“‘From the incorporation of inscriptions on steles to the direct implatation of classical paintings in my work, I wish to explore ways in which I can converse with artists from the past – it is a virtual mode of communication, yet it becomes real through the act of artistic creation.”
– Wang Tiande
A keen innovator in the calligraphy and painting tradition, Wang Tiande creates conceptual, experimental works in a bold mixed-media style. His exquisite landscapes are composed of two overlapping layers: the bottom is landscape and calligraphy depicted with ink and brush, while the top, bast paper burnt directly with incense. This unique technique was inspired by Wang’s experience of accidentally flicking the ash from his lit cigarette onto the xuan paper. Mesmerised by how the ash created shapes by chance, Wang began transforming his landscape paintings – often accompanied by calligraphy – by directly burning paper painted with copies of classical Chinese paintings with a cigarette or incense. The spontaneous deconstruction of classical paintings, both in terms of the visual and the conceptual, is crucial to Wang’s artistic practice. An intricately painted and visually arresting work, Tranquil Vista employs revolutionary materials and techniques to engage in direct dialogue with the past, incorporating a well-known ink rubbing from an ancient stele, and thus opening a boundless space of imagination for the viewer. Here, language, text and image become intertwined in Wang’s work: the layers of paper marked with burn marks and ink obstruct the viewer’s ability to derive meaning from the painting, evoking delicate and complex palimpsests for the modern age.