LandEscape Art Review - Page 156

LandE scape

Christin Bolewski
CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW
and its philosophical contents , metaphor plays a huge role in the work : The theme of the ‘ journey ’ is an enduring theme in Chinese landscape paintings . This means yearning for the spiritual , the remote , or the unattainable . The artist frequently portrays himself as a lone figure , a romantic fugitive , wandering into the uninhabited parts of nature where he can linger forever .
Shizen ? Natural refers to the nuclear meltdown after the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan in 2011 . I went to Japan in 2010 . The plan was to make a video painting about the huge contrast between ancient traditional Japanese culture and the modern extremely technology based and artificial life which exists there today . I recorded traditional temples and gardens now filled up with modern tourists and overcrowded street scenes in Tokyo as the modern replace for the ancient pilgrims . When the Tsunami happened it was unavoidable that it would become a central part of the work and also that this event would become the central metaphor for a global question and challenge arising for mankind : to coexist in harmony or to control , master and continue to exploit nature . Shizen ? Natural also presents and reinterprets an old poem of the famous Japanese poet Yamabe no Akahito celebrating nature and iconic Mount Fuji as a reflection on the conflicting relationship struggling between ancient tradition and technological and cultural progress .
In mountain-water-painting I replaced the ancient pilgrim with the figure of the Western mountaineer equipped with special tools and protective clothing to vanquish the highest peaks in order to conquer nature . This work also presents a traditional poem , this time it is of the famous Chinese poet Han Shan as a reflection on the mountaineers fight against nature counterpointing the Chinese attempt of spiritual harmony .
Both videos painting play with absence and presence , totality and emptiness , materiality and transcendence . 3D
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