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Interview with Artist Lin Yue Ping

InterviewerZhang Dan (to be abbreviated in the following as Z)


Artist Lin’s art is by no question outstanding and powerful in contemporary art world in China. In recent years, his unique ink-painting visual language has received widespread attention.


When we stand in front of his ink-paintings, we are immediately drawn into a mystical world where our worldly cares melt away and we are stirred up by deep spiritual and philosophical wanderings. The artist’s state of creation: he forms a concept and main theme of philosophy and then in powerful sweeps of the ink-brush, expresses simple visual language that condenses multitude layers of meanings. His visual language is harmonic and balanced which in essence achieves a meeting point between the form/object to be expressed (the visual reality) and the alluring and yet mysterious “essence” of extended-meaning outside of the picture (the alluding factor). This “quality” or essence lies at the heart of traditional Chinese ink-paintings: the air of mystery that has captivated past emperors and collectors alike is by essentially an allusive aura that the painting emits. It can be the particularly coy slant of a willow tree, the dark and mysterious ambiance of a descending cave hollow, or equally the fierce and piercing glance of a tiger. It’s hard to define, this special “aura,” when it casts a particular emotion and works its magic over you –for more concrete of a definition, we can roughly refer it to the state of emotion or thought activated by any particular element in the painting.


Lin has successfully integrated and blurred the given boundaries segregating genres in Chinese ink-painting and has masterfully combined poetry, calligraphy, seal-carving and painting techniques all in a single piece of work. In subjects as well, he has blended perfectly the genres of figure-painting, birds & flowers and landscape. The cultivation of a deep understanding of the traditional Chinese-ink painting as well as a unique combination of a contemporary and ancient visual aesthetic language are two major factors that define Lin’s art. His ink-paintings in their highlight of the spontaneous and powerful strokes of ink emphasize the illustration of the “spirit”, the soul of the work. In seemingly casual brush-strokes, the dominating personalities, spirits of the subjects in the painting come to life. In his landscape paintings, winding creeks, waterfalls and straw huts form a lively world of activity and a spiritual place where the trace of the artist’s hand is hardly visible We are drawn into a mystical world of cherry blossoms, willow trees and whispering willows. Lin has always made it one of his artistic mandates to evoke nature and the spirit of nature in all his paintings, thus the trace of the artist’s hand plays second-fiddle to the masterful and seemingly accidental hand of nature: we can see that most strongly in the mysterious cloud and mist formations in Lin’s landscape paintings.


Lin says “an artist must be truthful for his art to be moving.” Indeed, Lin also stresses that “art must stir up and wake up the stirrings of the soul, this stirring of the soul and our innermost emotions and desires may find themselves to be passionate, powerful, sensitive, poetic or historical and so on and so on. I believe it is exactly those stirrings of the soul that in effect mold and shape our heart.” There is definitely a spiritual and visual world that Lin creates where the visual language is far from conventional, in fact it is in defiance of any visual boundaries in techniques or visual dictum that in turn give rise to such natural, moving strokes of ink in Lin’s paintings. Through such witty, vibrant and positive reflection and introspection of life and art, Lin’s paintings encapsulate the artist’s well-rounded and unique experience of life.

Z: I am aware that you pursued art history as a major in your graduate studies at the Central Art Academy, when did you shift towards the creation of Chinese ink-paintingsCan you give a general introduction of your path in creating works of ink-painting?


Lin: Speaking of painting, I consider myself relatively lucky. I’ve been crazy about drawing since I was four or five years old. I remember because for the lack of anyone at home to look after me, my elder sister took me along with her when she went to school. One day, I saw a drawing of a person (it was almost a caricature) on the classroom’s blackboard.  I was so drawn in by that chalk drawing that I felt every time I looked at him, he seemed to be smiling at me and calling out to me. From that day on, I would tag along with my sister and run to the classroom to look at him and race its form with my hands. Then out of the blue, one day, I took up a pencil and drew a figure exactly like the one on the blackboard. My sister found it incredible and from that day onwards my family saw a distinguished artistic talent in me. My love for drawing started from there. Later on, it became a regular thing for my parents to be told by my teachers that my obsession with drawing interfered with my schoolwork and grades. I would draw on anything I could find, test sheets, books, magazines, anything with a smooth surface. When tests were given, I would forget all about the tests and instead doodled all over the test sheets right up until the class bell rang. The drawings I made of the mythical gods and figures when I was five years old still decorate the walls of my childhood home to this day, and they were drawn with Chinese ink-brushes too, can you imagine! My elder brother loved Chinese calligraphy in his youth and his encouragement of my art pursuit marks him as one of my key teachers in my path. He accidently discovered my talent and took me to learn drawing and basic composition of light and shadow. After several foundations in drawing, I was lucky enough to take up a primary school specializing in art in my home province of Fujian. However, after a few terms, I found out that my learning environment was far from what I had imagined and so far from ideal, so it was not long after that I left to seek out a more enriching experience. I sought out a famous art teacher in a town close to my hometown and finally I found my first teacher in traditional Chinese-ink painting. After a few years of learning of foundations, I came home to my hometown Dong Shan and set up my first artist studio.

