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Abstract painters entertain audiences in a hidden garden

Updated: 2023-08-25 17:38 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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A painting from Chen Lizhu’s Meditation Space series [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Upon walking into Hidden Garden, an ongoing exhibition featuring abstract painters Wan Yang and Chen Lizhu at the White Box Art Center inside Beijing’s 798 art district, viewers may be greeted with a sense of blandness and boredom in front of seemingly empty canvases featuring a minimalistic palette.

However, if they look at the color and brushwork of those paintings a bit longer, with closer observation, they may find the clutter and noise in their minds gradually giving way to peace and calm. That’s when they find the gateway to the hidden garden, a shelter for the mind amid chaos.

Hunan-born painter Wan Yang is known as a “method-first” artist. His toolkit not only includes oils, brushes and spatulas but also computers and 3D printers. In his own words, to finish a piece is like the completion of a building.

For the paintings on display at White Box, he first 3D-printed a unique palette for each of them and then sketched on the canvas a seamless grid of tiny lozenges before transferring color to each of the lozenges. Brushstrokes and colors mingle with those in adjacent lozenges, creating atmospheric compositions that evoke the morning light or nebulae in the night sky.

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