A Prologue for Zhao Jianqiu’s Exhibition at Carrousel Du Louvre
Wang Luxiang, Researcher at China National Academy of Painting
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Zhao Jianqiu, a Chinese painter, will exhibit his works at Carrousel du Louvre. This is a quite meaningful event, and as a friend of him, I have the great honor to introduce his paintings and related backgrounds to peers and audience in France, so that they could understand deeply and better the art world of Mr. Zhao Jianqiu.
Zhao Jianqiu graduated in 1980s from the Department of Fine Arts of Hunan Normal University. He had been strictly and professionally trained for realistic animations. Most of the grand works in this exhibition hall were created through sketching in nature. Zhao Jianqiu’s Chinese paintings give priority to draw in nature, combined with western painting skills. His image abstracting from viewing method takes horizontal perspective and lays emphasis on microcosmic essence. The length-width ratio follows basically the golden rule, which makes his paintings clear and clean at a glance. He wants always to show us what the real world is, so he takes every effort to work on microscopic beauty of the boundless universe which is absolutely fascinating and charming. Just like a famous occidental idiom says, “he devil is in the details”. The microphysics reveal that microstructure of material world possesses a breathtaking beauty of order! Zhao Jianqiu is fascinated by this microscopic beauty, and by observing and drawing the details of the micro world, he acquired a lot of joy and satisfaction, as much as when the god creates creatures on the earth! The dense and overlapped details look like just a simple infinite repetition, but as atomic arrangement, atom to molecule, to structure, to organ, and then order appears, then rhythm, harmony and finally the beauty itself! A kind of epic and solemn beauty fills up the world in the canvas. In my opinion, Zhao Jianqiu’s works have achieved a pure beauty of the sound-silent world. From Zhao’s perspective, the discovery and expression of microcosmic beauty is not only a requirement of aesthetics, but also a pursuing of truth and philosophy. The truth that Zhao pursues is not only a true image from vision or perception, but also an existence on the significant philosophy of life. The discovery and expression of microcosmic beauty of his “displacement series” show a “benevolent heart” of Buddhism-said “reasonless mercy” and “consubstantial sympathy”, some kind of “harmony between nature and man” praised by Confucianism, and show also a philosophical wisdom of “observe things as themselves” and “observe the world through the world itself” emphasized by Taoism. In this seemingly dour philosophical view, the humanistic feelings of compassion and sympathy are hidden deeply behind. With this expression of microcosmic beauty, Zhao Jianqiu has explored a full set of new drawing style developed from oil painting techniques. This approach originated from the observation of nature, and he has invented a set of texturing methods of his own: oblique cut, vertical hack, horizontal scrape, disorder chop, lift, sweep, dry rub, overlapped brush, beat and hammer. To appropriately show detailed textures of woods, soils and rocks, this set of self-sufficient system serves well for his artistic creations.
Based on respect of self-perception, Zhao Jianqiu has taken in and digested many styles to form his own. Comparing to those radical or conservative artists, he is rather a moderate artist. Moderation is a kind of typical Chinese wisdom, a kind of integral, digested and balanced wisdom. Regarding to attitude toward art, Zhao Jianqiu showed his moderate wisdom. His painting style is also the product of this wisdom. Therefore, Zhao Jianqiu is a foretype artist who helps people, especially foreign folk, to know better and accurately the contemporary Chinese arts.