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A Colorful World: Fusion and Inspiration in Contemporary Eastern and Western Art Creation

By OGP Reporters / Members Contribute File Photos


Oh Good Party

Art has become a language for the public, aiding in contemplation and inspiration. The diversity and openness of contemporary art no longer confine artists' expressions within rigid frameworks but also allow viewers to immerse themselves in the art, resonating and engaging in a dialogue with the artworks.

For collectors who appreciate contemporary art, it is inevitable to have a fondness for Cai Bing's paintings. Throughout his illustrious artistic career, he has received numerous awards, including the "World Outstanding Figure Award" presented by the Cambridge Art Center in 1993 and the "Special Contribution Award" bestowed by UNESCO in 2005. His works are featured in publications such as "Five Ambassadors of Chinese Culture" (Wu Guanzhong, Cai Bing, Zhao Jie, Liu Dawei, Pan Gongkai), "Masters of Global Chinese Art," and "The Path of Masters: Zhu Dequn, Cai Bing


Oil painting originated in the West and is renowned for its rich and vibrant colors. It utilizes oil-based pigments, offering high color saturation and stability, allowing artists to express their creative intentions with a diverse range of colors. Key characteristics of oil painting include its thick texture and consistency, enabling artists to blend, smear, and layer pigments to create rich color gradients and light and shadow effects. Artists can also employ special techniques using brushes, palette knives, and other tools to achieve a sense of three-dimensionality and texture, providing viewers with visual depth and tactile experiences. Oil painting offers high malleability, allowing artists to make multiple revisions, refinements, and add intricate details to their works, granting them greater freedom and adjustability.


The durability of oil paintings makes them suitable for long-term preservation, which is of great importance for collectors. Some renowned oil paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," Eugène Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People," and Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" represent cultural trends, aesthetic values, and profound meanings of their time. Oil paintings are relatively stable and less susceptible to environmental factors such as light, humidity, and oxidation. With proper protection and maintenance, oil paintings can retain their vibrant colors and pristine appearance for extended periods of time.


In contrast, Chinese ink painting poses certain challenges when it comes to preservation. Ink paintings typically employ materials such as ink, water, and rice paper, which are susceptible to factors like humidity, light, and insect damage. Therefore, the preservation of ink paintings requires special environmental conditions and maintenance measures. To protect ink paintings, collectors usually need to control the temperature within the range of 18-24 degrees Celsius and maintain a relative humidity of 40-60%. Ink paintings are sensitive to intense sunlight and UV radiation, so they should be shielded from direct sunlight and kept away from environments with moisture, liquids, or high humidity. Collectors often entrust professionals to perform regular maintenance, addressing issues such as cracked lines, fading, or deformation. Additionally, acid-free paper with low acidity or dedicated protective films are commonly used to wrap the artwork. When lending or exhibiting ink paintings, low-acidity backing paper and frames are employed to safeguard the works from chemical reactions and damage. These measures aim to extend the lifespan of the artwork.


Among the precious collections we see are renowned works such as Guo Xi's "A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains," Zhang Zeduan's "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" from the Northern Song Dynasty, Wu Zhen's "The Eight Steeds" from the Yuan Dynasty, Ma Yuan's "Night Revels of Han Xizai," and Huang Gongwang's "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains." These significant pieces in Chinese art history have been meticulously maintained by the best professionals to present them before the audience in their current state.


Chinese ink painting serves as an extension and pursuit of Chinese literati thought, emphasizing the depth of meaning and speculative nature of the artwork. Artists (scholars) convey their aesthetic preferences and philosophical ideas through the forms and content depicted in the paintings, making it a primary medium for expressing life philosophy, moral concepts, or societal reflections during their time. Both Chinese painting and calligraphy emphasize the expression of lines, using brush and ink to outline figures, contours, and create details. The lines are often fluid and rhythmic, capable of conveying the form and movement of objects. The intensity, dryness, and wetness of ink, along with the strength of brushwork, can express various emotions and artistic conceptions. Even in simple compositions, there is a diverse range of changes, from rich black ink to elegant gray tones, as well as the gradual transition of depth, representing the perspective and distance of the depicted scenes through variations in height. The combination of blank space and ink creates a composition with alternating solid and void areas, imparting a sense of rhythm and imbuing the artwork with poeticism and depth.


The greatest characteristic of Chinese painting is its emphasis on expressive brushwork, highlighting the artist's personal interpretation of the subject and the conveyance of emotions, while also emphasizing the essence and spirit of the depicted objects. In contrast to the realistic style of European art, Impressionism was an art movement and style that emerged in late 19th-century France. At that time, some artists were dissatisfied with the traditional artistic norms and academic systems, seeking a new way of artistic expression and attempting to capture the changes in light, color, and instantaneous sensations. Initially, Impressionist painters faced criticism and resistance because their works went against the prevailing traditional artistic concepts and academic systems of the time. However, over time, Impressionism gradually gained recognition and had a profound influence on subsequent artistic developments, being regarded as one of the important origins of modern painting.


Reviewing the works exhibited in the 'The Colorful World - Cai Bing Oil Painting Exhibition,' viewers will intriguingly discover that the artist employs oil painting as a medium and skillfully employs techniques to express the profound meaning of Chinese ink painting. This form of expression is aesthetically concise and diverse, possessing both explosive visual impact and the delicate poeticism unique to Chinese painting. The clever use of color texture creates a rich and rhythmic atmosphere akin to that of a cocktail.


This can be seen as a current trend in contemporary Chinese art, where artists' modes of artistic expression are becoming increasingly flexible, modifying traditional Chinese painting styles, and presenting different effects and meanings through personal interpretations. Artistic creations of various styles and themes coexist in this era, ranging from realism to abstraction, from technology to tradition, from anti-war sentiments to gender equality. Art has become a language for the public, aiding in contemplation and inspiration. The diversity and openness of contemporary art no longer confine artists' expressions within rigid frameworks but also allow viewers to immerse themselves in the art, resonating and engaging in a dialogue with the artworks.


Note:

At over 80 years old, Cai Bing continues to exhibit a vibrant creative energy, as evident in the 'Cai Bing Oil Painting Exhibition' held in April. His profound understanding of contemporary oil painting and his interpretation of the art form are characterized by passion, resulting in works that achieve a harmonious fusion and reference to both Eastern and Western painting traditions, while perfectly expressing aesthetic beauty.


Born in Shanghai in 1943, Cai Bing is a renowned artist who studied at the China Academy of Art and served as a researcher at Nagoya University of Arts in Japan. He is well-known for his expertise in various art forms, including Chinese painting, printmaking, illustration, and sketching. His art has been widely recognized and exhibited worldwide, showcasing the essence of traditional Chinese art while incorporating modern elements and his unique personal expression. His works are imbued with poetry and aesthetic appeal, offering endless artistic enjoyment and contemplation to viewers.


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