Reflective Journal Week 35, 24 May – 30 May 2020

The major interest of this week is in making reflective surfaces on those salted crafts. Glistening waves that illuminated by light shines through the rifts in the clouds fascinated me as I always adore the landscape rendered in the air with high transparency.


Randomly placed items on the window sill reminded me to think of how am I going to display these crafts in the exhibition, which is not very likely to happen. I recon current colours match my preference. It looks like a sunny afternoon in St Ives when standing on the balcony of Tate museum with my favourite coffee, gazing at the symbolic jade-green ocean that embraces the Porthmeor beach. The inner peace that driven by the admiration of natural beauty which overwhelms beyond culture, race and religion is what I would like to picture. I would like to —— essentially —— reproduce the natural attractivenesses as such, extract its essence and display them at another far-reach end to articulate that boundaries defined by the human cannot obstruct an outsider to love, respect and understand a landscape which breeds strangers. There is an unnecessity which divides people because people want to find their unique identity. A land which defined a specific identity will unavoidably draw a frontier which rejects outsiders non-obviously. I saw the connection established through the entire year’s practice. What I truly pursuit, perhaps is a mutual understanding achieved by kindness, patience, honesty and love. It is the most primitive emotion, pure, basic and uninfluenced. Emotional resonance would be caused between those who share a heartfelt appreciation to a specific idea.


The discussion regarding the two sides of the landscape has been continued for units. While placing these salted crafts, I found that the location of light source could present such an assumption though an illustrative way. Instead of giving the audience a comprehensively introduced complex context, I could probably attract them via the effect when the light goes through the salted watercolour paper. The difference of each surface caused by the transparency and brightness would state the existence of the duality in the discussion about the landscape.

I thought about the technical potential of the transparency altered by the salting process. I could use it to picture the same landscape in two different status: it could be weather, time or reality and imagination.
Water could be another natural element selected for the project. Beneath the calm water is the slow crystallisation of salt. The surface of reproduced seawater separated different levels of motions, from microscopical to macroscopical.

This idea developed into a new design: a device made of acrylic clear sheet, which allows the audience to conduct a direct observation of the growth of salt. It distributes a conceptual introduction to viewers the time length that seawater stiffens a soaked object. As it was written to introduce the most of the salted object:
“I was inspired by mooring, salt, rope, shipwreck, crab cage and drifting woods.
I used the crystallisation of Cornish sea salt that I extracted to depict my interpretation about how culture can grow on preoccupied impressions, also meanings that assigned to materiality.”
The essential motion in this physical reaction is how nature alters the world she shares with us to the way it should be, an unstoppable force that gradually converts artificial elements to return to its origin.


As I often introduce wave form series:
“I had an interesting idea after looking into Barbara Hepworth’s work; precisely a comment from one of my friend also inspired me a lot. I therefore carefully bent some previous works and eventually found a new way of displaying these salted objects.”


These experiments would conclude my opinion regarding the relationship between nature and all human-made things, which I will eventually talk about in the following weeks.

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.