Event Details


27/04/2018 - 20/05/2018

Born in Inner Mongolia, Yang Zhiling (1954-) is a member of the China Artists Association, a Chinese national level artist and first-class art designer. Yang Zhiling holds the post of Artistic consultant for World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities (WALCC), is a Part-Time Professor of the Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University and a Visting Professor of Shenzhen University. Yang Zhiling`s "flowing colors" technique and his method of using water to mix colors and leave traces serves to construct a new language system of painting, thus achieving a form of subversive transcendence. "Conceptual Reflections," establishes a theory and practice which forge a new path in this new era of the image, and the theory and practice of "Humanized Nature", which was established by Yang Zhiling, bringing him into the domain of a humanistic conceptual theory. Seeking to promote the civilization of society, Yang Zhiling's The Tao of Nature, is the result of both "enlightenment" and "transformation."

The Tao of Nature

The Supreme Way of Nature

The ultimate goal in the realm of Tao is for all the outstanding civilizations to achieve the same goal by different routes.

The lifelong artistic practice of Yang Zhiling is characterized by a pioneering spirit which pervades his work from top to bottom, abandoning the old to follow the new, in a perpetual attempt to subvert what came before him. Throughh his continual experimentations in water colors, he employs a natural generative creative method to pave a new road in this era of the imagea road which eventually arrives at the ultimate, lofty realm of the Tao.

With regard to Yang Zhilings art, nature possesses two meanings: a breakthrough in technique and a subversion of thoughts and ideas pertaining to a humanized nature.

The former theory involves nature in the context of technique; Yang Zhilings method of using naturally radiant and flowing colors reconstructs a completely new system of artistic language; his unique traces, created through spreading and allowing ink to absorb, are different from the coercive sketched and painted forms of the past. His naturally-generated compositions act as glossy advertisements for the enchanting power of nature.

Yang Zhilings art of nature emerges both from his own life experiences and his philosophical meditations. If one observes Yangs painting process one can discover layer upon layer of water droplets which form a vortex evocative of the dictates of karma and the all-encompassing swirling forces of good and evil. Viewing these paintings, we see that all of life is born from good and evil, with Karma like the intermittent ripples formed by the action of tossing a stone onto a calm surface of a lake.

In addition, this method of flowing colors helps develop the characteristics of this aqueous art of nature to their fullest extent. His process, characterized by ever-changing hues which are at once flowing and painting, necessitates a tilting of the canvas to control the flow and direction of the colors and forms; it also requires the constant addition of more colors, flowing, tilting and adding until he achieves the desired result. This method embodies a kind of visual logic which could be described as modelling through flowing water, which has a strong connection to the intervention in the Western oil painting tradition. Its a body of work which embodies the poetic charm of the East, while at the same time subverting the Chinese ink painting tradition.

In terms of the later theory of a humanized nature (ideas), Yang Zhilings watercolors are after all fundamentally an art of temporality and frequency. But perhaps more remarkable is that he has transformed the temporality of watercolors into the concept of an epoch or era, constantly keeping pace with and relating to the zeitgeist of contemporary society, thus fusing the two concepts of nature technique and the idea of humanized nature. Yang Zhiling is adept at embedding humanistic morals into this objective nature, or to  use the morphology of nature to verbalize the multiplicitous forms of human society. Yangs nature really isnt a simple pleasing visual tactic or gimmick, but an externalization or glance at an inner realmthe view of nature that we see.  Therefore, the people who constitute the objects and the Nature which constitutes the subject obtain a state of unity in Yangs work. He thus creates an aesthetic value judgment on the canvas, by means of righteousness and positive energy expressed through the trajectory of visual art. Therefore Yangs art is not confined to the single dimensions of technique or painting, rather it is an expression of a desire for social progress, or even the sublimation of the medium and the form of painting—“a humanized nature.

Yangs works fill viewers with rich associations, but it also creates interventions in the thoughts and lives of people. He manages to transcend the realm of aesthetics employing aesthetic methods, to unite the objectivity of nature and the subjectivity of human emotions, expanding our concept of nature, enhancing our understanding of civilization, culture, society and history and playing an indispensable role in promoting the development society and civilization.

In addition, the artist has created a conceptually reflexive approach to art; abandoning the faithful representation of the externality of specific objects, converting the figurative image into the essence or spirit of the painting. When he discovered how to transcend realism/realistic painting and the strictures of realism, it allowed him to avoid this meaningless contest of scientific or methodological image making, forging a new path in this era of the image.

Even though Yangs works explore many themes through different series, this conceptually reflexive approach has always been at the core of his artistic thinking and has become a central principle of his artistic production. Starting from this thread, Yang sets out to the interconnected territories of subjective psychology and social awareness embarking on an in-depth analysis of the ontology of humans and the attributes or properties of social-culture.

Some people have said that Yang Zhiling uses a Western artistic language to interpret Eastern concerns; other people say that his works do not duplicate those of the masters or themselves. In fact, we can sum up the unique character of Yangs works with the equation: 2 8 where the two refers to entering the world (human world), these two characters “入世” and also the personification of positive energy. The 8 symbolizes the 8 characters for: time,” 时, now,” 现, spreading,” 扬 ”benevolence,” 善, awareness,”悟, transformation,” 变 , difference,”异 and establish or build” 立. Because of the way his art actively participates in the process of forging a progressive human civilization, it constitutes a wise reflection on the development of this era. In addition, Yang Zhiling remains un-entangled I the artistic discourse of any particular school or artistic movement, but rather chooses to walk alone in the stratospherethat plane of interstellar spaceusing his method of painting to transcend painting itself, using art to monitor the wellbeing of mankind and social progress, immersing himself in the past, the present and the great sum of human knowledge. His goal is to make use of this knowledge to enrich people under the structure of the collective fate of humanity. This is really the core motivator of Yang Zhilings artto spread good deeds and the supreme way of the Tao.  

Event Details

  • Curator: Dr Liang Shuhan
  • Artist: Yang Zhiling
  • Venue: Space A, Spazju Kreattiv , St James Cavalier, Castille Place, Valletta, Malta
  • Dates:  Fri 27 April – Sun 20 May, 2018                                                                         
  • Opening Hours: Mondays (09:00-17:00); Tuesday to Friday (09:00-21:00); Saturday & Sunday (10:00-21:00) 
  • Entrance is Free                                                                                  
  • Organizers: Fondazzjoni Kreattività, Valletta International Visual Arts Festival, in Collaboration with China Cultural Centre in Malta
  • More info: Fondazzjoni Kreattività  
  • Tel: 21223200                                                        
  • Official Link: https://bit.ly/2uOxiuE


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