In 1997, under the encouragement of many friends, I formed my first solo show in my hometown. The show was a hit. From that point onwards, it was a turning point. More and more people came to know me and my artwork, and my reputation began to grow. Many friends encouraged me to study art in southern china, in the famous Zhejiang Art Academy. However as a result, I chose to pursue my childhood dream of studying art in China’s capital, Beijing. For someone who has never been far away from home, it was a no doubt a huge challenge for me. I told myself that my dream was no longer far from reality, I was about to realize this dream. Friends and relatives held me back from going, saying that southern China would be so much closer to home and Beijing would be so hard to make it on my own. Even then, at the age of barely eighteen, I was resolute in my pursuit, I said Even if I have to be a penniless beggar, I would still be doing it in the Beijing!My classmate and friend from art school came with me to Beijing to pursue Masters studies at Chinese ink-painting at the Central Art Academy. When we got to Beijing however, we missed the exam deadline for the major and it was such a big shock for me. I got lost about my future and hoped for a miracle in my destiny. At a time when I was most helpless, things turned around when I got the help I needed and finally entered the masters program in Art History Theory at the Academy. My friend from home had long left me to return home and this period of study seemed like an eternity on this path to my dream. I treasured this opportunity very much and my dream seemed so much more concrete and clear.

I thirsted and longed for knowledge from my teachers so much and absorbed wisdom from every imaginable source. The artistic concepts and views of my teachers cast great influence on me and opened up my horizon. Aside from the course material, the academy’s library was an invaluable source of wisdom and knowledge during my student days. When I first came to the capital, I found out what so little I knew, there were so many new things and perspectives waiting for me to explore and unlock. So whenever I had any spare time, I spent it in the library, soaking up all the best and most classic masters of art.

You asked When did I shift to artactually there isn’t any shift because I have always been doing calligraphy, drawing, composing poetry and seal-carving. Aside from those pursuits, I don’t know any other activity that defines or take up my attention and time. I have referenced the lifestyle modes and concepts from China’s ancient artists on the idea that I consistently draw, read, reflect and create art. Though I took up art theory at the Central Art Academy, it didn’t stop me from creating art. Instead it was like adding fuel to a well-lubricated motor, being immersed in art theories and history sparked more inspiration for me to create art. Aside from traditional subjects, during that period, I delved in contemporary ink-painting as well. My ideas and views broadened and my time at the academy gave me an unceasingly wave of inspiration to experiment with new unconventional aesthetic language and representational mode. It was without a doubt a turning point in my life.


Z: There is a harmonious and balanced combination of poetry, calligraphy, painting, seal-carving in all your works, regardless of the nature of their genre: be it landscape, birds
& flowers, Buddhist figures. How do you find this perfect balance and harmony?


Lin: There is a close relationship between seal-carving and calligraphy. The ancient Masters have long stressed the fluid and natural style of using the calligraphy brush as a seal-carving knife. The force exerted on the brush and knife are similar in nature. So a seal-carver with a solid foundation in calligraphy without question has strong creative abilities when engraving seals. If seal-carving is only understood as simply wielding a knife, then the finished seal is only a product of a craftsman and not an artist. The intuitive qualities and the foundations of an artist in seal-carving are absolutely defined by very different measures. In my view, there are three major distinguishing factors: 1. Aesthetic composition and intuition of each artist are unique and therefore paramount. 2. the particular style of carving: whether it’s using one knife or two knives together result in radically different structures. 3. A natural feeling for the power of language, especially the epistemology of symbols, texts. Most importantly, because Chinese is a language based on symbols and imagery, every character has series of allusions and meanings by extension. To really understand Chinese text, you need to know that there is a multitude of meanings to every character depending on the specific text and the characters that are connected to it. This is where the artist’s unique and deep-rooted artistic education and aesthetics take on great importance. When you approach seal-carving with a distinct extension of meaning and symbolism to the specific characters, then you form a unique world of allusion. The artist’s unique interpretation of the Chinese characters in how they are carved resembles the unique personality displayed through calligraphy works. My own approach towards seal-carving is to absorb the best fundamentals from the ancient masters. When I carve my seals, I borrow elements of fluidity inspired by water’s constant movements and also the interesting symbolism of calligraphy.

