Thoughts on the Divergence of Painting

Other than the forms of our respective written languages that set the line-rendered Chinese painting and the plane-composed Western oil painting apart, the completely different complexions force our paintings to serve the diversity dictated by Nature. 


In the subway a boy with really fine Caucasian features caught my attention and my training as a painter made me react to it immediately by analysing the blonde hair and blue eyes that call for a corresponding palette. The tender curls converge and part according to the logic of gravity. The lines that extend from my hand submit to observation, summoning a rhythm of bodily movement that echoes the traces of lines. Behind the golden curtain inlays a pair of blue diamonds. The colors of the earth and sky prescribe men’s relationship with the world while sunlight becomes a streak of highlight sitting in between the boy’s eyelids. It’s like the Chinese story of bringing the painted dragon to life by putting in the pupils of the eyes, the object of depiction comes to life when the eyes are given a dab of ivory white preferably with a cool tint. The supple lips need no vermillion but a change of brush that can better serve the curvy seam. My gaze was then clutched by the quicksand-like dimples and the fair skin that bears the texture and opacity of milk. All of these make oil painting what it is. 


Behind the glass is a reflection of my East Asian features: my elongated eyes and monolids require a switch to a Chinese brush for calligraphy while my dark hair and pale skin are content with a monochromatic palette. A few strokes within a few steady breaths will suffice to bring me into existence. 


除了我们的文字让作为线条的中国画和作为块面的西方画区别开来,可能还有人的面貌的天壤之别让绘画服从于自然所设计的多样性。在地铁里看到一个高加索长相的男孩。我的绘画训练让我立刻分析眼前的金发和碧眼所对应的颜色搭配,柔和的卷发顺着重力的逻辑分出层次,我的眼睛顺着层次游走,手下的线条服从观察,身体的律动如此被召唤。发缕下面的深邃眼窝里藏着蓝色宝石,大地和海的颜色规定了自然和人的关系,而阳光成为了男孩眼皮间的那一块高光。画家必须用油画刀的尖端挑一点参了黄的象牙白,没有一丝犹豫地快速置于眼皮间和鼻头,而瞳孔需要冷一点的光。像画龙点睛的那个故事一样,刻画对象因点睛来到这个世界。饱满的嘴唇并不要朱砂红点缀,画家这时得换一支笔来刻画上嘴唇和下嘴唇结合处的迭起,陷下去的酒窝像沙漠里的流沙洞,白皙的皮肤透着一种牛奶的质感和浓度。这一切都让油画成为油画。

男孩身后的玻璃里映着我的东亚面孔,细长的单眼皮要求我换上毛笔,黑发和白皮肤并不需要其他颜色, 而是顺着气韵、时间、手臂带动手腕的运动,在线条的河流中浮现出我的面孔。