"I chose to research Song Painting because of its deep roots in traditional culture. We can think of Song painting as the 'first Renaissance in China'. Its atmosphere is especially hazy and tranquil, embodying the notion of 'studying natural phenomena to acquire knowledge'. My lively works, inspired by humanity, encompass themes including intimate scenery, flowers, birds, and children at play, explored through the use of woodblock print. The work explores the serenity and peacefulness of the inner spirit, a new realm which is much more attractive than reality. The work aims to bring a sense of tranquillity to the beholder of the prints.
Another influence on my artwork comes from the Japanese artist Yumeji Takehisa. He took stylistic influences from Western realism, whilst thematically drawing on more Eastern influences. The spirit of Song painting, the delicacy and sentimentalism of Ukiyo-e, as well as modern Western realistic expressions are all things that influence my work. For example, my work 'Drunken Boat' was the result of my encounter with the work of Arthur Rimbaud. I portrayed the drunken boat drifting among the screens, with the weaving ripples resembling water, and smoke entwining and connecting the scenes. I created 'Crane Habitat' to embody the concept of 'no heart in the heart of understanding'. In the centre is a peaceful pond guarded by two cranes. The scene exists in the nexus between reality and imagination, leaving the viewer in a twilight between these states. As for 'Moon in the Clear Sky', I depicted a moose walking out of the cave and lying on the grass. The moose turns back its head and looks into the distance where Gandhara is playing music. Who is playing the music in this secluded valley? Who is listening to it? The murals in Dunhuang and Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio linger in the same scene. The image of Gandhara and the flowing tapestry showcase the uniquely smooth effects of woodblock prints and imagination.
'Screen' is a woodblock I accidentally crushed whilst creating my work. I exploited the trait of this material to recreate the composition, while feeling pitiful for my lost. I wish to devote myself to the recreation and expression of the traditional cultural symbols, including the elements of mountain, water, tree, stone, and so on. The use of screens manages the space of the composition, whilst each screen is occupying its own comfortable and free space independently. Screens have been associated with the literati and the idea of living in seclusion since the Eastern Han Dynasty. 'Cleanse heart and find rule', the saying of Zong Bing (375-444 CE) relates to this concept.
Creating the atmosphere of ink washes in hard woodblocks is my unique way of expression. I keep away from this mortal life in order to be completely free and at ease while not losing any fun, pleasure, anger, sorrow or joy. All I want is to combine ancient time and modern time, and to connect the East and the West."