to swap work in Nanjing school art teacher to continue to do. Had not thought able to sell paintings, when nobody wanted to buy paintings. I never thought diverted, is to have been painting.

Lee: It seems we are talking about this time period you from a rebellious teenager into a gentle art teacher?
Romania: is a mild rebellious art teacher.

Lee: 1993 in Nanjing and has been living in this city, and painting?
Luo: Yes. Life drawing has always been the focus of that time did not think to sell paintings. Painted some abstract, some of the big picture, but not what I want. Trying to do since 1998, drawing the little things of daily life, instant noodles Yeah, rolls, cakes, home of the rubber man, shells, maps, magazines and pictures. Painting small paintings, but also from an economic point of view, to keep drawing the most relaxed state.

Lee: Nanjing city affects you?
Lo: quiet it can be carefully done their own thing, no one will often see your painting.

Lee: I know you said a little “gentle rebel” mean, you were in the art of fashionable rebellion?
Law: I may feel too messy, in their own space to find some for myself is the real thing. Everyone concerned about the large, metaphysical, conceptual things, or from my own feelings to focus on some things, is kind of impossible to clearly feel. The world come and go, including my own world, some new, some in passing, that is not clear, can easily be explained clearly not art.

Lee: What interested you in politics? Or frankly, your life is going through China’s “Cultural Revolution”, the reform and opening up, economic development and a series of great social change, and your work in these time periods there is no mark, you turn a blind eye to the social changes ?
Luo: I more interested in politics, space travel ah, ah, and so on human cloning, more exciting world so I am interested.

Lee: Your concern is the existence of something beyond the time, I guess you work for science fiction, mystery is also interested in it?
Luo: Yes, there was a time I like looking through the “Book of Changes”, and occasionally find the words to comfort their . Four-nothing calculate numerology, in fact, are not likely. Mysterious, something unknown I’m interested.

Lee: What artists have influenced you the larger?
Romania: as you say, when I read something last century, last century, when the country can see the pictures much, everyone will see them one. I like to appreciate different genres of art, to understand how others think, how to do. I have been hanging in the studio of a Picasso lithograph prints, similar to that which a little paranoid of fine lines, give me inspiration. Now look more Chinese painting, look at some of the photography.

Lee: Do you think the most important draw for you what is?
Lo: their own inner feelings of the most real performance out.

Lee: If your work is your truest inner feelings, I think you avoid the time, the time you do not want to be disturbed. You always like a shaman, there is no time in making a space. Time for you to fear?
Luo: I’m just painting.

Lee: How to start this wizard behavior?
Luo: You mean painting it?

Lee: no. Why did you draw a map, drawing animal specimens, rockery stone painting?
Luo: 2003, when I started painting a group of small paintings, undersea treasure hunt, forest logging, physical experiments.

Lee: Is there an elephant is a two man looked up at the skeleton, the skeleton of an elephant compared to people with super big and very magical feeling?
Lo: Yes, I call it “a thousand years.”

Lee: still “time” into your painting, but witchcraft is applied over a thousand years, elephants and visit the people, by freezing here. I feel very sad to see your painting.
Lo: Yes, there is despair, I was easy to feel desperate people.

Lee: draw a map is not an easy task, it is time, right?
Lo: draw a map because I’m looking for a real plane, both real and maintain a certain distance, is abstract. Painting with aerial pictures, there are ancient maps, such as “landscape” is a painting of the ancient map.

Lee: that reveals a very relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of the landscape is the map?
Law: It is the ancient art of map, map of ancient and modern geometry of the map is not the same, when lost in the painting which, as in the ancient landscape travel between the same. I am very envious of the ancient state of mind at the time painting landscapes, landscapes from their inner world. This group of “landscape” is what I draw when the mood, happy, lost happiness.

Lee: stuffed animals attract you from the map out?
Luo: I quite like to see Song of the bird, but does not want to draw such a sweet thing, very clever in the school’s herbarium specimens to see some birds, specimens that unique atmosphere made ​​me feel very interesting. Live birds, it is easy to understand what it is, but the specimen is difficult to explain the feeling. Later, specially to visit the Natural History Museum, took many photos. Honestly, I do not want to stay long specimen room, and did not take samples back to the studio. The uncertainty of a kind stuffed animals, which I always wanted the material, they are self-contradictory in itself, makes one wonder and fascination. Life on the surface, the actual dead, was solidified.

Lee: Do you draw the majority of specimens for birds, tigers, leopards so fierce little animal painting?
Luo: I choose I am interested in painting. Bird feels very friendly, not aggressive. Their image of the painting tips you can give me. I tried painting over the monkeys, but gave up on me, they too jump, there is no mystery.

Lee: Your sample series is very bizarre, strange work, you give a bird specimens a look, it does not flow in a long time to get life?
Romania: The eye is it already there, the distance between life and death is inherently fuzzy, samples to give you the feeling that a dead state, living is dying, their existence is so very strange.

Lee: Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto and the wax museum museum also has a similar series of this expression, the impact he has received it?
Romania: in the process of drawing samples to see his photography, saw a man doing something similar seems to have echoed the feeling. But his work more beautiful, although specimens are concerned, people are working into the death of things, but a completely different angle. Painting process, there are more subjective, more personal experience to join.

Lee: You have said, the tiger like animal, although a specimen or make people feel fear, this fear includes the common sense or memory, when you are painting is in avoiding the things you fear? This is your character about?
Lo: Maybe a relationship. I rarely participate in social activities, preferring to stay at home and studio. Painting is in hiding, it can be said to retire from the world. Like the Song and Yuan landscape, I like those paintings, I saw some anonymous Song painting, the mountains there is a person, or pulling the carriage, I feel kind of realm of human existence is the best level. A mountain, a man, standing height, the mood is make you feel comfort, people can hide. I am concerned about the cake ah, ah specimens, rocks Yeah, staring them, I already hiding.

Lee: Who is your favorite work?
Luo: I enjoy Guo Xi, Ni Zan, I like Ni Zan.

