“I feel like painting can never be like before, done in the spur of the moment, or a live drawing of what’s going on, according to my mood of the time… just spread the paper and grind the ink, and go.” This is what Zhu Xiaodi said to me as I faced his newest ink experimental pieces for the first time. Xiaodi had asked me to see his “out of the line” paintings. By “out of the line”, he means that he’s cut all relations with his past work, he will “never again paint like before”. The painting in front of me is simple to the point of astonishment: on calligraphy paper, with a ruler, paintbrushes draw horizontal lines, in the same rhythm, and are arranged evenly across the whole image. In the same way, some images contain vertical lines, and others, slanted ones. Like sheets of “grids”. I look to my colleague and people beside Xiaodi, and meet with equal confusion: what is he painting? What does it mean? …My first reaction was not to understand what he’s trying to express, but what the objective meaning of these paintings were. Afterwards, I called this “primary”.
Painting “not like before”, but like this, like children who first learn how to draw lines in their notebooks with rulers, this is primary for the children, of course. But the primary of Xiaodi is not that simple, even though the images look simple. Actually, I detect a kind of “strangeness” in Xiaodi’s simplist reading: he first causes me to feel alienation at his newness, the old him has disappeared, why has this happened? And then I think of the strangeness of putting such a piece in an ink painting exhibit — how different he is! Then I feel the strangeness of the ambiguity between these lines and mechanical lines, and I think, is Xiaodi trying to express the images of the mechanical and AI age in an ironic way? At the same time, I realize the priority of the ambiguous boundary between mechanical and hand-made — the difference between the natural occurrence of the lines and objective control, depends on the different between the primitive occurrence in programmable AI and human conscience. But then, who doesn’t understand such simple laws? What is the point? After this, I spent a year thinking about Xiaod’s creations. I think, starting from a simple perspective such as this, would lead us to the work itself quicker than any other route.
Artistic archaeology seems to begin at cave paintings. Or maybe some other art form even earlier than cave paintings. That does not matter, what we want to ask is, why did the ancient humans paint these paintings? And from these painting, we want to continues asking: What did they see? What did they think of? What are they trying to express? Of course, cave paintings have contents that are easy to identify: hunting, labour, all gestures are clearly expressed, and generally replicate the way they live. However, is this really the beginning of human art? To express what you see, what you think? Is the creation of art just based on what you see (sense) and what you think (conscience), and this led to thousands of years of vibrant art history? Here, let’s put aside Xiaodi’s primary, and look back to the origin of art and its changes!
Observation method — what is seen and how it is seen, is the key characteristic to how human sensory organs’ abilities became unique from other animals. When humans began to have a desire to express, this becomes a basic condition of the internal drive. Perhaps there were “first attempts” even before cave paintings. This drive developed towards higher levels, such as the crystallization from sense to conscience. The ability of consciousness elevated sense and knowledge abilities, leading to the accumulation of human knowledge, which then led to using rules made from knowledge systems to guide logical choices. From sense to logic, thousands of years of the history of human civilization came about. Art, philosophy, science, and literature are all phenomena of this internal plot line. But as the artistic phenomenon of human primary, at which point did humans gain the internal drive that drove them to paint on rocks what they want to express? Of course, this cannot be scientifically studied like modern psychology treatments, but a fact is clear: from the animalistic way of watching in the present, downloaded to the graphic expression way of watching, this is the essence of the primary of art. This is not told to us by the content of cave paintings, but the internal conscious drive of the painter of these caves — it is this internal drive that told us. And so, tracing the internal drive’s needs, we first see the primary of the creation of art — from the expression of watching in the present. This primary expresses what happens in a narrative, that is what the art history tells us. The problem is, art history reveals the facts of various conditions of societies, and shows many forms of artistic work, but there is a lack of awareness towards the internal logic of occurrence of art, even though the internality of art is omnipresent. This is why I put aside the primary of Zhu Xiaodi at first, because to read him, we might first ignite the internal logic of the occurrence of art, then we can expand on what his creations bring to us and its meaning.
2. Human Art History’s Internality Investigation
Everything that happens in art history after the primary has occurred, can not stray from the elements inherent in it: 1. What do I see, and how do I express what I see clearly; 2. What I think of, and how to express what I think of; 3. Through what I see and I think, what desire is it that I can not express? This last point must have been unclear and hidden to the primitive humans, but today we know, this desire is not just facing what’s in the present, but towards the future, and the possible world.
