Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

Tan Weiyun
The Powerlong Museum will host a special concert this Sunday as part of the "Meta-Scape: Tian Xuesen Art Tour Exhibition."
Tan Weiyun
Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

Meta-Scape: Tian Xuesen Art Tour Exhibition

The Powerlong Museum will host a special concert this Sunday as part of the "Meta-Scape: Tian Xuesen Art Tour Exhibition," featuring performances by huqin player Wang Jinyu and shakuhachi master Zhou Wei.

Amidst their ethereal melodies, more than 20 of Tian's oil paintings will form a striking backdrop. These canvases depict the awe-inspiring landscapes of Huashan, Kunlun Mountains, and the Himalayas, crafted over the past 12 years. Each piece echoes Tian’s profound emotional bond with the natural world and traces his journey through the vast terrains of artistic expression.

"Painting is an exploration, as well as a revolution of the self," he said.

His earlier years, spent driving alone along China’s frontiers, creating and researching, led him to settle by the roots of Huashan. There, in the solitude of the mountain’s changing faces — its storms, snows, and clear vistas — he spent 10 years painting more than 60 artworks of Huashan.

His approach to art, distanced from the mundane world, pushes the boundaries of Western oil painting to convey the poetic essence of the Eastern cosmic space.

Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

Tian's work is inspired by mountain landscapes.

This exhibition, featuring many large-scale works, focuses on showcasing Tian’s artistic transformation over the years — from Huashan to Pamirs Plateau, and from concrete to abstract.

Tian's early depictions of mountains were quite literal.

"Communing with the mountains and truly understanding them meant approaching nature with deep reverence," he said. "I aimed to accurately depict the scenes before me, with a sincere attitude."

Starting in 2016, however, his style began to shift gradually from concrete representations to abstract interpretations.

"I sought to capture the overall mood and color tone of the painting, focusing not on the specific structures of the mountains but on the essence, the atmosphere, and the spirit of the entire piece," Tian said.

Standing before the paintings, it feels as if one is breathing in the essence of the mountain valleys, with clouds and wind caressing the face, slowly calming the mind, evoking feelings of awe, peace, and joy.

Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

The painting Bright Sky

The painting "Bright Sky," measuring 360 x 180 cm, is the artist's latest creation. It depicts the dawn breaking over K2, Earth's second highest peak, which stands majestically at an elevation of 8,611 meters on the border between China and Pakistan.

Dominated by a vast expanse of soft blue hues, the work gives the impression of a foggy, ethereal landscape. The shades of blue deepen in layers, suggesting the presence of distant mountains shrouded in morning mist. A faint outline of the mountain peak can be discerned, subtly highlighted against the lighter sky, conveying a sense of its sublime and towering presence.

This approach captures the tranquility and untouched purity of the high-altitude environment, evoking a sense of peace and the profound solitude of the natural world.

Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

Details are abstract.

“Previously, my paintings meticulously detailed every stone, capturing each element with precision," Tian said. "Now, my focus has shifted toward capturing an atmosphere, abstracting these details into a broader impression."

He utilizes the air itself, creating a sense of mist and haze that shrouds the landscape, giving it a subtle, almost elusive quality. This includes the brushstrokes, which are no longer about thorough depiction but rather about leaving space for the viewer's imagination, embracing the playful whims of nature.

Explore emotions of awe-inspiring mountain landscapes

Mountains meld into clouds.

The mountains under Tian’s brush now embody a carefree relaxation, where clouds resemble mountains and mountains meld into clouds, blurring the lines between them. This ensures that the overall mood of the artwork is preserved, upon which he then explores the nuances of color contrast and the transition between light and dark.

“From a focus on the physical aspects of mountains to a deeper engagement with the spiritual dimension, I want to invite viewers to resonate with the paintings on a deeper, more emotional level,” Tian said.

If you go:

Date: 10am, May 12

Address: 3055 Caobao Road

Admission: Free

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