Li: Ni Zan also borrowed the techniques of dry wipe pen cracked?
Romania: the use of different materials, techniques are not important, I hope to have an unexpected effect of the picture, you want a different texture, or “breathable” feeling. I draw on his mood, with this mood to express my respect for them. One kind of eye and mind can touch, can convey a mood, and their similarities in mood.

Lee: their landscapes beautiful, but you do not show them?
Lo: landscape have changed, and now painting landscapes, unrealistic, too fake, hollow. I painted the stones are very old, they belong to the memory, the landscape is already lost. These memories, landscapes have lost all things, in reality does not exist. I just borrowed some of debris, tradition has a very good thing to absorb, a lot of paintings to impress you is the kind of mood, with some of the things that you can finally express the mood I want to express, a space bar.

Lee: rocks is a specimen, the time the specimen? Imagine you are painting the rocks it?
Lo: rocks between the abstract and the concrete is between the image, in accordance with the inner feeling to walk in, at any place more or less, is not limited by form, the form of rocks a bit like the mind map, full of strange cave, it’s texture is almost neurotic.

Lee: This is a series of specimens from the map series and extending down the works?
Lo: Yes, from 2000 to 2004, I drew a lot of looking down from a height map, similar to the picture of the mountains, not only distant, but also reach the most subtle, these maps and the rocks are actually the same thing, a space, people lose the freedom and space.

Lee: The people pulled out of the lost space of time?
Lo: perhaps feeling alienated. All the things a rational is not suitable for me, in part due to chance, there is intuition, there is a need to determine what, my work will retain some of the things I can not tell.

Lee: Your picture is very rich, I mean see the kind of rich, this formulation is very weird, but I feel you have rustled the voice picture.
Luo: I attach great importance to details, as you say, can not see the details, the details of a psychological, not just the visual details, is in the heart of memory traces.

Lee: The psychological detail is an expression of power?
Lo: Yes, is a corrosive force, slowly eroding the power.

Lee: Do you like the tone of light gray? The color you use is very special, I like your use of the green, let’s name it “Lo Tsuen wood green”, that is a kind of secret, like plants, gloomy but very elegant, with restrained control.
Luo: I’m just very common green where the white point adjustment, I also like the color. There was a time I often go to the site with friends Qujian porcelain pieces, the site has many, many pieces of porcelain pieces, those patterns and glaze is very fascinated me. This color is especially beautiful.

Lee: Those porcelain pieces is obviously no “anger”, and you use color is subject to the impact of these porcelain pieces?
Lo: Sometimes feel drew a good picture, a friend said it was like the texture of porcelain pieces, I think this is kind of praise. A tendency for many years, and I like the gray tone, more in line with my habit.

Lee: You do not have a very personal concept of a unified object you draw? Series such as cake, a little pleasure, specimen series of ridiculous but very sad and rocks, there is erosion of the terrorist forces secretly exist.
Luo: I still vulnerable to the impact of the painting object, try to restore its own atmosphere. Cake has always been very sweet and rocks, something is gone, very painful thing. But they still have a unified special atmosphere appealing to me. Despair? Say.

Lee: If not offended, I think your bones is decadent?
Lo: not offended, I too accept this word. But is not accurate, I am not the person decadent life, my life is very regular, is emotional decadence. I do not dare to take risks in life, timid, but retreated to my own world, a little reckless, just adventurous.

Lee: So you know Zhang He said the seven-year, co-artistic feel you are at home the most resilient. Looks very soft, very gentle, but inside is very lonely, late bloomer.
Lo: loneliness is a force, and I returned in their own world, painting.

Lee: to what level you achieve what you want to be?
Law: No matter what I draw, to be able to hide yourself. Baudelaire’s “Paris of the melancholy” There was, then, what the missionaries, priests like what I remember reading here that the real freedom is what impressed me.

Lee: What is this section? “The priests and people in the world, traces the other side of the missionaries who may have tasted some of this mysterious intoxication, right? Their exposure to their own nature and construction of a broad families, sometimes they do not laugh that is stable the fate of the simple life and the people complaining. ”
Luo: Yes.

Lee: I think you are better suited to this period, “the world’s most honest, people only dream of, but one day, he let go of the fire in the forest, he said, is to see whether the fire is often said as easy to burn up his consecutive points 10 times, without success, but the tenth time, the fire can burn a whole day. ”

Luo Tsuen interview on wood
Question: Do you think the most important painting of that?

Listen to their inner feelings of the most authentic, it manifested.

Question: How did you get stuffed animals this theme?

In 2003, I painted a group of small paintings, a bit like a science, as illustrated, for example: undersea treasure hunt, forest logging, physical experiments, and so on. The “thousand years” is two people looked up at the elephant’s skeleton, which is actually the beginning of a non-conscious. Later, by chance, I visited the Museum of Natural History. There are many specimens are very appealing to me, he painted a few, and also that there can be painted, it has continued to the present. Stuffed animals have a kind of uncertainty, I always wanted material. Their own self-contradictory, doubt has fascinated people: life on the surface, actually has been solidified; presents vivid landscape, but with a strong taste of formalin.

Question: You kind of animals have preferences? Or what to paint?

I picked my interest. Initially, I tried to capture images of various animal specimens, and there is no deliberate selection, there is no special preference. But the real start of this series, I found that many animals I have no feeling, or simply can not stand painting down. For example: I took a group photo monkey, but a number of sketches in pencil hook and eventually gave up. Perhaps because the monkey for me, no mystery, they are too active. In fact there is no absolute reason. I painted the tiger, leopard, is interesting: in the Herbarium, the most ferocious animal is still your greatest fear. Although the specimen and between specimens were not gentle and savage, these features just your common sense, or memory, but standing in front of these specimens, you will still feel scared. This fear includes memory and common sense, but there is something else. Their fur faded, pale, dark fixed there, but maintained a hunting posture. In comparison, I like birds. After being stuffed bird, feathers are mostly still retained gloss, very beautiful. Only they can give me about the image portrayed of tips, I thought I could use a different approach to painting: changes at the same time brings a natural.

Question: Some of them seem odd composition, is deliberately designed it?

I did not deliberately design the composition of these specimens on display like that pattern itself. In a sense, the way they display is their “survival” approach, I describe one of the elements.

