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Back Vision.Mirror--- Zhang Lun’s Highway Vision Painting By Li Rui

Back Vision.Mirror--- Zhang Luns Highway Vision Painting

by Li Rui

 

Li Rui: I know you were working on conceptual photography back in 1999, and the major theme were flowers. Why did you choose flowers?

 

Zhang Lun: Actually, I used flowers in many media such as conceptual photography, device and behavior. After going through those, I got back to painting. I like flowers, so my behavior device also connects with flowers. I create my art base on my favorite things. I think I have a thing for aestheticism, and flowers were the self metaphors of me.

 

Li Rui: The why did you choose back vision mirror instead of flowers in 2008?

 

Zhang Lun: About in 2004, I felt like part of my work was just for the exhibition. It’s a terrible thing for an artist to create just for the deadline of an exhibition- he’ll loss himself. Of course, I know some artists accept this model. They can find their own stuffs by following others. But I’m not like them, I have requirement for myself. In my opinion, an artist should create naturally. I hoped to get back to myself. I thought about my relationship with my work, and realized that I must return to zero and start over again. Considering from comprehension perspective, my comprehensions come in a sudden. From appearance, flowers and back vision mirror are separate things, but actually, they are all me.

 

In summer, 2008, I bought a car, so driving and watching the surrounding scenery on the highway became part of my daily life. Sometimes, I had a hallucination that the world was running backward instead of the fact that I was driving forward… Therefore, I discovered a world in the back vision mirror. Once, I was driving at night, and the moon was very bright that night. When I was driving down the viaduct bridge, I found the noon was squatting on the bridge floor. How could it be? I got off my car and checked, and there was a distance between the moon and the bridge. The truth is that what we see in the back vision mirror is different from what we see directly at the object. The imaging modalities in the back vision mirror and in the camera are not the same as in our naked eyes. The image is different. I think is like my naked eyes and mechanical eyes. It’s the reunion of the first nature and mechanical nature.I became fascinating about the world in back vision mirror.

 

Li Rui: The way of seeing is shifting.

 

Zhang Lun: Yes. Most of the time ,we see this world through an object, including how we see ourselves. For instance, through photos, light box, computer screen, glass and metal of the building, back vision mirror… our life has been changed. We used to write letters, and ride donkey to visit our friends. Now that we have autos, planes, e-mail, cell phone and visual tool. Our ways of communication have been changed.

 

New life style has changed our former visual modality. In return, new visual modality has more new influence on our life. Our age is different from the past, and life has become unpredictable. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like after today.

 

Li Rui: I see you divided your work into three series, “Back Vision Mirror”, “Back Vision Mirror·Window”, and “Back Vision Mirror·Tunnel”. Let’s talk about the tunnel.

 

Zhang Lun: Before that, I need to explain something. My mother came and lived with me in Beijing earlier last year. And she was diagnosed as a cancer patient with a 12-inch spreading tumor in her enterocoelia. That meant I would loss her forever. I took her to the great wall and tried to make her feel complete. We went to see many places we’ve never been. When passing the Juyong Pass on the way to the Great Wall, I had her colonoscopy and gastroscope images in my mind, and I felt like I was passing through an enterocoelia.

 

Li Rui: So your work associate with something in your daily life.

 

Zhang Lun: At first, I did feel that way. I thought I should paint a tunnel. It could be inside a mountain, or inside a human enterocoelia with all our past. In fact, we’re experiencing every step in our life not knowing where the end is and where the exit should be.

 

Li Rui: But you had exit in your tunnel work.

 

Zhang Lun: Yes, I think we need an exit, we must have an exit.

 

Li Rui: It actually gives people a little metophered hope.

 

Zhang Lun: There’s no exit in some work. We can see the entrance, and we don’t know where the exit is. We’re just moving forward within it. It’s like life, including something in the unseen world. The path for us is right there, and we need to pass it to find the exit.

 

Li Rui: So the tunnel work means something to you.

 

Zhang Lun: If it were not because of my mother, the colonoscopy and gastroscope images, I wouldn’t have felt that way while passing through the tube. I would have never thought about the exit of life.

 

Li Rui: So this connects with life and people’s situations. And you showed your comprehension of life.

 

Zhang Lun: The images came from within. So far, my paintings form three series of back vision mirror. They barely have chronological sequence. They are parallel crisscross and extending. It’s like our realistic world which is multidimensional and interweaving.

 

Li Rui: I can tell your paintings are delicate. I can feel the sensitivity women exclusively possess from your work’s details and colors. Do you think that your painting language delicacy meets your creation standard?

 

Zhang Lun: My painting is about the game between being and not being. It’s a void-solid combination, and a language system of changing unity of opposites. The growth and resolve of a trace, the general extension of colors and the achromatous, the segmentation of a line, the rhythm of a surface, the association mutual structure of any geometrical shape; all these lead to a image layout. These paintings are usually the outcomes of painstaking work. They follow painting autorhythmicity, classical, modern, and post- modern visual elements as well as Chinese painting’s white space rules. Considering from all aspects, together with what I see, it’s the combination of handfeel and cloth material; it’s result of all visual elements synchronizing in my mind. All these are like Chinese medicine diagnosis which can be understood but cannot be described. Such delicacy and accuracy have been through a purification process.

 

Li Rui: How do you understand the relation between “Back Vision Mirror” and “Back Vision Mirror” Exhibition?

 

Zhang Lun: As a mediator object, back vision mirror is an entrance for me to perceive the world. It’s an object concept. This object enters the image and acts on me and the viewers is the  objects’ situations, conditions and states by means of naked eyes and souls. This can be simplified as back vision mirror. In my opinion, this theme directly reveals an implication from observing the images to the presentation of the images. It’s enough.

 

Li Rui: You said you were perusing a self status while painting. Were you happy in the past three years?  Any change comparing with the former conceptual shooting period?

 

Zhang Lun: I really enjoyed the time when I was drawing. It’s the most comfortable time. It’s my job and my entertainment, and it’s me. I would have cast my brush and walked away if I were unhappy. This “entertainment” makes a whole in my life, even though I felt exhausted, I still feel happy.