Cloud observation an artistic means of life

Wang Jie
"Weather: Clouds in Images" looks to the shifting clouds for inspiration, with artists Tang Guo and Yan Shanchun showing paintings, installation and multimedia.
Wang Jie
Cloud observation an artistic means of life

"Red Dream Mansion: Mixed Flowers 08" (2017), copperplate

The weather has always inspired art, sourcing a fundamental beauty in nature. Now, two artists have looked to the shifting forms of the sky for their exhibition "Weather: Clouds in Images."

Curated by Bu Da, the exhibition at the Hanshan Art Museum is featuring nearly 150 pieces by artists Tang Guo and Yan Shanchun. The work on displays spans four decades and varies from painting, installation to video and multimedia.

The exhibition uses an ancient way of watching clouds to recognize the weather, as a metaphor in the art renderings created by the artists.

"Cloud observation is the artistic means of life for the two artists, while the image is the shape of their ideas, imperceptible through the decades of their career," explained the curator.

According to Bu, there are four layers of meaning in the weather. First is qi, a kind of object without a certain shape or volume that can be freely dispersed.

"The lighter and clearer qi floats upward in the sky, the heavier and more turbid qi condenses downward," Bu said. "The second meaning is 'moment,' the third is 'climate,' and the last is interpreted as the 'mandate of Heaven'."

For example, the West Lake landscape has been the theme of Yan's long-term series of work, and the climate change of the West Lake is repeatedly reflected in his art.

For Tang, the charm of the ancient method of paper-making has always lured him. The artist uses natural fibers with different characteristics to create work with a unique and free quality.

Both of the artists place their work through a kind of uncertainty, which is an abstract and frank language. Yan's connection to the West Lake landscape and the Zen meaning given by Tang's paper-making all revolve around the Oriental thinking of "harmony" between humans and nature, humans and heaven, and Earth.

Cloud observation an artistic means of life

"Quiet Garden Heart Map 05" (2000), ink-wash on hand-made scroll

Exhibition info:

Dates: Through May 4 (closed on Mondays), 10am-8pm

Venue: Hanshan Art Museum

Address: 999 Taihu Ave, Suzhou


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