Question: stuffed animals at the same time with the “rocks” series seems to be regarded as a specimen – landscape specimens. This series of Chinese landscape painting with the breath, you’re writing, do we have this reference?

In fact, between the rocks is between figurative and abstract images, painted rocks are arbitrary, and can follow the inner feeling to walk in, at any place more or less, just by the inner need, rather than being shaped by restrictions. Rocks form a bit like a mind map, full of strange cave, and its texture is almost neurotic. It is a map from my extended family out. 2000–2004, I drew a lot of looking down the map, similar to the picture of the mountains, not only to the most distant and subtle touch. The rocks that map and now is the same thing, can be called “freedom lost” space.

Question: Lost?

Yes, Lost is ecstasy. You mentioned the Chinese landscape painting, this association may be a sense of the picture plane, I always try to avoid the kind of realistic sense of space. In fact, there are some people so I am very obsessed with Chinese landscape painting, which depicts the landscape, so much the landscape corresponds to a real, rather from the spiritual world, people can not help but envy the authors will describe the state of the time. The landscape of reality both in the past, or today’s reality, and can not be found. Most like those paintings of children, is probably a rockery stone, rockery stone because the landscape is done according to people’s hearts out.

Question: What are you talking about this landscape is the scenery?

I appreciate Guo Xi, Ni Zan Ni Zan … … is my favorite.

Question: Ni Zan rocks in the performance of texture features, the original of the dry wipe pen cracked techniques, although the use of the material is completely different, but your work has a similar dry rocks steep, loose texture run. In my opinion, you seem to also seek a special cloth production?

I look forward to an unexpected picture of the effect, one can simultaneously touch the eye and mind, the real substance: its texture and the object being depicted, and can be obtained corresponding to convey emotions.

Question: Your work seems to rocks covered with moss, this understanding right?

I am very old stone is eroded off. Through them, maybe you can feel the memory of those who are lost landscape. We are now living in this space almost see the past, a child living in the courtyard with high walls, often feel that there will be a wall behind the deer, or a horse. There is moss on the ground, from time to time, we will remove these moss, and now they are dismantled.

Question: I have just mentioned the Chinese artist, who also had an impact on you?

My earliest influence was my father. A lot of watercolor paintings of his youth, completely out of interest, not professionally trained. A child, I have a large frame in blue inches photo, I always think it is very strange, and compared to other photos, can not tell the different. Later, I knew it was his father painted, it makes me feel wonderful painting is a special thing, I hope to have this ability. He taught me to draw the first thing is conch. I followed the conch to draw their own lines lines, his father was the first to paint people into my life. I like to enjoy the various schools of art, this is a peep about the fun: to understand how people think, how to do … in different stages, are attracted to different works. Before 2000, my studio has been hung Picasso’s lithographs “The Frugal Repast”, the screen almost paranoid fine lines, gives me inspiration for painting. In fact, almost all the patterns are attractive to me: Ukiyo-e, fine art … … There was a time I go to the site inspection porcelain pieces, those blue and white patterns, celadon glaze is very fascinating … I met as a child, he used to draw a horizontal line egg, an egg is full of a composition, too into it! Very loose! I always put it up at home.

Question: What plans this year, recent exhibitions?

I always want more out of some good works, but for me, a relaxed working conditions may be more meaningful than those planned. In addition to group exhibitions, the first solo exhibition there in June.

Question: What work will be exhibited?

There should be twenty or so, is two to three years accumulated, maps, rocks, specimens, and some new paintings.

Question: for this exhibition, you have what to expect?

I want to re-see their work, see a more comprehensive two-year results of the work, but also feel: Yes – This is good.

Interview with Luo Quanmu

Question: What do you think is the most Important thing about Painting?
A: Listening to the truest Inner Feelings of your heart and expressing them.

Question: How did you Start Working with the subject of Animal specimens?
A: In 2003, I painted a group of Small paintings that kind of resembled textbook Illustrations. For instance, searching for Underwater Treasures, deforestation, Physics experiments, etc. One Painting titled “10,000 Years” depicts two people looking up at an elephant’s skeleton. This was actually an unwitting beginning. Later on, I visited a museum of natural history by chance. Inside, there were many specimens that appealed to me. I painted a few , and felt that there were more that could be painted, so I’ve continued until now. Animal specimens possess a quality of uncertainty, something I’ve always wanted to work with. Their inherent mutual contradiction arouses both suspicion and fascination: the surface is lifelike, but in reality it has already been solidified. What you see is vivid in appearance, however it gives off an intense smell of formalin.

Question: Do you favor a certain Animal species, or do you Paint indiscriminately?
A: I Choose the ones I am interested in. Initially, I tried to gather every kind of Animal Illustrations of I Did not intentionally specimen and filter them or have preferences. But when I officially started this series, I discovered that there were a lot of animals I simply did not feel for, to the extent that I could not stand painting them. For example, I shot a series of photographs of monkeys. But after making a few pencil sketches, I eventually gave up. Perhaps because to me, monkeys lack mystery, they are too lively. There is actually no absolute answer for this. I’ve painted tigers and leopards, and the interesting thing is, in the specimen room, the most ferocious animal is still the animal you fear most. Even though distinctions of docility and savagery do not exist amongst specimens, and such characteristics are derived from your own common knowledge or memory, when you stand before these specimens, you feel an intense fear. This fear involves common knowledge and memory, as well as other things. The color of their fur is wan and faded, but remaining in the dimness, they maintain their food hunting posture. Comparatively, I like birds. After birds are made ​​into specimens, most maintain the luster in their feathers and are very beautiful. Their image alone can provide me with ideas for a new method of painting: changing frequently, all the while being very natural.

Question: Some of the compositions look very Strange. Was this intentional?
A: I Did not intentionally Design the compositions. The specimens appear in their Original form in the paintings. In a sense, the method of their exhibition is also the method of their “survival” and one of the contents of my description.

