According to landscape artist Xu Gang, “Creating beautiful artworks is a painter’s mission in life. What a painter chooses to depict depends on what captures their heart. As for myself, I love wandering in nature, observing bits and pieces of daily life, searching for the scenes that speak to me. My goal is to create artworks that will convey the beauty that touches me and therefore continue the conversation with my audience.”
The artist even quotes the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, who said in his Tao Te Ching: “People follow earth, earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Way, the Way follows what is.”
Xu Gang adds, “The Way, ‘all pervading, ever-moving,’ being the law of nature for all development, acts as the mother of all things. When it comes to art, the Way is to be rooted in nature—learn from nature and distill from nature. To me, the highest beauty of art lies in the harmony of man and nature.”
He believes, “Landscape painting requires the painter to be totally immersed in nature, carefully observing the myriad of subtle changes in lighting and coloring. The same scene, under different lighting or in different weather, can convey different ambiance or sentiment. The painter needs to keep the first impression of a scene’s totality fresh in his mind, hold it dear, so as to re-create vividly its original beauty and character. A still scene, once imbued with the changing light and floating air, will gain its own vitality and charm. Time will not dull it; viewers will continue to be delighted. The value of an artwork is not decided by its art form but lies in its inner core of spirituality and aesthetics. The meaning of life for me is to create and spread beauty with art.” —
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