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Chinese ink and acrylic painting on canvas, teakwood frame
Dimensions: 96.0cm(H) x 106.0cm(W) x 6.5cm(D) / 37.8"(H) x 41.7"(W) x 2.6"(D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Who are we against the vastness of a mountain? What’s a mountain compared to the endless oblivion of the universe? Students of xuanxue (literally “mysterious learning”) during the Wei and Western Jin periods in China used to ask big questions. They would sit in gardens or forests and have qingtan (“pure conversations”), drinking and taking toxic psychoactive drugs into the wee-hours of the morning. What a life. They believed in searching for the most fundamental, rooted currents of the universe and were less worried with the so-called branches, those things that extend from the root but could be chopped off at minimal loss. Xuanxue thinkers were concerned with nature, and living in accordance with nature. For example, the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove believed that learning-itself wasn’t even necessary, that if one was intelligent enough they could—and should—absorb and embody knowledge from nature. To be any other way was to reduce the influence of nature and corrupt the person. The lives of the Seven Worthies have served as inspiration to generations of artists after, and their rural lifestyle and commitment to natural flowing has ironically cemented them in history as true agents of spontaneity.
DATE: Made in island6, 2019
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Lives and Works: Shanghai
island6 六岛 (Liu Dao) is a Shanghai-based collective of tech-geeks and creative talents whose driving force is collaboration. Since its inception in 2006, this dynamic international group has produced multimedia art that muses on the relationship between the delicate qualities of traditional art and the technical complexities of the contemporary. Artists from diverse disciplines converge to contemplate the past, present, and future of China through their humorous and innovative new media work. Their unique collaborative philosophy explores the cultural potential of the convergence of art, technology, and science in their quest to promote cross-cultural dialogue. Liu Dao's ever expanding repertoire includes works in diverse mediums such as LED art, video art, interactive art, neon, photography, painting, sculpture, and dynamic laser art, among others.
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