Question: The “Scholar’s Rocks” Series you worked on Concurrent with the specimen paintings in some ways depict specimens as well – Landscape specimens. This Series has a flavor of Chinese Landscape paintings. Did you derive Inspiration from this while you painted this Series?
Actually , scholar’s rocks are situated between concrete and abstract form. Painting scholar’s rocks is wanton; you can freely pursue the path of your inner heart, a bit more here or a bit less there, based solely on the desires of the heart, unrestricted by form . The form of scholar’s rocks is like the map of the soul, laden with strange orifices and a nervous texture. It is actually an extension of my map series. From 2000-2004, I painted many topographic maps, such as maps of mountain ranges that were distant and touched upon the most subtle places. Those maps and the scholar’s rocks are actually the same, they can all be considered a space that is “free and one can get lost in.”

Question: Lost?
Right, getting Lost is forgetting oneself. Co., mentioned Chinese Landscape Painting earlier. Perhaps this connection has to do with the flatness of the painted Surface. I try My Best to avoid that Lifelike spatiality. In actuality, there are some Chinese landscape paintings that I am truly enamored with. The landscapes they depict, rather than alluding to real scenery, come from a world of the soul. One can’t help but admire and respect the state the artist was in when he painted it. Regardless of whether these landscapes are from a past or present reality, you can’t find them. The things that most resemble those paintings are perhaps the scholar’s rocks because scholar’s rocks are also based on the landscape of the human heart.

Question: Which Landscape paintings depict the Landscapes you speak of?
A: I like Pot West, Ni Ni Temporary is Temporary … My FAVORITE.

Question: In expressing the texture of the scholar rocks, Ni Zan invented the “withered brush, chapped stroke” painting style. While the materials differ completely, your scholar’s rock paintings have a similar feel of withered cliffs and moist pine trees. It seems to Me that you are searching for a way of Special Working on the Canvas.
A: I am looking for a kind of painted effect that Can not be pre-conceived; Real Substance that Food be grasped at once by both the Eyes and the Soul; its texture, subject matter, and the emotions it conveys all correspond with each other.

Question: Your scholar’s Rock paintings are laden with MOSS. Is this interpretation correct?
A: My Stones are very Old and corroded. Through them, perhaps We Food feel those Landscapes that belong to the Memory, and have been Lost. We Practically Can not see the past in our current space of existence. When I was little, I lived in a courtyard with a high wall surrounding it. Often, I would imagine that there was a herd of deer or horses behind it. There was moss on the ground. Every now and then, we would have to clean this moss. Now, all of this has been torn down.

Question: Other than the Chinese artists you just mentioned, who are your other Influences?
A: My father was My earliest Influence. He painted a Lot of watercolors when he was young. He painted out of Pure interest and never received any Professional training. When I was little, the big picture frame in my house had a blue two-inch photo. I always found it very strange. It was somehow different from the other photographs. Later on, I learned that it was one of my father’s paintings. The work made ​​me think that painting was an especially mystical thing, and I hoped that I too would have this kind of skill. The first thing he taught me to paint was a sea conch. He told me to paint the sea conch based on its actual veins. My father was the first person to introduce painting into my life. I enjoy different schools of art. It is almost a voyeuristic enjoyment: understanding how others think, how they make something … being attracted by different works at different stages. Prior to 2000, Picasso’s lithograph “The Frugal Repast” hung on my studio wall. The closely scrutinized fine lines of the painting gave me inspiration to paint. Actually, almost all patterns attract me: Japanese woodcuts, miniatures … there was a period when I often went to construction sites to scavenge for old porcelain pieces. Those porcelain designs and celadon glaze are captivating … I once met a small child who used horizontal lines to draw an egg – a filled up composition became an egg. It was too engaging! So relaxing ! It’s been hanging in my house this whole time.

Question: What are your plans for this year. Have you had recent Exhibitions?
I always Hope to produce more good work. However, to Me, a more Relaxed work mentality is probably more interesting than making plans. Aside from group Exhibitions, I have a solo exhibition in June.

Question: Which Works will be exhibited?
There should be about 23 paintings from the past two or three years. There are maps, scholar’s Rocks, specimens, and some new paintings.

Question: What Expectations do you have for this exhibit?
I Hope to see My Works Anew, through Fresh Eyes, to see a more Comprehensive result for the past two years’ work and still think: ‘not bad’ – this is enough.

Space-time slice

Every artist is looking for him to express the space for Luo Tsuen wood is concerned, this open space was surprisingly slow and cautious, he was in a very long period of time immersed in the map drawing, and then, in the realm of specimens fit his beliefs once again find the performance of the object, and thus began the performance of rockery stone, his delineation of these is almost a personal territory.

What are similarities in the properties which it? The answer is yes. And describe the things he is concerned, are involved in a skeleton shape. To some extent, the map shows the earth to a plane of the skeleton, the specimen is preserved skeleton of birds, and rocks, as from ancient times was regarded as a natural miniature skeleton.

Skeleton, although the shape can be identified, but no doubt with an abstract sense, it conveys the basic form of things and space structures. It’s open now means that the life of the absence of any declaration of a pair of skeleton is always a death has occurred, where there are not many vivid, endless changes of expression and gesture, it is filled with gloomy , the prototype of the smell, and therefore, it is exactly what we do not want to face things, it is generally difficult to erode as the spears, it is even longer than the length of life, such existence highlights the life and death of the opposition, was to teach the kind of ferocious afraid to look directly at the truth.

Skeleton in the history of art has long served as a cognitive tool. In Europe, the Middle Ages, up into the dark • Vinci’s morgue, hoping to obtain information about the human body through anatomical structure of knowledge; for modern and contemporary art college students are concerned, there is always a pair of human skeletons so, placed on them in a pile of plaster and Apple. However, the classical artist in the human body within a short trip, to once again return to the body surface, and thus more accurate and subtle way to express the human face and demeanor, the body’s surface is moving, pleasant, and the performance of the object is the end ; the most typical of • Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, or “hold mink woman” … … However, Luo Tsuen wood, the frame as if he obtained the only kind the world, with in the skeleton, he will restore the world, condensed into a static framework structure.

