Veteran ink painter still learning at 80
Updated: 2015-05-26 07:52
By Lin Qi(China Daily)
Ink painter Cui Zhenkuan captures the relationship between humans and nature with his unique brushstrokes, which is highlighted in his ongoing solo show in Beijing. Photo provided to China Daily
Jiaomo, a Chinese painting technique, requires artists to dip a dry brush into rather thick ink before starting to paint. But the lower moisture content impedes the easy flow of ink, making it difficult for an artist to wield the brush and control the ink and color pigments. The painting is often considered a niche category.
Cui, however, has found that jiaomo endows the ink-and-wash painting with a modern touch, and better expresses his emotions than other approaches, he says.
He was enlightened by and inherited the legacy of Huang Binhong (1865-1955), a great innovator of ink art, to form his own style of lining and dotting.
Cui's dense, wrinkled strokes on paper look like markings with an ax. He takes great delight in seeking a sense of freedom amid the intensive, forceful brushstrokes.
The artist also uses his brush as a force of calligraphy. His passion can partly be traced back to his childhood, when his family collected calligraphic rubbings on ancient stone tablets.
He has created an imposing visual art profile for himself by building up a distinctive palette.
He found that normal color pigments don't go well with thick ink strokes or blocks to generate a smooth, transparent effect.
So he mixed ink with gold and silver pigments－sometimes also adding red and blue－to produce a metal-like texture.
A native of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, Cui also sources inspiration from the Chang'an Painting School, which in the 1960s produced artists who extensively painted landscapes and people of that region, depicting everyday life.