Regarding the first first, we can observe it objectively. Just like within the modern art education curriculum, the memorization of speed sketching, field sketching, and studio still-life and model live drawing. The core of modern art education is no different from the original style of expression of the primitive humans, only the techniques are more mature, systematic, and diverse. Everything works towards expressing what is seen more clearly, more accurately, and more animatedly, and what they want is for the image to look more alike to the subject, even to the point where to see the image is to see the scenery, the person. This style has not been given high praises in the history of art, and is only summarized as “imitation”. From today’s perspective, in the process of imitation, different painters left behind highly individualized expressions, and the value of this type of art comes not from likeness (the criteria for likeness has already been replaced by photographic technologies), but the painting style and techniques itself is open to judgment and explanation. Even with the highly developed photographic technology today, there is still artistic value conveyed through personal techniques and personal representation. This is the irreplaceable difference between human abilities and human abilities via machine (cameras).
The second point of “What I think of, and how I express it” sets a higher standard than the first point. Because they have moved from the objective perspective to the subject ie perspective via the movement of internal experience. So when Monet faces the pond of sleeping lilies, it is not just an objective rendering, but an expression of the amalgamated impression of the subject, the scattered air and sunlight, and in this impression, he is working to capture the purest and most vibrant light and colors. The precision of shapes gives way to the animation of colors and light, and this shift is driven by the elevation of internal awareness. And so, this “impression ability” is a demand on the internal characteristic. Without this ability, there is no way to realize Impressionist paintings. Ergo, Impressionism is not just a revolution of superficial techniques and methods, but an expansion of human’s method of observation when faced with nature, and is an event on the internal plot of art happening. But Impressionism as a whole is still dependent on external objects, and the internal processing and reflection of these objects. The characteristic of objective provision is still a major component.
Objective provision vs proactive control, this problem only becomes deeply considered with Cezanne. In the area of external vs internal, object vs soul, Cezanne on hand cancels the distraction of external light on object, and tries to go back to the object itself; and on the other hand, emphasizes the primary of space to object, and thus unifies the objects in the paintings via the totality of the scene, and emphasizing the characteristics of the objects in a harmonized atmosphere. Cezanne’s observation of scenery, people, and objects, uses hundreds of times of experience between soul and object, so that he can almost hear the whispers of the objects he paints. “Cezanne space” demonstrates the inseparable mixing between objects and soul.
Following this plot line, and going more inwards, is when I am faced with objects, and I don’t paint what I see, but what I think, so that external images are only a medium for triggering what I think of into internal images via relations. A creativity that only explodes when relative thinking and internally collected resources are rich enough. Picasso jumped out of his present circumstances, and broke through constraints of time and space, species, logic, etc… One-point perspective was dispersed into any-point perspective and group relations, giving painting maximum freedom. Cubism gave people not only a revolution in basic observation methods, but also in the structure of paintings, ceased to use real settings, but instead relies on thematic concepts, and reorganized elements of any theme, and erased all constraints for the exercising of human internal drive, and left only painting itself as the sole criterium. That it, apart from the medium of painting, which wasn’t erased, the way of representation and content of painting has been maximized in terms of allowance, so that almost “anything goes”. And so, giving the representative of Cubism, Picasso, such a high place in art is quite logical.
Originally, I wanted to continue in discussing Zhu Xiaodi’s primary in order to explore his meaning in the vein of human art history. But what’s important about Xiaodi’s work is not only the primary present, but more importantly, the internal structure. And so, I’ll stop this expansion on the internality of art history as soon as I’m able, and look at the artistic practice of Zhu Xiaodi as a whole.
The degree of freedom of the picture reaches a certain limit in Cubism. Later development was only the transformation of picture media, such as the introduction of mixed materials, the introduction of ready-made objects, non-square meters, multiple pictures, extension pictures and installation pictures. However, these can only be considered as little tricks of artistic creation. What is truly revolutionary and subversive is the emergence of Duchamp's urinal, "Spring." The meaning of ready-made objects points to the fundamental tension and confrontation between things and language. From primitive petroglyphs to Cubism, human consciousness and concepts become the authoritative form of art through the classicization of texts, and the form of artistic expression obscures the value of things themselves. The reflection on this has already begun in phenomenology and philosophy. Husserl put forward the idea of "suspending the established idea and returning to the matter itself”. So when the art came to Duchamp, the basic features of things and things as the being were revealed most directly. The conspiracy of things (urinal) and the concept of human (Spring) cancelled out the picture — the thing itself is speaking, so why should the picture be used to say anything? Since then, art seems to have returned to its original form. From this perspective, people's expression seems superfluous. Duchamp uses ready-made objects as media to dissolve the picture and is regarded by some theorists as the end of art. But in my opinion, the significance of the ready-mades is of course important, but it is still not as deep in contemplation of the dialogue between things and the mind about the existing problems as in Cezanne.