In his view, the fresh face and body, rich in subtle facial expressions, or naturally in different regions and seasons of the show’s style, is far too dynamic and fleeting, it is difficult to grasp and speech, and, in his heart seems to always have doubts, that he did not believe their authenticity. Seems to hold his head was down some basic, isolated thing, and that’s enough, he seems to find a cage of birds as a kind of only a “small possibility” of space, it will be safe and peaceful feelings.

The formation of this habit may be related to his childhood experience, an amateur painter of his father who provided for his painting of the first kind, is a conch. Sense of bones and conch texture left a deep impression. On the other hand, his mother working in the scrap yards, where the accumulation of a large number of used old material, we can imagine a boy playing in the scene where he was enveloped in a dark, quiet, filled with musty room atmosphere, the outside world in the form of debris accumulation quietly, showing among his curious eyes, although they have different purposes, texture and shape, but not with the dynamic and the sense of life that need to be re-filled with Imagine – Luo Tsuen later recovered wood seems to brush these experiences are and experience, drawing on him, is a “space of freedom and lost.”

However, the real specimens led him to choose the map and the performance of the object as the reason, perhaps because his character. The painter in reality always give people the impression silent, timid, weak, showing the gap between itself and the people. And his campaign and changing the face of things seem so sensitive and discomfort, which he described as a friend said: “For him, a fly over across the net at the tennis equivalent of a missile.” more than that, the reality of the world for him, like a form and meaning are constantly shaking and trembling among the big net, and dazzling. And similar to the “state apparatus” and “political reality” such things arouse a kind of instinctive fear and escape, even if they appear only as the talk of the word, in the dinner party when someone raised in a timely manner, but also make him feel restless.

From another perspective, he also has those themes • Karl Popper (Karl R Popper) said the “Third World” feel, with an objective that they are informative. His maps from various books, and his specimens from the Museum of Natural History, and, in this transitional period of two theme, he also according to some medical journals and popular science writing some small pictures painted. Although the “rockery” This theme can not be classified into the field of knowledge, however, as he himself said in talking about this subject matter to it “is between between the figurative and the abstract image is painted rocks wanton, can follow the inner feeling to walk in, at any place more or less, just by the inner need, rather than being shaped by the restrictions rocks form a bit like a mind map, full of strange cave … … “This segment, then tells his own visual orientation and spice. It is not difficult to see, something he is not obsessed with living people and events, not the full dynamic, ever-changing real world, but similar to the scientific tips to us, “a tentative picture of the universe.” It is from this “non-painting” of the abstract picture of departure, he then started his own imagination, his meditation to infusion into a sum of them, the self projected onto the top of them.

He applied to the projection of this layer on top of things, not the erratic illusion, sweet dreams, on the contrary, the appearance of things. It sounds absurd, but we can do process of making a specimen for example, often making the skeleton in birds and fur between the filling of certain materials in order to reproduce and highlight its three-dimensional image in space, We also wish to Luo Tsuen wood as a producer, a personal language of painting that is populated in the process, which regained an independent aesthetic object image. Luo Tsuen wood is particularly concerned about the performance of the texture of the object, for him, this texture is rebuilt on the screen of a truth, it is among the things as real as palpable, however, is in two-dimensional on a plane there.

From the skeleton to the appearance, Tiao not far away, or even just one step away – in between the beginning and end so that his paintings for all the travel. We can experience the kind of intense painting of his self-limited, a self-sufficient, inherent characteristics of the cycle, it is like taking away the reality of a water pump, and the imagination itself slowly pouring water into the room painting . This space as the mind itself, a mixture of knowledge and interesting, abstract and sensual.

Japanese writer Nagai He Feng in the “map” in a text, once compared the ancient Edo Tokyo maps and current maps, he thought, although the precise map of Tokyo right, “but looked at the map, no cause how interesting, can not imagine the landscape of how to. … But those who think that reading complicating it. Take a look at that drawing incorrect Edo, as open as the cherry on the wild places, freely stint a cherry, like the original as a willow willow place, add a mass of catkins, not only this but also, and if the mountain can be afar from birds Mountain Daylight Tsukuba example, they draw out there in the clouds, the PAA response, and the inverse mapping with the way attitudes to reading are interesting Jinjin … … Tokyo Map such as geometry, map of Edo pattern is similar also. “borrow the analogy to describe the Japanese writer, Luo Tsuen map is just a timber geometry and pattern combination. For him, the “geometry” means that the prototype of the world, and “pattern” means that personal feelings and fantasies – of these two maps intercourse with Hunrong form a real “mind map.”

He is always drawn on the map along the longitude and latitude, and its abstract context, into the fantasy landscape, partially restores the earth with a like sense. Texture is like that when we air to the earth overlooking the landscape, although displayed in a certain distance, but no doubt that the map itself, “sensual” a lot on the sense of time, it seemed the earth desolate dry environment from winter in the beginning of the recovery, which co-exist with the vitality of the dual characteristics of Kuji.

In samples drawn, this abstract and figurative, life and death, between virtual and real magic also wrong to be performance. A tiger is as if hanging from a move down on the dead branches, a leopard lying on the table in the head listening, as if a companion or a game is never far away sent a call to it, there are those coat color colorful birds, seems to hover in the branches or rockery stone edge, their sharp beaks, wings and tail often dynamic arc bending upwards in the air. We can see that, although samples gallery space itself seems gloomy, empty, but he will be conscious of the joy of life in perfusion to the specimen’s image among the weakening of the specimen itself, stiff, lifeless and artificial feeling, like should drawing power will be subjected to the death of hypnosis in their rescue.

He admits, for his painting, there is a person can not be avoided, that is, Hiroshi Yamamoto. Although prior exposure to the Japanese artist, Lo Tsuen wood has already begun for the specimens described, but, Hiroshi Yamamoto presents to him no doubt a conscious and complete look of art, which brought a sense of tremor. Hiroshi Yamamoto, two series of works – “Analog Wildlife Exhibition”, and relatively recent “wax” can be said that the static images of the gaze and contemplation of these images on the sense of time, are within or far or near the memory. Hiroshi Yamamoto presented by way of photography Wan in their real, more real look at this behind revealed the sense of distance by the time brought the illusion of meaning unfathomable – Hiroshi Yamamoto, invented a word. ” time exposure “as a feature of all their works (see” no religion of art “).