In most of my paintings, you will see a poem that accompanies it and further stresses the overall aesthetic affect and the specific state of mind to draw in the viewers. When I compose these poems, I don’t follow much of the convention that requires poems to perfectly rhyme in sync. Because we are living in the present twenty-first century, to directly replicate the lifestyle modes, cultural and educational backgrounds of the ancient poets are far from necessary and indeed too idealistic of a goal. It’s difficult for us to relate to poetry that relies too much on ancient sources. I believe that for poetry to be impressionable and relatable to us, the mode of expression need to connect to contemporary mode when expressing personal emotions and thoughts. Master Qi Bai Shi’s poems for example are easy to understand and full of wit and wisdom at the same time. I believe poems along those same lines connect to our tastes. In the Buddhist scripture “Da Fang Guang fo Hua Yan Jing”, the mention of the line “One flower one world, One leaf one bodhi,” really highlight the essence of what poetry means to me: a simple phrase like that encompasses the elements of the universe and by extension alludes to so multitude of wisdoms/reflections on life. For me, the form or the structure of the poem is secondary to the depth of the content expressed by the simplicity of the poem!


Z: You are known as the first and foremost painter of “Zhong-Kui,” one of the most widely-revered household god in China. In fact, you have the title of being known as the “First and Best Contemporary Zhong-Kui” painter. Zhong-Kui as one of your major subjects is not an accidental choice, right?


Lin: I often ask myself, in comparison to the greatest masters in art history chronology, what do I have to contribute? There is a long history of masters in Chinese traditional art history well-known for a specific subject that best shows their mastery: Qi Bai Shi’s shrimp, Xu Bei Hong’s horse, Huang Wei’s mule, Li Ke Ran’s cow. What do I have? My subjects range from figures, landscape, flowers and birds, calligraphy and seal-carving. I asked myself, what particular genre am I best at and also connect closely to my personality and lifestyle?

Firstly, it was not by accident that I began to draw the mythical figure of “Zhong-Kui.” In my hometown Fujian, I began to first get to known Zhong-Kui through an artist named Lin Shao Dan. His paintings of Zhong-Kui inspired me. He was influenced by Huang Zheng, Li Gen. However my first step in choosing to paint Zhong-Kui was a very primary and simple idea. Starting from this simple initial step, my passion for depicting the major household god only grew from there. Secondly, my personality relates closely to Zhong-Kui’s as well, in terms of having a strong sense of justice, bravery and vivaciousness. Painting Zhong-Kui has led me to experience life in its full capacity and helped me to express myself without reserve. Thirdly, after a systematic comparison in the history of depicting Zhong-Kui, I found out that Zhong-Kui was most popular and revered at times of prosperity and peace. During those abundant times, the spiritual longings and needs of people increased and therefore artists reflected those socio-political, cultural and lifestyle modes through various mediums –most prominently though the worship and depiction of household deities. My thoughts on the current cultural-socio aspects of contemporary society are that many aspects are similar to the ancient society when Zhong-Kui worship was at its peak. Both eras are times of ambivalent faiths and atheism, people are quite lost and anxious. And it is exactly in those times of anxiety that deities like Zhong-Kui became invested with faith and belief so that people’s faiths and resolutions had a place of comfort and ease to go to. Based on these, I have found a strong sense of responsibility and resolution to paint Zhong-Kui. I believe that by choosing him, Zhong-Kui has chosen me as well, there is a strong sense of serendipity and destiny in all this!


Z: You have a seal engraved with the statement: “The number one Zhong-Kui in contemporary times.” The Zhong-Kui you depict is modern and that modernity is a key element right?