The purest internal work in the history of human art is the performance art of Tehching Hsieh — a year of wandering in New York's Manhattan neighborhood. When I met him a few years later, I asked: “With so many homeless people in the streets of New York City, how can you tell that you are doing art while others are not doing art?" He said: "It's indistinguishable from the outside, but the truth is, I know I'm doing art, and they do not know they're doing art." In other words, the standard of judging art is the inner consciousness of people, not anything else. The pureness of an artist lies in the artistic consciousness inherent in them — they are independent of the others, but has only their own artistic ability, which is the essence of art.
At this point, the inner plot line of art history can be described as follows: 1. Draw what you see. Art depends on the interest of the objective world, leading to the original intention of expressing consciousness (such as rock paintings). 2. From the perspective of passive evolution to positive thinking, the artist's subjective consciousness gradually deepens, and its subjectivity is different from the objective world (such as Impressionism). 3. On the one hand, artists try to feel more fully the essential characteristics and objects of space. On the one hand, the artist profoundly re-examines the contrast between the inner soul and object of the sense of power and the mind (consciousness) (such as Cezanne). 4. The magical combination of present perspective and straddling of time and space, so that the artist's imagination as a key factor in art (such as Cubism). 5. Art is returning to itself. The analogy and metaphorical relationship between artist's thoughts and ready-made objects become new ways of artistic expression (such as Duchamp's). 6, Art is returned to mankind independent of the purely internal consciousness of any external medium. The artist's artistic consciousness, artistic conception and the overall quality of artistic understanding must consider the pureness of art (such as Xie Deqing). The inner clue of art is the basic internal motivation for the development of human art. This is also the most fundamental point of view for us to draw and understand Zhu Xiaodi's "Signs."
The fundamental meaning of art lies in the fact that in the connection between “facing objects and being objects at the same thing", through the continuous hierarchy of perception and imagination, people temper their creative consciousness and create the texts (works) It is known to open the road towards the unknown. Thus, for human being's existence consciousness, the key lies in whether it can surpass the restriction of being given, no matter the expression of the outward thing or the expression of pure inner consciousness. To go beyond this limit, one should only recognize one's own limitations in the relationship between the mind and the object. Because beyond consciousness is the limit. Through the history of art emerging from the inner main line, we can see that “Cezanne space” is the most compatible situation between the mind and the thing, and the original fertile land for art. Here, Zhu Xiaodi's artistic creation and “Cezanne space” apparently have the corresponding analogy. However, due to the differences in the characteristics of the times in which they live each other, both the "Xiaodi space" and “Cezanne space” are in the relationship between the souland the object, and the more concrete, in Cezanne there is the “soul and space / object thing”, while here in the “Xiaodi Space” is “soul and rice paper / related things”. Cezanne is faced with the observation of the real world, while Xiaodi faces experiments on the textual world. Because text has become a kind of transcendental existence to reality, if the transcendence of the text is to be realized, the limitations that need to be surpassed and the possibility of creation are even more severe.
3. Zhu Xiaodi’s Presentness and Primary
Earlier we talked about Zhu Xiaodi's abandonment of pure subjectivity and arbitrariness of art, and instead adopting a method of image presentation close to the parallel line of scanning. I call this practice of Xiaodi a "conscious regulation." The meaning of this "regulation" comes first of all from the conscious consciousness of artists in their own inner reflection: First, he regards the line features of the so-called individuality in tradition as the expression of "private writing" in "private emotion”. This “single stroke” style looks straightforward, but actually leaves the appearance of the image to gods, fate, and chance. This led to the superficial operation of the art noumenon: one sees the waves, but not the sea. The creative occurrence of art should be the interdependence between the corresponding thought of man and everything else to begin with, and the essential connection of all existence itself. The performance of "private language" is always a writing and performance of "my subjectivity”, and the role of comprehensive elements corresponding to me is forgotten. Not only is the combination of related objects underestimated, but also the sense of the role of the environment is lost, and so one can not talk clearly about using senses to consciously grasp the truth.