Luo Tsuen wood samples drawn, and also that they uncertainties in time and space, “their own self-contradictory, doubt has fascinated people: life on the surface, actually has been solidified; presents vivid landscape, but with a strong smell of formalin. “When we are magnificent animals, or bright and intoxicated, when the heart can also play a sad and Kongmang waves of feeling, because we already know there is only the appearance of these images without complex life vitality; screen those shelves, table, label, and fence, is said to be a cold can of tips and circumstantial evidence.

Luo Tsuen wood indeed tightly gripped in his painting the object itself contains the wrong magic and the absurd, he created the painting space, neither the reality of the natural world, nor the real world samples, but managed to confuse, overlap of these two real world or two of space, time and space in our feelings become stagnant, while those isolated in the dark background of the object as “time slice” to show us, bearing witness to the eternal and the transient , some kind of spiritual truth and reality.

His paintings in modern art such as the existence of one can be looking for clues, for example, in Morandi, where the world is a sense of isolated fragments to show, in Balthus, where people are free if, still in the real time and space, and this language can be traced back to the Netherlands and where • Dyck painting as a classical painter there. We face in this picture, will have a strange feeling: as if something was removed, and four weeks to become empty, without modification, and shelter at all. We are here to Wang Chuan, so there are lost. “Transparent”, we are from the original meaning of the word starting, not from aesthetic or ideal position to explain these images are a kind of quality. If I have understood correctly, this transparent but rather the thickness of the world, that the appearance of the elusive nature of a response.

Maybe things are just as so • Starobinski says, “People hit on something, do not go in depth. People touch it, touch it, weigh it; but it is always dense, the interior is unrepentant the dark. “or,” words, gestures, facial expressions, manners, all formed a series of curtain, as if a liquid form by the ambiguous obstacles, relying on it to achieve the object back, the spirit fled far. gaze, not share. This is the fence stop, glide on the surface. “Luo Tsuen wood painting is to work through the curtain and the appearance of the fence, depending on the kind of sight naked, get rid of any decoration of the real, thus obtained an image of the inner world.

This in itself has a clear sense of gloom and emptiness, because the painting space may become self-enclosed, like a cave, it is lonely, dry, or even completely Huazhui to empty the environment. Obviously, this is not Quan Luo arrived in the office to be wood, this way he managed to return to their external existence of things. He noted, “In the Herbarium, the most ferocious animal is still your most feared. Although in the specimen and between specimens were not gentle and savage, these features just your common sense, or memory, but standing in such specimen in front of you will still feel scared. This fear includes memory and common sense, but there is something else. “The so-called something else, it is the passion of life itself, it is like a flashlight in the dark cave or the night sky in the searchlight, as driven by a person involuntarily returned to the outside world, being back there, where everything becomes chaos up again, opaque instead of transparent, self-re-start lost, however, when you really being in existence field, you will find that the world seems cold and conclusions of various cognitive and absolute, too vague and transcendental. “The abstract should not really abstract.” This sentence tells his own anxiety and to explore.

Rockery stone series can be considered a real desire to cut caused by a detour towards history. This is no doubt contains images of our collective memory, in its abstract sense of being more intimacy and humanity means, but it is different from the characteristics of specimens, but also in its external, though rockery stone is always placed in the ancient garden and courtyard, and a real external reality remained separated by a wall, but it is already out of the chamber atmosphere samples display type, in the years and the role of natural erosion and under their own real estate continue to give birth to a subtle change. Luo Tsuen wood in a “dry wipe pen cracked,” a description of its strokes, demonstrate a quiet mysterious, Kuji, beauty, and sometimes the screen will appear, as if always in drip drops of stain marks, not only in lead to “dry run in with” the language of the effect, add more in the old-fashioned into a subtle throbbing sense to convey a more neurotic modern sensibility and rocks, this “landscape specimen,” which as he The animal specimens described as implicitly with the “business.”

At the same time, he kept trying to capture the real life attitude, “dolphins” that is, in this respect he was an excellent expression, in this painting, he depicts two dolphins leaping from the water the moment, their posture and fluctuations in the water, stir the spray against the background of each other, it is beautiful and ethereal. However, this effect is not the full implication of the screen, where we have experienced from the dolphin’s, there is the sense of space and time of stagnant, like a slow motion movie of the show, we can say, this is also in the continuity of space and time to obtain a kinds of slices. The painting seems to be confirmed from the opposite direction – and reveals itself implies the kind of things abstract and figurative, life and death, the fault between the virtual and real sense of magic, no doubt part of his inherent qualities, and has constituted the most unique language of his charm.

April 2007

Fragments of time space
Zhu Zhu


Every artist is in search of a space for self-expression. For Luo Quanmu, the extraordinary slowness and caution involved in opening up this space, the long period during which he immersed himself in the drafting of maps, identifying the object within the specimen kingdom most in accord with his own temperament, and starting the scholar’s rock series – all these seem to represent a self-delineated territory.

Are there similar qualities that unite these? The answer is yes. The objects that pertain to his concerns and interests are all related to the skeletal framework. To a certain degree, maps represent a geographic skeleton, specimens preserve the skeleton of birds, and ever since ancient times, scholar’s rocks have been regarded as skeletal miniatures of nature.

A skeleton is an easily recognizable form. Yet, it possesses an undeniable sense of abstractness. It expresses the basic form and spatial structure of an object. Its gap-filled appearance implies the absence of life. Any one part of a skeleton proclaims an already occurred death. It embodies all kinds of vivid, endlessly changing expressions and attitudes, as well as the musty air of gloom and the original form. Coincidentally, it is the thing we most refuse to confront; like the lance and spear that does not corrode easily, it exceeds life in length and highlights the contrast between life and death. It is that cruel and loathed reality that causes the educated person to shun direct confrontation.