Lin: There are three major reasons why I am called this title. One, in the long chronology of painting Zhong-Kui from the ancient times to current times, masters like Ren Bo Nian and Gao Qi Pei are most famous for their astounding number of Zhong-Kui paintings, numbering the hundreds. In contemporary times, artist Lin Shao Dan and Fan Zen also painted the god numbering in the hundreds. I have painted over a thousand paintings of Zhong-Kui, in countless contexts and expression modes. Secondly, you mentioned the modernity of Zhong-Kui. I believe that the subject is secondary, instead most importantly I need to consider how to merge with the logic and sensibility of urban viewers. For example, how do I express a contemplative philosophical notion all the while not losing humor and spirit? Thirdly, I thought up the name to motivate myself. The foremost poet and artist of the Classical period, Tang Bo Hu was a truly renaissance man, skilled in all areas of art mediums. He carved many seals, one of which is aptly named “The best artist of Jiang-Nan” and without a doubt he lived up to that name. So for me, it is the best way to connect to the glorious artistic past.


Z: While we are on this topic. Let’s dwell on Zhong-Kui for a bit. I don’t know if you’ve done a cross-reference with art works with religious overtones in Western and Eastern art history. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, religious themes like St. Maria, Christ on the Cross, the Last Judgment reflected a dominant following of Christianity/Catholicism. What are your thoughts on Zhong-Kui, is he a religious subject, a folklore figure or a literary figure? There is quite a difference between these distinctions, for example, the Buddha or Dharma are figures of faith. Where does Zhong-Kui belong, in your opinion?


Lin: I think that Zhong-Kui is a “renaissance man,” he embodies the characterization of faith, religion, folkore and literature all into one. First and foremost, China’s ancient past is an imperial culture, it’s social structure following the pyramid scheme with power only in the hands of a very select few. However, deities like Zhong-Kui are not as distant and mysterious like Buddhist figures, they are not cast in a philosophical light. Stories and myths of deities spread into common households. Their social impact was felt vividly through lively, powerful stories that directly appealed to the senses of the local masses. In comparison to the mysterious Buddhist figures, deities appeared closer to the common man. They were readily accepted by and merged into popular culture. Zhong-Kui is a god, gods by essence stem from “Tao” and Taoism is a unique Chinese faith. Zhong-Kui is worshipped by aristocrats and the peasant alike because he destroys and wards off any evil spirits, ghosts. Aside from the socio-political and cultural importance of Zhong-Kui, I also found out that Zhong-Kui holds a significant place in Feng Shui dynamics. In Feng Shui studies, Zhong-Kui embodies the key force of “righteousness,” this overwhelming force of righteousness helps to mediate the yin and yang balance for homes, businesses. Traditional Chinese culture in its various modes be it Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism or Chinese traditional medicine, all these disciplines stress the importance of this force! By inviting Zhong-Kui into your home means that your spirit and vitality gets a tremendous boost every time you look at it. Zhong-Kui is known for wielding his sword, this picture reflects the constant sense of self-discipline and self-control we need to ask of ourselves. This strong didactic overtone directs us to treat our surroundings with benevolence, warmth and love. When one individual is at peace and holds a strong sense of right and wrong, then it extends to the family unit, the society, the country and the universe, finally achieving a state of harmony and peace.


Z: Your oeuvre has broken the conventional boundaries separating figure painting, flowers & birds, and landscape. On the basis of extracting the very best of traditional Chinese culture, there is a natural blend of radical new techniques of expression. Tell us more about your creative process at recreating, reinventing Chinese ink-painting.


Lin: I once said to a scholar, “If art is reduced to just getting the likeliness of everything, then it’s only the simple question of practice makes perfect; the only deciding factor is time. When I am studying the aesthetics/techniques mastered by the ancient painters, I am exploring expressive techniques that depart from classic tradition. Further, I hope to express the sensibilities and particular state of living in our times. I’ve firmly believe that the best artworks appeal and speak to both the art dealer and the common man. That blend of the ideal and the real is what I hope to achieve throughout my works.

Let’s take Zhong-Kui, for example. He is a deity well-known throughout almost all households and geographic regions in China. This popular figure has been portrayed time and time again throughout China’s folk art history. I’ve insisted on using my own method to interpret Zhong-Kui and strive to paint the deity that has a definitive signature essence. All the while, I keep in mind that my Zhong-kui keeps that familiarity. I am constantly thinking about the intricate balance between the artist’s signature/self-identity and the representative meaning of the painting.

