Sunday, July 22, 2007

A reflection on 清明上河圖

Since the national treasure 清明上河圖 was discovered at a bank somewhere north of China 50+ years ago, the exhibition (the pride of china) in Hong Kong will be the second time of the painting being revealed to the public (first was at shanghai). Good slave was lucky enough to be part of limited crowd who were given the 5 minutes viewing of this stunting piece of work. Good slave is no art critic nor art historian, however, being blessed by this opportunity of viewing the Song city being re-animated some 1000 years after, like any encounter of rare celestial alignment, I owe the author 張擇端 a reflection.

The 5m long script are compartmentations of series of axonometric lines projected from architectural artifacts. A view is constructed neither by linear perspectives (as in renaissance) nor 2d flattening (as in Egyptian art), rather a mental constructed lines of analytical viewing, fully articulated and intensively informative and in conjunction with free curves outlining the natural landscape/figures, the work is beyond documentation but an expression of the world of mass, noises, gestures, figures, signs, symbols, of axonometric constructed lines partitioning with the undulating curves… every figure (or particles) is about a few millimeters of a micro world in itself> the lines outline the postures> the postures outline the social status of the figures> the social status of figures outline the function of the surrounding artifacts> the details of the artifacts project axonometric lines to partition the macro world… the bridge becomes an eventful artifact connecting the worlds apart along the river and its underside, figures engage in trading activities along the periphery and extending their postures beyond for potential encounter… scaffoldings are pointing outwards from the core to construct architecture inside out… the script is re-animated with such intensity, infinitesimal detailing and many many more for good slave to learn within a 5 minutes interval…

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