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Value of Nature in Contemporary Ink Painting:From Sketching to Images of Mind
contemporary ink painting
This thesis on the personal creative works consists of two parts: the first part delineates the context of the author’s creative thinking; the second part describes and analyzes the form and content of the author’s works of ink painting. The first chapter serves as the introduction to the entire thesis. Here the author describes the starting point and the fundamentals of this thesis, discusses the origin, the range, and the methodology of this research, and explains the important terms and concepts of this thesis. While the new generation of ink painters show their will to break from the artistic tradition, the author persists in focusing on sketching and landscape painting. It is therefore essential for this thesis to establish the value of sketching and aesthetic appreciation of nature in the creation of modern ink painting. This is the base of the whole research. The second chapter proposes the concept of “temporality” and analyzes the two key issues that influence the author’s ink painting creation, namely “sketching” and “urbanity.” Even since the 20th century, due to the absorption of the Western culture and the consequent atmosphere of society and culture, the artistic thoughts of “returning to reality” have brought about the revival of sketching. In the same vein, the “positive reflection” of reality leads to a positive correlation between city and ink painting. Several contemporary ink painters focus on this correlation, trying to express the urban landscape and to portray the lives and minds of city dwellers. Some even go further into the critique and the appropriation of consumerism as a response to their own era. Against this trend to link the urban culture to the works of ink painting, the third chapter tries to present a different viewpoint. From the contemporary thoughts, the thesis proposes a return to nature and to the tradition of ink painting, characterizes the appreciation of nature and its value in ink painting, and elucidates how contemporary ink painting depicts nature and its differences from their traditional counterparts. The contemporary atmosphere emanating from ink painting includes the care and worry of natural environment under the ecological disasters, the formal characters being that of thickness, heaviness, and solemnness. From theoretical reflection, the fourth chapter moves on to the practical expression of form. Here the author describes the concept and method of sketching, choice of material, composition, and characters of different inks and brushes. The author’s persistence in sketching is a response to the value of appreciation of nature characterized in the third chapter. The choice of material, composition, and ink and brushes refer back to the context of contemporary ink painting and serve as an answer to the discourse of “temporality.” The fifth chapter expounds the images of time symbolized in the author’s ink painting works. This chapter also continues the discussion of material and formal expression in the fourth chapter. The fundamental symbolic meaning is the “oppressed mankind and nature.” From the subjective sketching of real scenes to the more personal depiction of imaginary world, this symbolic thought, inspired by nature, tradition, and contemporary environment, evolves into a personal source of art and attempts to portray a thick, heavy, and incomplete scenery as a personal understanding of the era. This chapter responds to the issues raised by the introduction, namely how works that emphasize nature and sketching can reflect its time. The sixth chapter summarizes the thesis and highlights the key issues.
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