I dedicate all my energy and thoughts to art. My life revolves around the creation of art and I have never done anything else but paint. In comparison to some artists, I have a very positive outlook on life and therefore, have more perseverance, passion for this path.

In terms of creating something brand new, this entire process of reinventing or starting from anew is abstract and not exactly clear. That is how this process should be. The foremost thing an artist should do is to be true to oneself. Then he needs to figure out how to best achieve his goals and improve/broaden his wisdom/outlook on life, because that is the one element that proves most moving and impressive. We need to see the soul of the artist through his art. To me, invention is the bare fact that people in different time periods and eras see/feel different events –that it self is already refreshing! To be a Chinese artist, I believe in expressing and figuring out art and an artistic lifestyle based on a set of logic and emotion uniquely Chinese. This is of course further based on the extensive history of China. China’s ancient civilization in all its facets have extended to every fiber of art in China, even contemporary China. I believe that this essence flows through your veins being a Chinese and instinctively you have a subconscious recognition that identifies with certain aesthetics/expressive modes. Therefore, I think that more energy needs to be spent on absorbing the classic art left to us by the ancient masters and within this sage and powerful library find my own unique DNA then finally spend my entire lifetime perfecting this blend of artistic language.

One key element is consistent throughout my art works: there usually is a certain aura and atmosphere created through the reference of clouds, mist. This element alludes to the grey, ambiguous space between real and unreal, a reflecting of Yin and Yang balance. The entanglement between Yin (Dark) and Yang (Light) can really explain many mysteries of the universe and life. The real and unreal are like magnets: they repel and attract each other at the same time. Buddha often says “Sight is a hindrance, don’t be fooled by what the eye sees.” That is to say, what you see are illusions, they are not solid, they are Yin. I believe in perceiving things at their basic, most natural state, without distraction. Therefore, my pseudonym “Shi-Er” (Meaning: Ten Ears) references the Buddhist “Shi”, meaning borrowing endless ears to listen and experience what the heart truly feels/wants. Invention does not have to reject tradition or history, just that something extra based on the foundation of the masters!


Z: What personal experience did you gain when studying traditional art? What kind of attitude do you think young Chinese-ink painters should keep during their study of traditional art?


Lin: First of all, don’t reject Western art, experimental art, sculpture. Think about how to absorb the best elements and incorporate those into your own language. Secondly, the ancient masters often mentioned “Ink-painting should keep up with the times”. I think that our specific historical time determines our unique interpretation of art and life. So it is important to keep up with the changing aesthetics trends and philosophical concerns. Everyone has a different and unique angle in interpreting things, artists particularly need to sharpen their sensitivity and analysis of trends. When you are momentarily lost, the best way is to go to the classics, the very best of the best from the ancient art masters. The most wise and powerful tools help you unlock questions because that’s the way masters have relied on masters before them for centuries. Be it a passage from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, therein lies wisdom and mysteries to be discovered, the key is whether you have the heart to experience it. Every time I am unclear, I come back to the most classic works and I reach a solution is immediately usable and exact. The story of mankind is always found in the repetition of history. The fact is that history repeats itself over and over.

In the cultural framework of China, the unfortunate thing is that there is a big gap in the continuation of cultural consciousness. It causes an awkward state. Political strife has been constant in China’s history for the last one hundred years and with the disconnection in history/culture, we are now situated in this ambiguous, uncomfortable and blurry gap. It’s easy for people to be lost and anxious. Thus, the obvious and easy way is to simply follow without question or just become the shadow of someone else.

I truly believe that faith and belief are founded on a clear state of mind and logical reasoning. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a certain religion, indeed, true faith is the wisdom to think for oneself, to have a clear self-identity and the strength to maintain that uniqueness. Thus, I believe that wisdom is crucial to an artist: he has to seek “enlightenment.” The realization of wisdom can be sudden and yet it is based on the consistent habit of learning and experiencing all facets of life. It may be conscious or unconscious. This enlightenment of the mind and soul stays at the core of my life philosophy. I seek the inner strength from my heart to capture that wisdom. Taoism mentions that there are actually twelve versions of oneself, all with very dimensional sides. The self that faces the world really is the most basic: I believe that through self-discipline and seeking wisdom continually, it is my destiny and dream to capture all these sides to gain more inner strength and spiritual power.

