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The power of Art – Zhu Jianhui’s 2020

Words by Zhu Jianhui, edit and translate by Aimin Liu.

The coronavirus broke out at the Chinese Spring Festival of 2020. As an artist I created 18 posters, prints and watercolours and published them online. I hoped to encourage people to fight against the virus through the visual impact.

Zhu Jianhui at his studio in Qi Dong, Shanghai.

Music and my paintbrush are my companions in the voyage of creating a new artistic concept and discovering a different language for my art. During quarantine, I have created more than 20 water based woodcut and Chinese ink paintings.

Sometimes it is necessary to hold the wound flat, Poster.

My Eyes, water colours

2020, water-based woodcut, 70cm x110cm

Staying at home, leisure time allows me to look back and think freely about my art. The series of water-based woodcuts “Magic Cube” and the series of experimental ink painting “Cube” are the new narration and expression of my artistic concept.

Magic Cube II, Water-based woodcut.

Magic Cube IX, Water-based woodcut.

The “Magic Cube” series runs through the whole process based on rebuilding structure and it has a new way of expression. I constantly reshaped the combination of the Rope symbol and colour, then printed it on paper. And I continually illustrated it with the combination of “Cube” to narrate stories in ink painting.

Magic Cube XIV, Water-based woodcut.

Water based woodcut and Chinese ink painting are two different organisms, they differ in their technique and format, but both are traditional art forms and have roots deep in our culture. So, they can be blended as well as exist independently.

Cube II, Chinese Ink Painting

I enjoy the alternate use of the two art forms, such as “Five Colours of Ink” and “Vivid Charm”. The world is always full of contradictions, the perceptual ‘Magic Cube’ is presented rationally in the print, and the rational ‘Cube’ is painted in a perceptual form.

Cube X, Chinese Ink Painting

Starting from the minimalist, then adding repetitive work and the unconscious psychological experience into a visual form. The abstract expression is the consciousness of the artistic concept. It’s also a new way to express which I’m looking for while staying at home.

Cube IX, Chinese Ink Painting

May the world be in peace! Everyone stay healthy and well!