Black and White > Nymph of the Luo River

Nymph of the Luo River #3
Nymph of the Luo River #3
50 x 50 in
ink and pen on stonehenge paper

Nymph of the Luo River is a turning point of my art practice.

From 2009 - 2012, I experienced an intense period of reflecting and realizing the truth of my life and creation during the first three year I lived in Canada. Going through a lot of suffering and happiness, challenges and explorations, I built up a firm ground through creating this series of drawing.

In the April of 2012, after a two and half year wandering in Canada and a ten-month exploration in China, I started a new life in Saskatoon living surround the neighbourhood of the river side.

In a normal afternoon in the spring of 2012, I randomly walked into the public library and saw a painting called the Nymph of the Luo River created by Gu Kai zhi (344–406, one of the greatest artist of ancient China). It is a piece of traditional hand scroll format color ink painting based on the ancient classic Chinese Poem ‘Nymph of the Luo River’ written by CaoZhi (192–232, a prince of the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period and an accomplished poet in his time.) I deeply fell in love with this painting and the poem, and I felt a strong passion of creating a series of drawing based on the same text.

As furthering the research on this painting and poem, I was very curious about the similarity and difference between Gu Keizai’s and my self’s reflection on the same classic ancient Chinese poem. I believe it would be fun and exciting to pass through the time and space, and to have a conversation with Gu Keizai through the dialogue of drawing on the same subject.

Then I started a three-year journey of learning and contemplating on this painting and poem while nourished by my everyday life experience of living by the river landscape in Saskatoon. Especially in the winter time, when the mist is flowing above the river, somehow I see imagery clear and evoke my imagination of constructing the scenes of the whole narrative.

It is also because of this series of drawing, I reconnected with the root of my culture background and started my journey of examining the tradition Chinese art genre emerging with multi medium and contemporary art form. While destructing the traditional Chinese art form of story telling, I was experimenting to construct the narrative beyond the limitation of the historical time and space, and to bring and integrate diverse Chinese ancient blessing patterns and traditional Chinese symbolic totems.