H 53cm x W 53cm x D 4cm


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  • Style

    Oil Painting

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  • Edition

    Original Artworks

In modern China, the rapid and drastic development of economy and technology has led to urbanization. The cityscape has been transformed by skyscrapers and highways into something that had been surreal in earlier days. Nevertheless, traditional Kazan-Seki statues still stand in gardens amid the transformed cityscape.

Kazan-Seki/ Taihu stone is a figurative art made of the characteristic natural stone, a type of limestone. It has been made and valued in the history of Chinese gardenings and is considered as a means to fulfill the desire of people to return to nature. The utilization of deformities and irregularities on the surface of the rock symbolizes the organic formation of the metaphysical (philosophical) world. ZENG Chao sets this Kazan-Seki as his motif and explores its various expressions in his works.

As he studies Chinese painting, ZENG Chao pursues “Ki-In”, which means grace and refinement in art, in sophisticated brushwork. It is valued in Chinese painting tradition that the concept of "Ki", the Oriental concept of vital energy, is reflected as "Ki-In" on the drawn surface.

ZENG utilizes the historical painting technique called the "brush method" of Chinese ink painting along with modern painting materials, such as oil and acrylic. He mixes and enhances the elements taken from history, painting history, methods, and materials in his creative pursuits.

He calls this series the "wet brush - wrinkle method" that is based on the lively brushstrokes of traditional ink painting. The point of it is to maintain consistency of brush touch. When he draws Kazan-Seki, KS type, with this method, he draws with a mid-sized brush with dark ink mixed with plenty of water. He draws as he presses the brush or the painting knife against the screen and he characterizes the strokes by giving them styles of “Sotsu” and “Teki”.
These techniques are used to accentuate the brushstrokes while it keeps its consistency. He named this technique of drawing as "Chi-Brush" because it gives “Chi/Ki” to the drawing.

He uses various painting techniques to draw an animated Kazan-Seki but those techniques do not serve the purpose only to draw a real reproduction of those stones but to give “Ki/ life”, to them. The emphasis on brushstrokes with "Ki-Sword" and "Ki-Brush" techniques express a unique sensibility of the creator. This sensibility generates “Ki”, the vital energy, of the work and therefore, the work presents the complex existence of the “wrinkle method”, “Ki-In/ grace and refinement”, and the creator himself in it.

“Ki-In” ties in the great concept in the history of Chinese philosophy and the contemporary notions of his artistic expression. In this attempt, he reaffirms the importance of this concept and rediscovers its potential in contemporary art production.

Artworks By Same Artist

Artworks By Same Artist

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