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Simply Black & White-by Qi Hong & Wang Shao Xuan
by Societe Generale Gallery at Alliance Française de Singapour
Location: Societe Generale Private Banking Gallery
Date: 21 May - 26 May 2012


Throughout the course of history, the Chinese have always held horses in high esteem. The totem of the Chinese people has always been the Dragon; the Dragon and the Horse have been known to be of equal standing in Chinese traditions. According to the rites of Zhou (Zhou Li), as well as the Classic of Mountains and Rivers, the Dragon and the Horse are essentially similar in both spirit and form.

Since ancient times, the Horse has been known to be a symbol of the Gods and Great Harvest. It signifies vitality and vigour. The Horse is steadfast, courageous, brave, carefree, and forthright. It also represents ability, sageness, talent and success. The ancient people have often likened the Horse to concepts such as tenacious and unconventional talents.

Qi Hong specialises in painting horses. Against the backdrop of the 1998 Northwestern culture, Qi Hong started using horses as his creative inspiration, which eventually led his Chinese brush painting to take on a life of its own. He drew his inspiration from painter Xu Bei Hong’s simple yet powerful strokes, adding on his own characteristic strokes that are unbridled, free-spirited and broad. The whole style is forthcoming, uninhibited with a touch of aesthetic and charm, creating strong visual impact for the viewer.

Qi Hong’s fine horse paintings are extraordinary with a moving spirit and refined structure. His paintings are an expression of his rich emotions, passions, and affections, which are deeply integrated into his every brush and stroke. His works portray the creatures as an unrestrained and impelling flurry of energy.

Qi Hong uses only colours of simplicity, black and white and broad strokes to create an aura of the wild nature of the creature that is both fascinating and riveting. His style goes beyond the boundaries of the paper, carefree and poignant.

He focuses on creating works that convey noble beauty, making the horse a larger than life creature of unparalleled aura. His abstract and unconventional style traces the form of the horse without restricting its spirit, elevating art to a sublime level. He aims to achieve an otherworldly standard by surpassing his predecessors, while embracing the spontaneous reins of the horse.

Written by Beryl Bao


An interpretation of “ “Memory – The Charming Lotus” Art Series

The “Charming Lotus” is part of the “Memory” series of one of artist, Wang Shao Xuan’s most prominent works. Its eponymous title provided a clue to its interpretation. “The Literary Mind and the Carvings of Dragon” espoused that there is semblance even in different intonation brought about by similar rhythm. As such, people’s memory of the lotus from a long time ago has since been synonymous with form and soul. The disposition of the Lotus’ charm has been known to evoke the ultimate realm of traditional Chinese art creation and appreciation which integrates form and soul to become one.

The lotus is a symbol of harmony and perfection in the traditional Chinese culture, a sign of cultural legacy that intertwines the sacred and secular; rich and poor; individual and masses; veracity and fallacy; pure and evil; beauty and hideous. Both the lotus and the idea of harmony are hence, the ultimate spirit of the traditional Chinese culture. The pointed little edges of the lotus in the painting stand tall and dainty, prosperous and flourishing with a gaze that travels far and beyond. As it sways to the rhythm of the wind, the sight is complemented by fishes swimming around it even as it withers with time. The lotus is indeed a true reflection of life with its myriad of vicissitudes.

This collection of works presents this traditional theme in the pure language of oil painting, evoking the most fascinating imagery of all times! The truth is, if one is totally honest with oneself, one will know that there is actually no distinct difference between traditional and modernity; the past and the present because the “present” is the end result of what one could never control or comprehend. Approximately 200 years of development of the Chinese painting has revealed that oil painting has cleverly integrated the Chinese personality, while successfully globalising the Chinese ink product. This particular series of work is deliberately aimed at breaking away from the restraints of artificial demarcation of East and West, present and future to present the reality of life. This is a bold expression of one’s true self. It is not tradition, the present nor intermediary that restrains us. It is our obstinance towards these ideas that has tied us down.

A work of art is all about its aura and countenance. The author’s obsession with books empowers him with the knowledge to reflect and optimise what he has learnt about the world and life. His passion and persistence towards painting has brought him from school to a financial institution and back to the institution of life again, empowering him with the ability to live and breathe like a lotus, pure and beyond all worldly desires. This series of work does not focus on form but soul and the spirit of all things living, evoking the rhythm and soul of the subjects without any strict and rigid manifestation. However, the artist may hold some regrets in his heart as he feels more for the creation process than the end itself. This series of works is but a memory of what he went through in the creation process.

The ancient people have been known to focus on the meaning behind the work and not the form itself. For what the audience sees in visual is nothing but a mere end. What lies beyond is the real meaning behind the work itself.

Written by: Zhong Zhao Rong: Qing Hua Academy of Fine Arts Masters in Art History

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