Secondly, contemporary art is, to some extent, “the possibility of arbitrariness”. The concept of everyone is an artist has prompted the wild growth of popular culture and popular art. Examining its intrinsic motivation, one finds that it comes, firstly, from the natural instinct of releasing desires, and secondly, from the adoption of scientific methods which enabled the effect of copying and pasting to spread. Thirdly, the contemporary art's puts public acceptance as its goal, focusing only on the effect conveyed by the works and losing the actual internal meaning of the art.
The forgotten image of things, the collage between images and images, the diversion, duplication and projection of images are the important characteristics of our time and the mainstream trend of contemporary art. At this point, we should make a clear distinction between “contemporary” and “present” to show the fundamental position of the inner thread of art. “Contemporary” is a stage in time from the “present” that continues from “modern / postmodern”, and forming period in “past” ~ “future”. “Present” refers to “being here", based on the existence of its own free essence as its basic appeals: “being here” means the present appearance of all existing essences in infinite space. Space means unconditional and unconditional, and “present” does not depend on anything that has already been revealed; she only emerges from the dominance of the possibility. From this we can see the original nature of Zhu Xiaodi's art from the perspective of “the present” rather than the “contemporary” — he generates and displays images from the fact that the original things have their own nature and the nature of the mind, rather than from other images Generated in analogy. Just as Zhu Xiaodi uses straight lines to form a picture, it is just that simple from the point of view of the present primitiveness, and has nothing to do with any complicated expression. If from the perspective of contemporary images, such lines and pictures seem too low-level, similar to the scanner-like simplicity, how can it be related to art? The fact is that everything that exists exists from its mere singularity, such as the Big Bang, such as gene fission, and the original originality of artistic creation means “nothing more than that”. The meaning of this “only this” is all the possibility of fission arising at the level of “origin”, “metalanguage”, and “freedom”. As Cezanne said: “We see the depth, smoothness, softness, hardness… we even see smells”, and “every stroke must contain the air, light, objects, planes, features, composition, style…” For him, to express an existence is an infinite task. The quality of “every stroke” demonstrates the ability of artists to express themselves in the complex elements of soul, culture, material, and context. Only in the most ordinary things, not the special things, just as apples fall from the tree as usual things, can we discover more great things. Newton discovered the existence of gravitation here. It can be said that whatever intrinsic nature will lead to whatever kind of primary, because the intrinsic nature is the origin of the primitive expression. Thus we need to ask a further question, what constitutes the internality of Zhu Xiaodi? His simplicity and simply lines, what is contained in them?
4. Trace: Lines and Related Elements
"Portrait" and "likeness" often appear in the visual arts terms. "Figurative", "abstract", "image", "book" and so on (in Chinese, all these phrases contain the word “portrait” or “likeness”); and"image", "portrait", “mirror image" and so on. What we need to make a distinction here is that "portrait" has the signifier, while “likeness” is the signifier. The "icon" in the Book of Changes, Laozi and Cangjie of the Chinese Yuan dynasty, on the one hand refers to the relationship between the tangible and the invisible, and on the other, generating. I use "signs" to explain the artistic creation of Xiaodi. It is precisely for establishing the "portrait" of his art in terms of the signification of the art happening: the implication of "trace", the occurrence of "trace", the "trace" finally becoming the work “Trace”. Just as "book images" produce book works through the related operation of writing scripts; "abstract" is the production of abstract works through abstract thinking and concepts as well as abstraction… The creation of Xiaodi is neither concrete nor abstract, that is, it is not a book, nor is it a figurative expression. On the one hand, "sign" refers to the existence of all things as the present traces of its change (with its own appearance); and on the one hand, all creation of art is the outward appearance of the artist's internal psychological signs (the manifestation of the state of mind); more fundamentally, it is the emergence of creative signs in heart-to-heart interaction (signs of the heart’s condition). The purpose of Zhu Xiaodi's exploration of ink is to reveal the metaphorical significance of his occurrence in primitiveness. Through the explanation of this revelation, a completely new perspective is given in the current nature of art: the meaning of art is not only given by the appearance of the work, but also the relevant elements in the process before the work, the inner workings of the artists who drive the art of self-cultivation and psychological status and other comprehensive results. Now let us examine this new perspective — which components of Zhu Xiaodi’s art creates the occurrence of primary?
