In 2017, I accomplished two important life goals. The first was earning a BFA and MFA at the China Academy of Art after ten years of study. Secondly, and of great personal significance, I studied and followed the Master Odd Nerdrum in Florence, Italy. This portfolio contains some of my most important works of this time period between 2007 and 2017. My 30s have now begun. New artistic endeavors will continue to come out before I plan to rethink my figurative painting series.
I grew up in an unquiet family. My parents are both oil painters at art universities. They have quite different objectives and opinions on oil painting. As a teenager, I began to ponder what kind of painting had the power to forever move people. Which was my favorite?
I admire paintings where real life is translated into paint. This is why the old masterpieces are so powerful and eternal.
My own art works are divided into 3 series. One series portrays realistic works where I reflect on real life scenes, such as fishermen. Why is painting them my favorite? Why do my eyes watch them for so long? Because I grew up in a fishing town. My homeland is bordered by the sea. Seafood feed my town, and the fishermen are our heroes. In my art, I present them as lively and real. They struggle against the wind and against destiny to live their own way.
Another series is represented by paintings from my own personal life. I paint my beautiful wife who knows me so well and is an artist too. Life needs to be carefully seen - see what it has, appreciate its beauty and keep those special moments that I want to preserve.
The last series, which is also the most important series I paint, is called Politeia. In my work, I paint an eternal Utopia or paradise. Here love, balance, faith, chaos, death, limbo and the void can share the same space. I describe my logical world of Politeia as expressing people with cold, peaceful, solemn faces, faithful eyes and even breath, free from harm or pain…with a feeling stretching back to the ages, an immemorial moment. I am currently working on 10 or more pieces of this paradisal subject matter.
Since we have entered the era of photography, this new visual communication had become dominant in all human interactions. In this age what is the meaning of painting? Are paintings dead compared to photographs? There is confusion among painters on this point. The golden age for painting is past, so what could be next? This question is unavoidable for artists today. Fortunately, there is still a small, but special group that insist on painting, especially on figurative painting. They strive to preserve the truth of eternity, and try to break new ground while following the classical and realistic tradition. Luckily, I am one of them.
My paintings come out of familiar life: a wrecked fishing boat, a garment that has long been eroded by water and sweat, even a small string of key buckles. These details are full of inspiration and are indispensable elements for my paintings.
Perhaps because I am a Northern boy and less Southern romantic in my blood, my art is more bold and straightforward. The North cold wind makes for boundless, majestic and heavy breathing. These all influence my painting and my thoughts. That is why my works tell their story. In my paintings, people are solemn, respectful, and appear like heroes.
In my oil painting technique, I am inspired by Rembrandt’s works to catch the color of light. With the classical skill of cover to dye, painting can be powerful by layering oil colors decorously. Meanwhile, I often use color directly, like modern painters, combining them together. Also, I love the Renaissance masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. They are my “soul” teachers, because, like them, I want to present figures’ souls and inner thoughts through their eyes to others, telling a story in the painting, presenting a world outlook at the same time as reflecting my feelings and state of mind in the painting. Painting can depict the essence of life: hope, happiness, and aspiration. It can also show cruelty, impotence, pain, hopelessness and the confusion of social life. Painting can reflect these feelings and give people love and the sense of beauty. It is my most instinctive reaction as a painter to show these feelings throughout my paintings.