In the early 1980s, Wang Chuan won the third prize at the National Youth Art Exhibition with his work Good Bye, Little Path (1980), a reminiscence of the zhiqing (educated youth) days his generation experienced and also a reflection of the society and youth. Along with He Duoling's Spring A wakens and Wang Hai's Spring, it has garnered wide spread praise and become an important artwork in the Scar Art period.
Art movements like Scar Art and the '85 New Wave' were products of the Cultural Revolution. Art styles went from realistic to abstract, echoing artists' interpretation of emptiness. They came to comprehend the aphorism that calligraphy and painting are of the same origin, and returned to the use of traditional ink wash in creating flowing lines and strokes that are Taoist in the sense that silence is preferred over elaboration. Western Abstract Expressionist styles were integrated into the framework of Chinese calligraphy and painting, and the results were limitless. As Chinese calligraphy and painting share the same root, one may evaluate a painting with the philosophy of calligraphy. In calligraphy, beauty comes not from the form but from the spirit mirroring the writer's inner mind. In this painting by Wang, ink blots are magnified. Much as blots are lifeless, they scatter like the artist's mind flow in a style that breaks away from traditional brush and ink principles. The free-flowing, abstract line strokes carry a hint of Huai-su's expressive wild cursive script. Such artistic practice that aims for a spiritual encounter rather than a visual one can be traced to Chang Huai-kuan's idea of the "soundless voice" in his Discussion of Calligraphy and the Taoist philosophy of the "form of formlessness." Wang adopts the visual tension of Western paintings, akin to Jackson Pollock's structureless and centerless composition, and transcends the principle of Chinese painting that there must be an order beneath the disorderly appearance. In his pursuit of the pure nature of art, Wang perfectly marries the most natural and unrestrained elegance of Chinese and Western art.