A METAPHOR OF THE PAINFUL

                      Solo Exhibition of Tan Ping                                                                   

Among the contemporary Chinese Artist, Tan ping is a very special one. Special here means he is a distinguish artist with multiple intellectual backgrounds, or you can say a versatile artist.

From his arts experience, we can see that at the beginning, he studied print-making in the most important art institutions of China¬¬—CAFA, where he acquired a strong ability of modeling, and then he went to study in Germany, in Berlin University of the Arts, where the freedom of modeling was emphasized, and students can choose any material as a media to create their art works.

Later, when he returned to China, he undertook a new task of building up the Design Department of CAFA, and then the School of Design. He devoted most of his time and energy to the basis teaching of design and the teaching of visual communication, while, at the same time, besides making prints, he also created lots of sketch works and bunch of oil paintings to express his feelings. He works between painting and design, which gives him a ability to plant his personal art expression into public spaces.

In Chinese contemporary art area, it is very difficult to find an artist like him who can not only shuttle freely, but also make such cross-type practice, exploration and creation between different areas.

Also, it’s his way of cross-major and cross-media thinking, researching, as well as creation that determines the general appearance of Tan ping's paintings.

When put his characteristics of painting into the history of Chinese contemporary art, the important features of Chinese contemporary art in such a culture interaction era are much more obvious.

From Tan ping’s works, we can see that the general form of his art is abstract. The experiment of abstract art in China is started in 1980 after the reform and opening-up.

The abstract art has already been a popular art form in western countries. Compared with the realistic painting which develops from traditional art, abstract art opens up the space for artists to express themselves, and also present the art language in the form of self-sufficiency and self-discipline.

Although every abstract artist has his own style, all of them find a direct connection between the languages of art and the spiritual expression of themselves.

The abstract art of western countries, to Chinese artists is a historical experience, and it is also a very difficult question of how to find its new meaning in the context of the development and of China and its culture background. Chinese artists have to find the original point of abstract paintings, only in this way, they won’t be just the succession of tradition and history of the West.

When chose abstract art to express himself, Tan ping has a clearly view towards his culture position. He doesn’t like to be the successor of western abstract art, but to create an abstract art according to time and Chinese characteristics. To a certain extent, his painting can be called “post- abstract art”.

In Tan ping’s works, there are circle-shaped conglomerations spreading on the canvas. Because the space of his work is constructed with color conglomerations, these circle-shaped conglomerations are like floaters in the air, in a certain order, but with a much more free state of spreading of extending, and sometime even left their trace of growing and moving on the canvas.

Obviously, these conglomerations are from Tan ping’s personal experience, which he got from the feeling towards cells he saw in the hospital.

Taking the state of cells as the motivation of his creation, he focus his works on the state of “spreading” and “extending”, and it is also the theme image of his paintings.

During the process of painting, he follows his feeling of “spreading” and “extending”, just like writing unconsciously, converting these emotions into structures and images.

The flat background of his paintings are usually constructed by pure and powerful colors, but at the same time between the theme images and the background, on the contrary, he uses exquisite strokes to make color transition, making the images stick together with the background rather than isolated, as if there are space to breath and growth in between.

Starting from a very specific objects and then express it in an abstract way is a very important feature of Tan ping’s art.

It also remind us that although abstract painting is a traditional language of art form, but under the new culture condition, artists can also create new abstract art form according to the social realities and one’s living experience.

“Spreading” and “extending” are not only rules of cells growth, but also the general rules of the whole world. From this point, Tan ping’s abstract paintings has a connotation of sociology. He starts from a concern of practical world, taking the feeling towards real life and real world as a chance to express himself

however only using abstract language or images as a medium. We can read a real state of life and common experience from his paintings, and also from this point, his abstract paintings is not a simple extension of the West style, or a response to western abstract art at a normal level, but a spiritual and emotional image base on the soil of real life in China, especially the real state of culture situation.

Tan ping tries to use different mediums to express his feeling, and what important is that he is keeping think about philosophy, history and reality while creating art works, in order to make his thoughts more wider.

To the design education and design teaching, he is good at enlighten students with socio-cultural realities, and search design proposition from realities. Sometimes, he even ask the students to do interviews and social investigation, to outspread design propositions into real social environment, giving it a social property, and let student not only to treat design as a functional task but as a sociological thinking.

His thought is always on a level of sociology, thinking about the culture problems in the society, which injects a much wider culture value into art. His abstract art is base on the experience of art history, while at the same time having a close relationship with contemporary art, which made his art an important creation that reflects today Chinese art culture.

Today Art Museum
Credits: Story

This exhibit featured in some cases have been created by an indenpend third party may not always represent the view of the insitutions, listed bellow, who have supplied the content.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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