Firstly, it is a presently decided revolution of view
What we first feel is the wandering of Zhu Xiaodi, an architect, between architecture and art. Commercialization and pragmatization of buildings is the mainstream of urbanization in China in recent decades. Everything is based on economic efficiency and standardization in the planning and designing of architecture, and architecture is increasingly becoming a task controlled by standard processes rather than human creation. In this overwhelming tide, you can vaguely see Zhu Xiaodi always adhering to his artistic practice: his thinking on deconstruction, installation, space… and so on; his continuation in traditional ink, calligraphy… The ultimate result is the possibility of art thinking beyond all normative thinking (norms serve as a basis for reference rather than a determinant). During this period, Zhu Xiaodai experimentally opened the possibility of experimenting with "Temple Rain" in architectural experiments, “Wutain Mountain Comes Alive", “Dunhuang Comes Alive", etc. In the flat ink works of “Signs"; In calligraphy, the splitting and construction of words, etc. All of these mark a heart-felt choice made by Zhu Xiaodi: it can not be the same as it was before. "Can no longer be like before", is not only referring to the expression of ink, but the change of state of mind is the change of the value of life consciousness. What kind of scene would it be when the new life gate was opened? Desire-like impulse, the advent of inspiration catharsis, a free run…? But the change that I feel here in Xiaodi is one of incomparable tranquility — the subtle and rational harshness of feeling is the restraint and clarification of his heart. Rather than his idea of art moving from tradition to contemporary, he found himself. Instead of chasing the tide and leading the tides and currents, he repeatedly cleans up himself. After a thorough clean-up of the inherent resources owned by him, he resolutely turned to an unknown and possible one, firmly going in the direction of where he believes the pure land to be...
An important point in this decisive change in Zhu Xiaodi’s artistic perspective reflected in these ink experiments is that he has changed the usual way of creative production from an internal image, and the replication of this image, which is a mode that humans have used for thousands of years. And yet, it is also different from unconscious writing. The significance of Xiaodi’s creation lies in the fact that on the surface of the rice paper, he does not have an existing image of the interior, but only signs of expectation. A possibility, an unknown one, is like the expectation and reverie of mankind in the face of the universe. For the ultimate manifestation, like Buddhism's unknowable, inconceivable, unspeakable, and creative appetites of human beings are presented — “I know I do not know”, but I firmly believe that all existence itself will be based on their self-nature such as its affinity with the present, and my concentration, my relaxation, my state of mind, pouring into revelation from every sign, and and what this connects and images to continues to inherit the signs and expectations from them — “faith / revelation / implication / expectation…” is not so much the basic source of the production of works of art as the fundamental way for the artist's intellectual growth. I saw the essence of Zhu Xiaodi’s character in this great change of concept: he has the immunity to resist and resolve the temptation of external formalism, and is good at exploring the inner details of things with ulterior motives. At this point, it can be seen that Zhu Xiaodi's creation is a connection between the self-nature and the discovery of scientific exploration, rather than the more emotionally-intensive and non-statistical aggregation of resources because only grasping the basic principles elements makes him feel grounded: just as the science of calculus, on the discovery of genes and genes. Xiaodi wants to know the reason why the image is an image — let a piece of white paper presented behind the artist's work style, value and meaning, like every drop of ink on rice paper is solid like each piece of material in a building. Existence can be unknown or even blurred, but every step of human creation must be constructivist, not endless, life-or-death, but human creation requires constructible structure at every step. Zhu Xiaodi as an architect's artist to work "to give an account of" the reasonable requirements, just as the building must be “supportive” to the city, the art of exploration of Xiaodi does not just stay in the text of the inspiration, but can constructible inspiration stays in his mind endlessly. For him, inspiration is one aspect of the inner qualities artists must possess, not the only reason their works depend on. Because inspiration itself needs to be tested, some inspiration goes out like a meteor moment, some inspiration becomes a creative revelation, and some inspiration can be grouped together into a torrent of action. When we say "being given," we mean the nature of innate things, or the innate nature of human beings. Many artists create works based on their own innate capital. However, when the cultural construction of mankind has developed into a more powerful system, it is difficult to generate transcendental text-inspired inspiration simply relying on the inherently limited individual resources. Therefore, Xiaodi immerses himself in long-term meditation and sentimentation on the principle level of things happening, which then prompted a dramatic change in his whole concept of art. This great change is a life-like strategic shift and a true portrayal of his soul… “Can not be like before” — the road to the future stretches on…
Secondly, the meaning behind the usage of “traces of lines” and “lines”
The meaning behind “lines” for Zhu Xiaodi lies not in the creation of a linear style, but in the continuous questioning between “lines with form” and “lines without form”, and the intricate usage of lines.