Z: Your major work “Temptation-Reborn,” was nominated and displayed in the 2012 Beijing International Art Biennale. Will works of this epic nature be the center of your creative processes?


Lin: I believe that the subject really isn’t the most important thing for an artist, it simply represents a side to how he chooses to make a living. “Temptation-Reborn” is based on all the techniques I’ve mastered from traditional Chinese ink-painting with a radical change to the visual effects through my experimentations. This piece is a testament to the confidence I have in my mastery of this visual language. Works of this nature are very international and addresses a global theme so without question I will continue on this path. Be it a traditional landscape or an avant-garde visual effect in experimental ink-painting, I love the challenge of finding the entanglement between tradition and invention. The mix of different subjects, audiences and materials create multitude opportunities for me to experiment and re-think the artistic possibilities. Art is my lifestyle and the art works are products of my life. An artist must be true to himself and to the life that he chooses for the works to be moving.



Z: Every artist will meet certain challenges in their artistic path, what areas are you concerned with or figuring out?


Lin: My thoughts about my artworks evolve along with the progress of time and my experiences when I challenge new expressions. I believe in the natural growth and maturation of my artistic techniques and visual language. Every artist ponders and sometimes gets bewildered by the market forces driving the mainstream demand and taste for art. I believe that confidence in the core of your art and your distinctive identity as an international artist is very important! You need to merge with the market all the while still holding on to the steering wheel of your artistic path. I always say to my students: You are the crème de la crème no matter what people may say!

I have gone through different stages when handling the market. In the past three years, seven art clubs dedicated to exhibiting my artworks have been up and running across seven different major cities in China. An art gallery in my name has a permanent and rotating solo exhibition in Dalian (in the Da Qin Bai Hu Art District). My hope for the future is to have ten art galleries across the country. In addition to planning his art creations, an artist needs also a dedicated team facing the market –that is my future goal.

I believe that for an artist to be successful, he ultimately needs the general environment (the cultural-social surrounding) to grant him the many possibilities. Only when the critical chances are given to you with the potential to realize your dream can you begin to pursue the entire process and carry it through. For the last couple of years, I have been blessed with the good fortune to get closer to my dream of being involved in philanthropy.

I truly believe that to be an artist in this time and century is an extremely fulfilling thing. Artists in this day and age are extremely blessed because there are endless opportunities for you to express yourself. What you need to think through are how to create every single piece of work with your whole heart and being invested in it, how to continuously improve and challenge yourself, and thirdly, how to market and express yourself.


Z: What thoughts do you have on the current and future development for ink-paintings in China


Lin: In the 89’ new art wave’s declaration of the demise of Chinese ink paintings, this remark caused such an uproar in the Chinese paintings and calligraphy market at that time! Several years ago, some critics again equated ink-painting with zero content, again it was another disastrous incident. Actually such a radical declaration is hardly necessary. Renowned art critics back as far as the Tang dynasty have long formed mature critics on ink-painting and they have formed new concepts and carved out new developments for this expression. Artist Wang Meng created a brand new landscape visual language, in the Song dynasty art expression was even separated into different schools and court styles. Su Dong Po and Liang Feng Zi made their daring new marks in the ink-painting style with new directions in ink-painting taken to even greater heights in the Ming and Qing periods. So therefore, history repeats itself with lively and exciting performances and directions in ink-painting. The history and development of ink-painting has been turbulent by no doubt but it is far from fading from the limelight. Instead, it has continuously captivated generations of artists, collectors and critics. Everyone has a different historical value and role to play in art history. The progress and rise of ink-painting really depends on the health of the country. With the rise of the financial status of China, China’s native art similarly increases in esteem with the world’s international art collectors.

My attitude toward art is to seek a refreshingly new expressive mode by drawing subjects that have captured the imagination of the great masters. My goal is to consider the unique aesthetic modes of our contemporary times and blend that sensibility into my art. Secondly, I also paint subjects that are immediately relevant to our times and yet still maintain that special mysterious aura found in ancient manuscripts/art! Thirdly is to strive to improve constantly!

The greatest ancient masters have always questioned how to handle the delicate balance between painting for the sake of painting for the market/public? I believe that it’s not a matter of choosing sides but rather to seek for a balance between the two. There doesn’t need to be a conflict between the two. I carved a seal that reads “Noble Deity,” for me this represents the ideal goal of living an abundant, noble life based on the fulfillment of both the material and spiritual worlds. That is what I strive for!

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