Throughout art history, skeletons have served as tools for understanding. In Europe during the Middle Ages, da Vinci visited mortuaries in the hopes of gaining knowledge about the structure of the human body through anatomical investigations. For more recent art students of academic settings, such a human skeleton is always present, among the plaster statues and well-polished apples. However, classical artists’ short venture into the human form’s interior was to return once more to the human form’s exterior, from that point onwards rendering more accurate and subtle depictions of human facial features and expressions; it is the body’s exterior that moves people, that entertains, and is the ultimate goal and objective. The most typical examples are da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and “Lady with the Ermine”. It seems as if the skeleton is the one thing Luo Quanmu demands of the world. He has returned the world to its original state, solidifying it into a structure with a static framework.

To him, lively facial expressions and posture, rich and subtle expressions, or varied styles and features that appear naturally in different regions and seasons all reveal the variety of excessive change. Transience is difficult to grasp and discuss. Moreover, deep down, he remains suspicious and unbelieving of their authenticity. It seems as if his mind only has capacity for those basic, isolated things, and this is sufficient. Like a bird in search of a cage, he derives a sense of security and stability from a space that has only few possibilities.

This idiosyncrasy might have something to do with his childhood. The first object he drew from nature was a conch given to him by his father, an amateur artist. The bone structure and veins of the conch left a deep impression on him. On the other hand, his mother worked in waste product collection. One can only imagine a little boy finding amusement in the heaps of used items. He was enveloped in a dim, quiet, poison air filled atmosphere. The wreckage of the outside world piled up quietly, revealing within his curious gaze that despite their different uses, material, and form, and even given their lack of dynamism and liveliness, they awaited makeovers and imagination. It is as if these experiences manifested themselves in Luo Quanmu’s later works. To him, painting represents a “free and uncharted space”.

However, the true reason that has impelled him to select maps and specimens as subjects have to do perhaps with his personality. Luo Quanmu is an artist who gives off the impression reticence, timidity, feebleness, and general social detachment. His sensitivity and ill disposition towards moving and changing objects has caused one friend to say: “To Luo Quanmu, a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth equals a guided missile”. Furthermore, for the artist, the real world is like a giant net that rocks and sways due to its endless changes in form and significance, inciting people’s infatuation. Like the “national machine” and “political reality”, what is aroused is an innate fear and escapism. Like the person whose name is mentioned over dinner, even if only as a passing topic of conversation, he sits ill at EASE. From another perspective, his subjects Invoke Karl R. Popper ‘S World Three. This is to say that he has some objective Knowledge. His maps come from various books and Periodicals and his specimens come from Museums of natural history. Moreover, in the transitional period of these two subject matters, he also made ​​some sketches based on science magazines and medical catalogs. Even though “scholar’s rocks” can’t be classified as intellectual, it is as he mentioned in conversation : “it is a form that is situated between concrete and abstract. Drawing these rocks is wanton; it can go along freely with intuition, becoming more or less in any one place, depending solely on the needs of the inner heart, and unlimited by form. The form of scholar’s rocks resembles the map of the soul, suffused with strange cavernous holes … “This quote itself reveals the artist’s visual orientation and temperament. It is not difficult to see that he is enamored not with lively people and events, nor a world full of dynamic and fast changing realities, but rather something like the “exploratory universal prospect” provided by science. It is precisely from the abstract prospects of this “non-painting” that he proceeds to reveal his own imagination, pouring his deep thoughts brushstroke by brushstroke into them, and projecting individualism onto them.


The projection he places onto objects lacks the illusion of drifting from place to place or the sweetness of a fantasy, and is instead the opposite – it is the objects’ exterior. This sounds absurd, but we can use the process of making specimens as an analogy. The maker constantly adds materials onto a bird’s skeleton and feathery exterior, filling in the gaps so that the three dimensionality of the form fleshes out and becomes evident. We can also understand Luo Quanmu as such a maker: painting is a process of filling in the gaps using a personal language that informs a unique aesthetic form. Luo Quanmu pays special attention to the skin texture of objects. For him, the skin represents an authenticity that is rebuilt on the canvas, something so real you could almost touch it with your hand. Even so, it is nevertheless an existence beyond the two surfaces.

The distance from the skeleton to the exterior is not great; perhaps it is only one big leap from the start point to the end point that composes the entire journey in painting. We can relate to the intense self-restriction Luo Quanmu imposes on his painting , a kind of self-satisfied, inherent trait. It is like a pum, which having sucked a spring dry, moves on to the waters of its own imagination, pouring these atop the canvas. This space is like the soul itself, blending knowledge and taste, abstractness and perception.

In Map, Japanese writer Nagai Kafu compares an ancient river home map with a map of modern day Tokyo, saying that while the latter is more detailed and accurate, it does not incite pleasure or imagination about the landscape. Instead, it only vexes viewers with its complexity. Look at the inaccurate drawing of the river home rendering, and it is like going where cherry blossoms bloom and freely sketching a blossom or a willow orchard full of willow trees and sketching a cluster of willow catkin. From a high mountain, you can spy the landscape from a distance. Sketching from besides the clouds, taking into account constant changes, and applying a completely different attitude than map drawing that gives the viewers a pleasurable experience. The Tokyo map is like geometry, while the river home map perhaps resembles a pattern. Borrowing Nagai Kafu’s metaphor, Luo Quanmu ‘s maps are also a combination of geometry and pattern. To the artist, “geometry” implies the world’s original form, and “pattern” implies individual perception and illusion. The intermixing and fusing of these two kinds of maps form a kind of true “map of the soul”.

Luo Quanmu’s map renderings have always been in the vein of the abstract, towards the landscape of the illusory, taking parts of the earth’s surface and restoring it, bit by bit, to the concreteness of the earth. That kind of surface texture seems to be the picture of the earth we have held since the age of aviation. Even if it maintains a certain distance, it is undoubtedly more “voluptuous” than a map. Speaking in temporal terms, it is as if the earth is resuscitating from a bleak winter , harboring the twin elements of the mundane and vital.