Lines move via point. That is, the line is trajectory of the movement of a point. If the essence of existence is eternal movement, and the state of movement is difficult to count, then the trajectory of movement is infinite. Examine the trajectory of ink calligraphy via this definition, then: in various styles of calligraphy, the different brush strokes… brush line, hard line, sketching line, sketch line… and so on, each added in innovation in line style and type, but are only developments in property, and people are often only in the pursuit of such developments. As for the existence of the nature of the line — the visible lines and invisible lines as well as from evolution in relationship between point ~ line ~ surface, less attention is paid. The meaning of Xiaodi’s line is here: 1, with the most primitive simplest line, but also with the help of a ruler line, it seems like it is not possible to draw line otherwise; 2, drawing each line is extremely serious, however, the final result is that the line is most likely to be hidden, and the line does not appear independently, but expands beginning-end in the point-surface, and the line is presented as the core of the process of movement, and completes its existence in having form-formless, and this existence is entirely dependent on the mood
Usually in the presentation of tangible lines, some exist as things themselves, such as cotton threads, wires, etc; Others are contours of physical boundaries of things, where boundaries have their lines. The "lines" in the text are used as the images and symbols in written, and appear in all kinds of illustrations. What people are most likely to lose is their understanding of the intangible “traces of lines", and the essence of existence lies precisely in the procedural nature of the movement itself. The significance of the occurrence of small images of ink and wash is reflected in the duality of "lines" and “traces of lines", which is reflected in the appearance of "lines" and hidden in traces of the existence of things. This is the ontology of a "sign" of the earth's ink: an image consists of each line and the line is not independent of the picture, the picture is reproduced by the interweaving of stitches and the image is not separated from the thing. In other words, language comes from the existence of the mind and is not independent of the mind. In the tangible and intangible, like and not like, that is, the heart that is, the purposelessness of the fate, art combines it all.
Thirdly, artistic creation and labour
The "works" that make up the history of human art emerged in the early history in the form of objects (appliances and sacrificial articles). Art is presented as a textual work, which is produced as the culture matures. The work exists in an independent manner, resulting in tools, paints and techniques that work exclusively for the creation of the work. The extreme development is the forgetting of things. Duchamp's ready-mades have entered the realm of works with profound vigilance and revealed the inextricable intrinsic connection between "art as a being" and "art as a language". Related to this is the inseparable relation between "creative" and “labor”. If creation is confronted with texts and labor is confronted with things, this distinction leads to the division between the painter's and the worker's working methods. But with Xiaodi, when we further examine his work process, you can hardly distinguish whether he is working creatively or laboriously. Instead, he can only say that “it is impossible to work without real effort”. Because of the rice paper and related objects that he faced, he is like an embroider facing cloth, or a carver facing planks of wood or stone. Rice paper does not bear other images, but is the manifestation of itself. The existential theory of Xiaodi’s ink images is the manifestation of the artist’s labour through rice paper. The logic behind it is that traces of nature and signs of artists show signs of labor in work. This is a double operation. Art reflects the creative narrative of mankind as a complete form of existence, not just the expression of subjective imagination. The birth of art in Xiaodi embodies the core of “art manifests from existence itself”.
Fourthly, possible objects behind the image
The problem of translatability and discord of language leads to that phenomenology and philosophy try to suspend the existing concept and the existentialism of intuition itself. In the matter of material and intangibles, people tend to talk about material matters only from the linguistic point of view, often only in the dimension of "having something in speech” or “having nothing in words”. Regarding the masking of the language itself, such as building a building, people use materials such as stone, brick, wood, steel, cement, glass and fabric according to the structural features and functional requirements of different parts. Depending on the material's own mechanics and texture, it constitutes a rich rhythm of the structure, forming a sound symphony of objects. If at this time someone said that what is now popular is pop, and using a variety of paint to paint the floor into a colored magic piece, Then this is the obscuration of the object by the pop concept, and from the original and the material object's own statement, it becomes a concept of discordant language. Of course, the issue of the language has its various meanings and diversified manifestations and can not be fully developed here.
