Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Don’t soil the Mountain - landscape paintings by Yin Zhao-yang

石崖 Cliffs, 90 x 160cm, Oil on canvas, 2013


From political critique to satire on human frailties in the past few years, Yin Zhao-yang (1970 - ) has come full circle to tackle one of the essential subjects of painting, i.e. the representation of landscape.

Of the fifteen canvases in the gallery, some of them massive, but all of them were powerful display of vitality. Whether the heartfelt attentions are on the viscous layering of oils, delivery of brush strokes, richness of colours, they represent a tour de force of oil painting. There is a technical brilliance that is seldom seen on canvases these days. (With great shame, “technical brilliance” is sidelined none so ominously among all other arts than in painting.)

This series of oils under the exhibition title of ‘Descend the Mountain’ might lend to thoughts ascribing to literati paintings of the classical age(s) when painters eschewed politics and sought refuge in raw nature. With this cast of mind, the stage-set of obfuscation and pedantry contrived in the official description below would be better off buried:

“With Yin Zhao-yang, however, his veiled way of expression comes from his keen insight into the deep-rooted “crisis of statement” in which ”modern art” is trapped, an “expression crisis” that features nihility in face of myriads of critical perspectives. It is his artistic strategy towards the new world in the wake of ”the Financial Crisis” as well…*

Reading along this path would only soil the universality of landscape paintings.

綠潭 Green pond, 90 x 160cm, Oil on canvas, 2013


鬆石圖 Pine on Stone, 200 x 200cm, Oil on canvas, 2013


臥石觀雲 To appreciate the clouds when lying on rocks
200 x 720cm, Oil on canvas, 2013

Detail 1

Detail 2

*Page 43, ArtsLink Oct 2013, published by Hong Kong Arts Centre.

‘Descend the Mountain’ is held at Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre from September 27 to October 10, 2013.

這山水,勿弄髒     〈中文摘要〉








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