Peaceful, the real theme in my work

Lu Zhiping

Porcelain, one of the greatest inventions which have important influence of human being living and developing, and it goes deeply into every aspect of our social life, not only our daily lives, but also has gradually risen to a more classic art form. Porcelain manufacture in China has been existed and developed for thousands of years, the Western countries even to understand China through the porcelain, as in English, “China” and “china” is the same word.

In China, there are many important museums have porcelain collections, these excavated debris are exhibited together with the exquisite intact porcelain, but it is amazing that these pieces I have seen were so delicate and no sense of fragmentation, and even more beautiful than the intact ones. Looking at these debris, I even believe it is God who removes the mediocrity and leaves the essence part by hands.

We can also see the archaeologists to bond the collected debris into a complete recovery bottle, defected parts filled with white plaster. After the bottle restored, the cracks, white blocks are coexisted with the original patterns. In my opinion, that defective porcelain has become another entirely new art, which is a completely process of deconstruction and reconstitution. It is the masterpiece contributed by ancient craftsmen, historical damaging, and today’s archaeologists. It inspired my creative works. I hope to be able to concentrate and reproduce the reconstruction process of both the arts and this period of history.

At the beginning, I used the zinc etching method, combined with my creative ideas, to do some architecture and landscapes themed works. After that, I found porcelain especially the china vase shape was simpler and better to reflect my thoughts. The works could be easily to be made as bigger size and combined with different artistic forms like carve, collage and computer by using silkscreen print, which also to be more free and efficient manner.

Prior to start working, I usually gather some pictures of ancient porcelain, acts recklessly destroying and cutting, as those cultural treasures historical experienced. Then select some favourite parts as my starting point, put them randomly in the screen, painting and lining subconsciously and interspersed some textures. At this moment, the picture looks like being cluttered up with many shapes and lines apparently. The second step, I work carefully like an archaeologist to adjust the relationships between these segments through the computer. And finally, the new vase shape or a group forms a new image. I intentionally weaken the cubic effect of the vase but emphasise planarization and imagery, thus a vase becomes a picture. Therefore, I named “Vase or Non-vase” for these works. The picture should be seen as an achievement of the cooperation between the ancient craftsmen and contemporary artists.

In my works, I borrow the traditional Chinese ink painting method, but weaken the colour sense, and concern only on black, white and grey. In China ink painting theory, there are five sub colours ink, meaning different kinds of grey can replace different colour, and it will be not only rich but also more abstract and formal. Grey represents moderation, peaceful, gentle and nor overjoyed, nor over sad. It is the colour to symbolise those people who are undisturbed either by favour or disgrace. It will give you the philosophy and metaphysics feeling and will make the picture quiet and peaceful as well. I repeatedly adjust the levels relations among black, white and grey, wishing to create the rhythm like music and poetry.

My words above are to express my experience after the re-observing and reviewing these ancient classics. Apart from the distance between the tradition and my thoughts nowadays, there are links which either established a certain beautiful tension in the middle. 

During the decades-long of creative career, I really have been affected by modernism and postmodernism, but in recent years, I retreated from that position, closer to the China traditional. Contemporary China is in the rapid development at almost all levels, it can’t be helped that people become more impulsive and stewed, I hope my works can help people to lessen these unhealthy emotions and get more balance in the mind. Peaceful and quietness is the real theme and meaning of my works. I hope my works can bring peace and harmony to all the audience and myself too.