In my experience of the contemporary digital-imaging practice, it is fundamentally related to traditional photographic skills, computer technology and notions of painting, which communicate new ways of seeing and thinking. This still image-based project focuses on the re-thinking of ‘cinematographic’ picture in terms of the sceneries of Eastern and Western paintings, associated with my previous Chinese ink painting; it presents the ideas between realism and surrealism.
My practice and methodology in the project deals with multiple-perspective compositions of figures and landscapes that raise a number of surreal issues as well as dramatic boundaries in the theatrical space. As kind of ‘wonderlands’, I combine the visual styles of narrative and non-narrative that straddle the modernity of painting and photography. The thought is extended to the large-scale virtual scenery, which involves cinematic structure – a visual interaction between dream (psychological space) and reality (physical dimension).
I have used digital applications to create montages of different individual images, manipulating and blending them into what appears as a single unified photograph. The still images re-invent modern imaginative scenes; utilizing hi-res captured images (figures, houses, trees and so on) from multiple-perspective landscapes, and took over several months to shoot hundred pictures in order to achieve a seamless montage that gives the dream-like illusion of capturing a dramatic moment in time. These works are produced by Giclee fine art printing on the archival fine art papers, or screened on several large full-HD flat monitors, thereby allowing the viewer to perceive them as digital photographic/cinematic painting.
Among visual arts, I believe that photography, painting, and animation share a strange yet rich relationship. At times, their connections run so deep that I can borrow from them and lent to my work. My experimental digital images are shaped profoundly by contemporary ideas in painting and photography. The project aims to explore some of the issues emerging from a fascination with fictional space, colour, and even time, which are often experienced as a feeling of a ‘spectacle’.
The development of the space makes it be a passage from the romantic sublime to the surreal beauty. The surrealistic idea stimulates a wide variety of issues in cinema and montage that are revealed through different ways in the work. This spirituality reminds me of the interpretation of the uncanny qualities of colour, configuration, and space. Indeed, it can be perceived that the uncanny suggests that it is an exploration of darkness.
In the practice, I consider photography and painting to have fundamental relations to the ‘artist animation’. The images in fictional motion present a continuous surface, having a sense of ‘time’, for painting and photography. To be contemporary and progressive in the consideration is to make use of pictorial cinematography, reality effects and modes of expression.
The moving-image practice deals with the electronic media that not only raises a number of surreal issues relating to the perception of configuration associated with ambiguous images but also with suggestive sign systems in the immersive cyberspace. This allows me to approach the medium of virtual scenery as a painter, seeking a more effective means of communicating my sensibility of the ‘emotional’ world.
In fact, what I consider essential in the lyrical abstraction of the moving image is that the incident/running shapes could act as a critical visual language, which is produced by the manner of Cavell’s automatism. The ‘kaleidoscope-like’ visual language can be presented in aesthetic, metaphorical, and passional forms, or can even play between these different forms. From its essential relation with the language of the motion picture, the abstraction draws a very surrealistic form.
For the moving images in Lyricism, colour, to whatever degree it is achieved, is derived from the simplicity of shape, light, and shadow in the instances of action. The colour of time derives from the abstracted effects of light and shadow, as it is embedded in the moving image. As the German psychologist Fechner who believed that colour could sympathize emotions of the viewer to reach a sense of beauty. The colours of time emphasise the structural forms – the ‘contents’ of the work, inviting the audience to consider, and hopefully rediscover beauty in the work. This is, in a way, a particular visual sense that differs from our ordinary aesthetic experience.
The coloured image in the work does not refer to a particular meaning of object, but it is the lyrical power that explores the expressions of freedom and mutation. The extreme slowness of the colour-image movements facilitates the development of a pictorial sense of space and time by the audience to develop any pictorial sense of space and time. The ‘lyric’ sense underlines the space of fiction, in which time is as a suspendible factor.
The moving-image project is intangible and yet, psychologically real while also incorporating my ‘fictional landscapes’. These ‘scenes’ create a romantic kingdom, a pictorial world that features a strange variety of two/three-dimensional imaginations. Through the uses of pictorial psychology, the project works involve ‘episodic’ concepts, which address questions on: strangeness, beauty, familiarity, unfamiliarity, darkness, déjà vu, silence, solitude, and ambiguity.
I digitally create an indeterminate ground, which fluctuates between illusionistic depth and a shallow more surface, orientated depth. Onto this I invent clusters of marks and sharps, varying in size, colour and rhythm, which derive their character from modern Oriental calligraphy. I experiment with different computer applications as my creative methodologies and techniques that in turn fed back into my digital works. My increasingly sophisticated works on digital software result in a number of complexes, still and animated images. These have a highly surreal quality, but are held back from cliché and melodrama by remaining essentially abstract. The spectacular effects and fast visual action are to achieve a short-lived impact.
These animations present ambiguous shapes in movement, fading away, and floating behind the background; these shapes arouse thoughts on aspects such as birth, uprising, mud, chaos, breath, congealment, rigour, sinking, sediment, clarity, movement, energy, rhythm, vigour, emptiness, and death to the mind. Each of the sixteen meanings is presented in theatrical scenes as episodes.
The concept of the practice is influenced by Cavell’s automatism; my approach to the project has been significantly inspired by pictorial idea and Chinese calligraphy as I often use ‘automatic’ methodology while working on my experimental-image process. This process suggests a relationship between an abstract structure and the desired state of subconsciousness. The abstract expression in turn allows me to rediscover Chinese calligraphy; it provides a configuration within that I am be able to forget myself and let the acts of drawing control, so that it will compose itself in some way.
The meaning here is consisted of diverse pictorial vocabularies. The root of romance involves various linear pleasures in modern Chinese cursive calligraphy. Because of the minimal nature of its form and space, the image provides an aesthetic softness and purity. The kind of beauty sounds like a formless sublime. It is a feeling, and yet, more than a feeling in the common sense. These works are clearly involved with the thoughts of limitlessness and simplicity. The simplicity reflects Chinese calligraphic spirituality with a void and concrete correlation, which conceptualises two-space thinking: figure and ground.
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