“Contemplation on History” – Shen Kelong Lacquer Art Exhibition
Contemplation on History
Chinese lacquer is a gift from the god, shining with the splendor through the history and coming to us from the Hemudu culture. The character of lacquer is deep and implicit, its life does not cease to exist as a certain utensil. The demands for lacquer will always be fulfilled even with the change of time and space The Chinese lacquer, passing from 7,000 years ago on to today, has still never lacked a person inheriting and an object bearing. Shen Kelong (B.1964) and his works inherited the lacquer. It was better to say that the acquaintance of the Asia Art Center and Shen Kelong was fate not a coincidence. In this coming autumn, Asia Art Center (Beijing) will present “Contemplation on History— Shen Kelong Lacquer Art Exhibition”, and in the exhibition the artist will discuss the ancient and contemporary lacquer culture with us, making us feel the mild and exquisite texture of the lacquer.
Getting involved is a way that Shen Kelong expresses art; contemplation is a way of lacquer telling history. Learning the calligraphy from a child, Shen Kelong has the literacy like the ancient literati, the dignity in the artistic temperature and refinement in the spiritual character, which make him unique among the contemporary artists and those engaged in the lacquer art. Shen Kelong’s works are just like TsaoHsueeh-Chin’s aesthetics view of “numerous but not boring, colorful but not annoying”. Shen Kelong took the lacquer as the pure art to express, taking the natural lacquer as the main media, and created the lacquer works rich in contemporary art idea. The works that will be exhibited in this exhibition are created by Shen Kelong spending plenty of time and vigor, including [Dream in the Deserted Garden] series, [Antique] series, [Buddha] series and the abstract works etc., and a large lacquer work will be shown in the exhibition.
Shen Kelong’s lacquer works, no matter plane lacquer paintings or solid utensils, contain the rich Chinese philosophy and aesthetics. Mounting the cloth, scraping the ash and the lacquer layer by layer create concave-convex figures and gardens in the picture, and create the touching stories. In the depth of the courtyard, someone seems to be singing in a low voice; behind the rocky design, it seems lovers are whispering…. “Dream in the Deserted Garden” was created by Shen Kelong with sincere hue and simple technique, and we can’t help recalling its remote atmosphere and gentle temperament beyond description. The beauty of lacquer lies in its rich expressiveness and extensive inclusivity with the special taste and romantic charm of the orient. With the linen as the conformality, the negative form shows proudly independent official hat chair, if standing beside it, you have to be serious. The heavy history digested the comparison of its texture – The exquisiteness of lacquer had plasticity and blended with the roughness of linen in competing, presenting the works’ internal oriental spirit. Meanwhile inheriting the tradition, Shen Kelong’s works are also added into the mode of composition of the modern painting: all the Buddha statues do not sit in the center of the picture, but show their Buddha’s light in the mist, or overlook the buddhas in the cave across mountain and sea, seeming the wall painting stripped from the cliff mottled and non-existent through 1,000 years, and become immortal.
It is better to say that lacquer is a mirror rather than a material, and in this mirror Shen Kelong sees his own reflection and the transformation of the lacquer since ancient times, and the oriental spirit that finally precipitated through the long river of history. Involvement in the lacquer made Shen Kelong walk in the long process of history and muse in it. Today, the changes of time come up with challenges to the cultural heritage, and Shen Kelong is still continually exploring how to blend the history details and the contemporary presentation, creating the works with spirit. On September 22, 2012, Asia Art Center (Beijing) will invite you to walk into Shen Kelong’s lacquer art world, feeling the precipitation of the 1,000 civilization and the new cognition and new discover to the traditional culture.