Shenzhen Watercolour Prize(Best of show)

Time:2014-1-11 1:48:52 View:6074

Shenzhen Watercolour Prize (Best of Show, $9846+Medal)
In Front of Table ( Follow-up Sequel #6-7 ), 110×74cm,  Shao Yuhao (China) The Prize Mentioned by Thomas Plunkett

 

ART STATEMENT:

"Fish" was taken as the subject. Through the wet skill of watercolor painting, the work was finished with acrylic and watercolour. Cover-dying skill was also utilized. The textures of blue and white porcelain was grafted to "fish". "Blue and white porcelain fish" constituted a form of reverse, making inquiries of the value of life. I think that life is fragile, but human perception and experience of life is more fragile. I emphasized "fish" in the work. The form and texture were of reality and also conceptual or symbolic in nature. With unrealistic object which was out of its own space-time, I tried to reveal the existence state. The body of life was depicted as the isolated space-time "fish", capturing sketch of confusion and loneliness in urbanized life. Seeking to abate the properties of objective materials, a painting language was derived from ideas. It revealed the presence of life.

 

REVIEW:

This work is a painting of both stillness and power. It's an iconic image which floats between representation and abstraction. It is an image of a fish on a table, a still life, and at the same time a diptych which balances abstraction, the creature's body created from gestural marks. Splashes of rich ultramarine blue create a sense of movement and grace. That challenges the viewer.

The painting has a visual meaning. It is slowly revealed and unveiled by the artist to the viewer. It is a work of art that quietly commands your attention. It proves a watercolour painting can be, strong, yet subtle and has both a lightness and sense of balance.

The viewer is drawn to this monumental diptych through its colour palette of blue and grey. The works mark making and vigour suggest abstract expressionism and glimmers of Francis Bacon in its composition.

It holds within its frame the best of both Chinese and western artistic traditions. It looks both east and west in its aesthetic values, as much as this exhibition is a window both onto China and outwards to the rest of the world. Beyond the lower section of the work could be viewed both as a fish but also

as a sea, in which it once swam, with a discernable horizon line, with passages of movement and life, flickering and dancing, suspended forever above it.

The rich grey background provides solidity to the painting which both reaches out and recedes in the painting and holds the work, anchors it in place and time. The rivulets of paint that have run down the work in places remind us of the passage of time, as well as elements of chance or the uncontrollable in both life and painting.

Above all, there is a sense of grace in this work, and it carries aesthetic values that have blended to connect both the past and the present and the traditional and contemporary in a very powerful way. The painting has a timeless quality with brush marks, colour and a lightness of form held forever, suspended, resonating far beyond the time of its creation. The elemental qualities of watercolour help this painting tantalise the viewer with its enigmatic meaning and power.


Thomas Plunkett. PRWS