Zhivago: CN, A Decent Exploration of Single Colour Watercolour, and Chinese Simplism, Jan 2017.

The project shows several natural scenes of mangrove forest near Shaoxing, China and landscapes of West Lake, Hangzhou. Inspirations were gained from traditional Chinese painting’s ink landscape category. However, western techniques like perspective and what is currently popular in design area — Simplism, have been considered in the project.

Recent year western designers have gotten familiar with Chinese style. But the impression of it just grown fixed into a stereotype. Foreigners started to think a massive use of colour red and gold, and installing several Chinese dragons or phoenixes are features of traditional Chinese style.

But I can tell you here, no. And personally, I hate people think Chinese style is like this more than they say my eyes are small in my face (because indeed my eyes are so little, I was like the only person whose eyes gone missing in group photos haha).

Nothing needs to be used massively in Chinese style. It can be simple while powerful in design language at the same time. As a matter of fact, half history of traditional Chinese art is generations of the practice of drawing objects with fewer strokes as possible.

Here are the works I made in this project.

I have to say that the project was relatively a success. Positive feedbacks were received, one of them managed to be on the Average Art Magazine, and the entire series sold to a local photographer from Brighton. Maybe this is the very first work I can add ‘private collection’ label when presenting it.

The project was named Zhivago. Right after this one a lot of new pieces of single colour watercolour but without traditional Chinese painting characteristics were created as well.

I considered this project the moment when my watercolour style goes mature.

Formal Description

‘The painting belongs to watercolour series Zhivago: CN. It shows a natural scene of mangrove forest near Shaoxing, China. Technically speaking, the painting heavily referred to traditional Chinese painting techniques but western paintings skills that relatively modern were involved at the same time — for example, the perspective of the composition and realistic shaping of objects.
Further, the painting demonstrated the simplism of traditional Chinese aesthetic value, which accurately reflected in the picture as the absence of fillers except for primary objects.
The trend Chinese aesthetic style has commonly been considered as ‘complex combination of colours in warm tone’ and ‘ the involvement of mythological animals’ has become a fixed impression to westerners; while Chinese people nowadays generally believe simplism was firstly invented by western civilisation. The intention of urging both sides to have a more subjective restudy of each other’s culture has implied by the project. Techniques familiar to audiences but in a strangely allopatric style of the display was designed to be the potential starting point for the reevaluation.
The series of work was later purchased and collected by a local photographer in Brighton.’

About cechenpaints

A self-promoted artist who accidentally forgot to pay his original personal website