In the drawing of specimens, illusions abstract and concrete, alive and dead, falsehood and truth, are expressed equally. A tiger walks along the hanging branch of a withering tree; a leopard lays down on a platform and cocks its head to listen, as if a companion or prey has summoned him from nearby; birds with vibrantly colored feathers pace back and forth on the tip of a branch or besides a scholar’s rock, their pointy beaks, wings, and tails curve and contort in lively midair displays. It is evident that despite the gloomy and hollow representations of specimens when displayed in museums, Luo Quanmu intends to invigorate the same specimens with life and vitality. He weakens the specimen’s originally rigid, lifeless, and man-made feel, as if to rescue them from the hypnotic grip of death through the strength of painting.

He admits frankly that in respect to his paintings, one person cannot be avoided, and that is Hiroshi Sugimoto. Although Luo Quanmu began sketching specimens prior to being exposed to Japanese artists, Hiroshi Sugimoto undoubtedly represented a conscious and complete portrait of an artist to him , in particular, possessing the tremor of consciousness. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series “Imitation of Wild Animals Exhibition” and the more recent “Wax Figure” can both be described as a meditative gaze on the static image. The temporal terms of these images pertain to memories neither far nor near. Hiroshi Sugimoto uses photography to express their authenticity, and it is this backdrop of authenticity that exposes the incomprehensible illusions brought about by the distance of time. Hiroshi Sugimoto coined the term “the exposure of time” to describe the unique feature in all of his work. (See Art Without Belief.)

The thing that attracts Luo Quanmu to specimens is their indeterminant element of time space: “their inherent mutual contradiction arouses both suspicion and fascination; the surface is lifelike, but in reality, it is already solidified. Vivid in sight, it gives off the stench of formalin. “As we are intoxicated by the magnificent strangeness and beauty of the objects, our inner hearts quiver with a sentiment of sorrow and emptiness, for we already know that these things will never again come back to life. It is as if the frames, platforms, labels, and railings all serve as callous hints and circumstantial evidence to this.

Luo Quanmu truly grasps the illusion and absurdity found within the subjects of his paintings. The painting space he has created is an unreal natural world, it is also an unrealistic world of specimens, and it attempts to confuse and overlap two kinds of reality, or perhaps two spatial worlds. Here, time space becomes sluggish, and the isolated objects in the dim backdrop are similar to “fragments of time space”, exhibiting to us, narrating a kind of truth between the eternal and brief, the soulful and real.


His paintings possess a traceable thread within modern art. For instance, Morandi’s world is expressed through isolated fragments. In Balthus’ world, humans seem to drift, frozen in modern time space, and this kind of language can be traced back to Dutch paintings and great masters like van Dyck. This art backdrop produces a unique feeling: it is as if something has been removed, and everywhere it is deserted; there is a complete lack of decoration and shelter. Again we look penetratingly, so that again there is loss . Rather than taking a position of aesthetics or idealism, we can use the definition of “transparency” as a starting point to understand the character of these paintings. If I understand correctly, this transparency actually represents a thickness about the world, that is, a kind of response to the unascertainable nature of expression.

Perhaps the situation is as Jean Starobinski said: “Humans constantly remain unable to penetrate objects. Humans bump into it, touch it, ponder it. In the end, it remains enclosed and obstinately opaque.” Or, “language, gestures, facial expressions , mannerisms “- these all form a series of curtains, like an ambiguous liquid that forms an obstacle into which the target can retreat, forever evading the spiritual. To gaze is not necessarily to own. This is to stop before the railings, to slip past it “. Luo Quanmu’s paintings cut across the curtains and railings of expression, aim at that naked, sparse reality and in particular, gain an inherent image of the world.

This kind of transparency inherently possesses a sense of gloom and vapidity. The space of painting might become like a cave due to self-seclusion, seemingly quiet and lonely, withered, even thoroughly slip and fall into a space scape. Evidently, this is not the destination Luo Quanmu wishes to reach. For this reason, he attempts to use his own method to restore the exterior existence of the object. He notices “in specimens, the most ferocious animal is always the one you most fear”. Although among specimens there are no distinctions between meek and cruel, these characteristics are common knowledge or memory. Yet, standing before such specimens, you will still be frightened. This kind of fear involves memory and common knowledge, as well as other elements. “The so- called other elements is the fervor of life itself; like a flashlight in a dark cave or a search light in the dead of night, it prompts humans to return, unwittingly, to the outer world, to existence, where everything is fused together once again . Non-transparent substitutes for transparent, individualism begins to fade, and just as you truly place yourself within existence, you will discover that all sorts of knowledge and conclusions regarding the world seem cold, absolute, and overly vague. “True abstractness should not be abstract “. This saying betrays the artists’ anxiety and search.

The scholar’s rock series can be regarded as a kind of outlier oriented towards history that cuts through reality and is driven by desires. This image undoubtedly includes our collective memory. In his sense of abstractness, there is a stronger flavor of intimacy and humanity, and the unique trait about the specimens has to do with their outer placement. Scholar’s rocks are always placed in ancient gardens and courtyards, maintaining a perpetual separation from reality. Yet, it separates itself from the stuffy atmosphere of the exhibition space, the corrosion from natural forces of time and nature consistently producing subtle changes. Luo Quanmu uses a kind of “withered brush, chapped stroke” paint style to exhibit a darkly secluded, beautiful loneliness. His brush drips, creating stains that not only bring about the effects of “the moist within the parched “but also an increased sense of delicate tension within the ancient style. The” mountain and river specimens “of scholar’s rocks consequently resemble the animal specimens under his brush, possessing a faint sense of life.

At the same time, he consistently attempts to grasp the attitude and posture of real life. “Dolphin” is a primary example of this. In this painting, he depicts the brief moment during which two dolphins leap above water. Their forms, the fluctuating water surface, and the water sprays all provide contrast to the scene of graceful agility. Even so, this kind of effect is not all that the painting implies. We can experience from the dolphins another kind of sluggish time space. Like a scene set on slow motion, this creates a fragment in the continuation of time space. This painting is confirmed from the opposite end – announcing the abstractness and concreteness of objects, the illusory sense of life and death, falsehood and truth. It is undoubtedly a part of its inherent temperament. As such, it has already formed the most unique charm of Luo Quanmu’s style.

April 2007

Translated by Philana Woo