Tang Chenghua’s newest collection, a series called “The Boundaries”, is made of all large-scale, hand-painted work sketched directly from nature. Although it is catalogued as hand-painted, it’s actually more like “sweeping with besom”.
Those vast, luxurious colour blocks evoke an aesthetic shock to the viewer. In terms of visual form, we might compare these works to Zao Wou-Ki, Chu Teh-Chun and to older generation artists who have crated unique modern oriental abstract style.
In fact, Tang Chenghua intended to put himself in the wilderness, directly facing and interacting with the natural objects he was inspired to paint, in order to follow the traditional Chinese artistic spirit and the theory of creativity which states, “the artistic spirit of an artwork comes from the state of the mind of the creator.” This is a practical boundary that can’t be easily achieved by those who can only scratch the surface of new oriental abstract art.
To fight against formalism, Tang Chenghua returned to the essence of painting, expanding his artistic boundaries. It was necessary to readjust his artistic practices and acquire new spiritual energy in order to portray a sense of the majestic and the striking effects of nature in his painting.
If we compare his artistic achievements in prints, installations, mixture media, etc., with these new works, they undoubtedly demonstrate the artist’s spiritual journey and the joyous adventure he has taken us on through his experiences and artistic practices.
In this way, Tang Chenghua’s new works not only continue the modern oriental aesthetic tradition of China, but also present new challenges to the self, thus reflecting a firm contemporary artist who does what it takes to pursue his strong ideals.