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【英文资讯】The Oriental Image Realm Created with the Soul:on the Oil Painting Art of Du Yongqiao

2013-05-24 14:42:57 来源:艺术家提供作者:Lin Mu
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  Du Yongqiao, an eminent oil painter who was popular among a legion of young artists for his gift and achievement early in the 1960s when he was young, has shocked numerous young artists, who have just experienced the “1985 Art Trend”, again with his excellent works displayed at his two wonderful individual exhibitions after years of silence. Those young artists, viewing and emulating his fine paintings over and over again, are amazed at the miraculous art of the painter who is over sixty years old. Today the middle-aged ones, the younger fans of him back then, express their heartfelt praise and admiration when they appreciate his unique and perfect art. Mr. Du’s influence has even spread over to Taiwan, where the introduction to his art can frequently be found in newspapers or magazines.

  His works concern the oil painting of landscapes and still lives, an art stemming from the west that usually stresses the appreciation and presentation of the natural beauty itself. Western painters are infatuated with the presentation of the complicated form and the changing light and color, from which their satisfaction often derives. But for Du Yongqiao, painting is a medium to express his feelings. The most moving part of art is the lyricism in painting.

  The beautiful and peaceful natural environment in the countryside where Mr. Du was born, his life rife with poverty and hard work when he was young, and being nurtured in classical literature by his father have shaped his unique spiritual orientation and life pursuit. Loving nature and all the fine images in life, he appreciates and takes in all the interesting details around him. However, his life is full of twists and turns, probably because of the hardships in his childhood, or because he is often immersed in art and not good at dealing with people and is always misunderstood by others. It is perhaps these frustrations that make him devoted completely to art; painting has almost fully become his spiritual shelter. Mr. Du, unworldly yet genuine, is addicted only to his painting in his lifetime. He uses his painting to vent his pleasure and anger, sorrow and joy. Unlike other painters in the utilitarian contemporary painting circle, Du Yongqiao only goes his own way. If his early works sing of the pastoral peaceful beauty of nature, his latest works are soaking with a complex and obscure charm. In his paintings, his personality and feelings are injected into nature and nature mirrors the light of his spirit, rather than nature showing off its own beauty to mankind. He always paints old streets, old houses and southern watery villages in ancient style with attractive, melancholic and nostalgic feelings, a little chilly, sentimental, lonely and pacific. In Going Home, how many memories of childhood are recalled by the lonely old wooden bridge, the silent pond and the warm fire in the stove? In Old Propylaeum, and in My Childhood Home, how many sympathetic responses arise from the old buildings, the tender feelings between the mother and the baby, and from the little boy leaning against the door with his fantastic reveries? Such strong feelings penetrate into almost all his works, so that we can sense his feelings everywhere whether in the bleak beach in After the Rain, the seascape in Moonlight, or in the village path in Mud, the tranquil pond of lotus in Early Autumn, the girl in Piano Practice in front of the antique-flavored piano and the falling and fallen flowers in The Redness of Autumn. In the time when utilitarianism overflows, the pedantic and stubborn Du Yongqiao still persists in selecting only his favorite subjects for his paintings, and he finds himself hardly able to be integrated into the era devoid of sincerity. However, it is the persistent genuineness that expedites his success. The combination of the feeling in his deepest heart with a classical Chinese taste that is peaceful, indifferent, lonely, melancholic and sentimental makes his oil painting closer to the marrow of traditional Chinese art—the spirit to present one’s inner mind, a spirit of a pure oriental image.

  The skill of realistic painting is undoubtedly the basis of Du’s oil painting. He started his painting course with the study of Russian oil painting and European oil painting in the 1950s. Quite capable of drawing sketches, Mr. Du has admirable and impeccable capabilities, following the strict standards of the Western Realism, of realistic painting (such as Naked Woman), as presented in both his watercolors and oil paintings. When he was young, Mr. Du madly clung to the western art of oil painting, especially the color in French Impressionism and Russian oil painting. He studied and emulated the masterpieces of former painters of this type so attentively that he was quite familiar with their various painting styles and skills. Perhaps it is because he was born to be supersensitive to colors, or because he was influenced by constantly seeing the abstractive forms of the traditional Chinese colors and ornamentations in the embroidery of his grandma and folk New Year pictures that in an era when realistic painting prevailed, Du Yongqiao, from the very beginning of his painting course, did not copy that style of presenting the reality and fortunately was not trapped in the prevalent frenzy of realistic painting in the end. Conversely, adroit at realistic painting skills, Mr. Du constantly paid his attention to the expressiveness of the painting form, for which he suffered a lot in the time when “formalism” was considered to be reactive politically. However, his art seems more purified and unadulterated than others.

  When it comes to art, Wang Guowei (1877—1927) thought that in formative and realistic paintings, “the first form is the layout of the painting” and “the second is the use of brush and ink”, and he thought highly of the latter. “All I appreciate in a painting is indeed the second form…All my criticism towards calligraphy and painting is about the spirit, rhythm and taste, which are all concerned about the second form rather than the first one.” (Collection of Essays by Jing’ an, II) Wang Guowei emphasized the special and decisive aesthetic values of art itself. Likewise, Clive Bell (1850-1942), a western aesthetician a little later than Wang Guowei, put forward his famous viewpoint of “the significant form” in his book Art. If art, he argues, only narrates or represents the reality to arouse daily feelings or convey information, “it will never touch us aesthetically.” Conversely in his opinion, “what touches off our aesthetic feeling could only be the combination of lines and colors in a certain way,” i.e. “significant form”. Indeed, the history of art is full of feelings and forms opposite and complementary to each other and is also about the evolution of forms under the control of aesthetics. The independence of forms is the defining factor of the aesthetic value of art. Certainly, only in its own unique way different from any other forms can the art of painting express the painter’s individual feelings.

  As a talented painter who perhaps has not studied these theories, Mr. Du has an intuition for art and a strong inclination for the artistic form. Even in the era when realism was dominant, he was not satisfied with realistic painting alone, but thirsted for the expression with his complex feelings about various colors as well. Furthermore, he always aspired to seek the distinctive pleasure in the quick movement of his brush. Mr. Du was immediately attracted by Maximov’s simple painting style and his ability to generalize the subject the first time he saw the art work of Maximov, a Soviet Union painter, in the 1950s when he was just a novice. Since then, Mr. Du embarked on his unique journey of oil painting. This intuitive pursuit for art reveals his outstanding insight into art. Most of his works derive from reality and seem to belong to the realistic genre; in his eyes, however, a realistic painting can certainly convey some feelings via the subject, but as to the art of painting, the form and expressiveness of the painting carry more of the painter’s self-cultivation, his aesthetic taste and his individual pursuit. The essence of his art consists in his distinctive forms of expression that are reflected in his brush- and color-using skills.

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