What we are discussing here is more real than "what is said and done": the thing itself contains the expression of language, awaiting a corresponding fit to make it appear. We understand the relationship between language expression and existence in this kind of meaning, understand the rice paper and related materials behind the formation of the art of Xiaodi, and deeply understand the connotation of “Xiaodi Space", we can conclude the relationship between existence and art: you can not distinguish what this is, what that is, what constitutes Xiaodi’s art is the result of the unity of reason and mind — his mind, his ideas, his actions and the immediate objects and their relevance of possible related objects — works are just related things. Zhu Xiaodi talked about the pen he made, the ink he had chosen, the paddock he applied, his discovery of the nature of the paper… He said: "The paper’s quality comes from the raw materials used, what kind of fiber size, what kind of technology, the way the workers mold the paper, the procedures done to the paper in the sale, storage, and finally how it’s spread on the table — there is already “traces” here. What materials are put beneath it: blankets, linen, flax, carpet, or anything else, what kind of texture, or wrinkles, are laid under the paper… these all become potential “traces”. The ink and the characteristics of the pen have even more potential and rigor, and the artist familiar with the object, with the material affinity, can hear the story… only they can resonate. As an architect, Xiaodi, of course, has this unique ability .
Fifthly, relevant setting and mood
Every I talk with Xiaodi, there is no small talk, we go straight to the theme of art. Therefore, every communication implies a communion between souls. If art needs a kind of motivation which is always shown in the differences between "motivated" and "inaction," then the reading of "doing something" and "doing nothing" shows us that the artists’ different inner realms.
Zhu Xiao said he usually draws at night, this is his unique creative situation. Of course, objectively, one is busy with work during the daytime. Only when one gets to get off work at night, will one be able to close one’s self off in a world of inner imagination. Inner peace is a necessary condition for the art of Xiaodi. It can be said that the quality of the lines and the pictures is entirely based on the ability to concentrate on one mind. Before we talked about line as a time process, now we can talk about the state of the environment and the peace of mind, which is space cohesion. We can imagine a situation situation: time — studio night, light — diffuse and focused, tea - -coffee or tea, music — Teana meditation, smell — fresh smells, companionship — soulmate… The underlying elements of the work-generated environment are often overlooked. If we ask, “how did the inspiration come”? Inspiration comes from the polymerization of internal energy. The internal energy and situational energy status have a projection relationship, when the essential elements of the scene fantastic harmony and reaction, the intrinsic energy will be at a higher energy level operation. At this level, awareness tends to concentrate, not sleepy, energetic. In the meantime, there is a common implication, just as the practice of meditation, the elimination of distractions, the dedication, the calmness of mind, and the awakening of consciousness at this time become extremely keen… I read this acumen in the traces of Xiaodi, his spiritual reflection on his inner artistic life, his awareness of the slight variations in stitching at every moment of operation, the continuation of thousands of traces and the care of the whole picture that continues for long periods of time. The operation to reach and maintain a smooth operation requires a uniform state. The quality of heart is the nature of art, the mentality of a direct impact on the production process. Heart creation and heart reading are the highest quality interaction between the occurrence of art and the acceptance of art. The revelation of the art of Zhu Xiaodi in the aspect of heart and soul is worth pondering: 1, the tranquility of heart and senses — the ability of inner peace. 2, awareness of the awareness of agility: the likelihood of any analogy that appears at any point. 3, the current feelings of freshness: vivid, vivid vitality scale. 4, the physical condition of the ability to act, whether the human randomness reduced to a minimum, to achieve the peace of mind obtained by the "zero" state of art.
All in all, the creation of art = conditions of the setting + combination of material + combination of tools + internal abilities + action methods + fateful combination of other possible conditions. “Creation” is a mixed energy, combining material and body energy, senses / consciousness / thought energy, and soul and spirit energy, constructing conditions that are necessary and full. It is like the saying of however much research and training is put in, then however steady the kungfu and presentation will be. The problem is, an average person’s perspective and energy are used in horizontal capture of information, whereas those who are aware of the nature of freedom, probe vertically and deeply into the details of things and concepts, and train themselves to carry out strict inner energy training. As an artist, Zhu Xiaodi deserves people’s attention, and study of how his works comes about deserves to be deeply analyzed.
Chai Zhongjian 2017.10.25.