28 May 2007
TONG ZHENGANG (BORN 1959)
A Joyful Day
Scroll, mounted and framed, mixed media on paper
69.5 x 41 cm. (27 1/3 x 55 1/2 in.)
Signed, with five seals of the artist
Born in Xinjiang, Tong Zhengang graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1989. He is an outstanding contemporary artist who is multi-talented and excels in calligraphy, seal carving and painting. He is fond of adopting a relatively traditional screen-like structure to create a flat decorative style and achieve rich colour and ink with an unlimited complexity of textural effects. Using different subjects and by varying the arrangement of space, a screen-like frame can be divided into four entirely different segments; yet the resplendent, warm and cheerful colour tones bring them into harmony. These levels do not ahve depth of perspective. Instead, the artist wisely focuses on a striking visual effect and unrestrained composition in the process of constructing space in a flat way. After twenty years of contemplation and experimentation, Tong has developed his own artistic symbols and a unique style. Furthermore, the artist seeks to merge the loftiness of traditional literati sentiments with the actual condition of urban life, in order to gain an artistic spark from the collision of "ancient" and "modern", "traditional" and "trendy".
Tong loves calligraphy and has received several awards. Through long practice of painting and writing, he deeply understands the intense tension of calligraphic lines and the beauty of its abstract composition. Thus, when Tong confidently employs different materials to break through the limitations of ink representation, he never abandons the traditional use of the brush tip and bone-method brushwork. He also studies seal-engravign and carves all his seals himself. Inscriptions and seals on his paintings are not mere "captions" and "seals". They are incorporated into the painting composition with a definitive role and are part of the overalll balance, thus creating anextraordinary flavour in Tong's works.
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Please note that the size of this painting should be 69.5 x 141 cm. instead of 69.5 x 41 cm. as stated in the catalogue.
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