Reflective Journal Week 41, 5 July – 11 July 2020

Irrelevant but worth talking about:
My series of doodles was requested to engage in mental recovery therapy service of Shaoxing’s No.7 Hospital. I am glad that my work could actually benefit society and fulfilling my social responsibility as an artist. Although I am a bit confused about how come those academic works were significantly less appreciated.


The thought about social responsibility expanded to some random ideas:
“Painting is a format of art, is a carrier of information. The most significant feature revealed in the subject’s development is its incessant abandon of obsolete frame of thinking, and based on this evolvability artists’ ideas are delivered by repeatedly redefining its content.
The relatively unenlightened art education and the aesthetic standard has become a weapon for anti-intellectualists in China, especially in this time when the populism rises with international isolationism. Most of the Chinese people failed to recognise the history of art after painting shifted its focus from visualising realistic scenes and figures ——approximately a short period after post-impressionism. The absence of necessary aesthetic capability in the contemporary political context lured them into believing that the west has wholly occupied the say in art. They reject to know the difficulties of survival as an independent artist for employment discrimination against art & humanities has become a social consensus. The flourishing of consumerism and pessimistic economic situation assigns money as the only standard to value artworks.
On the other hand, conspiracy tends to believe art is made for money laundry. As a matter of fact, exchanging means of production is an indispensable element of survival before the subsistence level is secured for all members of society. There is no reason that irresponsible private media who lives on gimmicks. While professionals examine how their peers redefine the subject, we could assume a certain proportion audience treats the subject as a time killer.
It’s not difficult to notice Chinese students’ disadvantage in critical thinking. It is originated in the distinctiveness of social value and education system; acquiring improvement may cost a significant price.
A fundamental principle to examine artworks critically is begin with its context. Expect historical events, crucial factors like the personal experience of the artist, influential trends and the transformation of ideas are equally important to build up a context. Instead of examining an individual physical carrier, artworks should be analysed within the context which achieved their production. Audiences need to identify decisive factors that related to the creation of the artwork. This mental leaping sometimes makes no sense. However, professionals are able to verify the reasonability of a specific comment.
Despite the fact that the equality of sex reached a consensus among independent artists, feudal ideas are still influential domestically. Art is free, aggressive and anti-rigid, but artists are not guaranteed to be so. Masculist oppression haunts in the field, solidify authority structure. Age has replaced experience; human connection replaced reputation. The eldest male often occupies the best resources and further squeezing survival space for the new generation. This involute society, unfortunately, has an ambitious boundary with independent artists; all these factors associated with the low independent thinking ability of the public, art was stamped with the word opportunistic. The systematic discrimination significantly obstructs young artist from receiving public appreciation, and dramatically accelerate the involution of contemporary Chinese art.”
After a specifically cautious process of crafting, I fixed slices of salt peered off last week’s food preservation box onto a piece of watercolour paper. It was curved into the shape of a cliff. It is also another “constructing land with earth element extracted from the water”.


A series of watercolour sketches were produced based on my choice of the most representative views on the regular touristic routine of the West Penwith Peninsula. I attempted to identify one feature in each of the pieces and composite them together.


An experiment result was gained. I selected previous works and arranged them in the picture too. I was greatly inspired by John Greenwood’s still-life objects. I reckon the method of introducing a complex context can be achieved by compositing a variety of elements they have abstract concept respectively. The pinecone from the previous project represents its religion and culture, Saint Piran’s flag stands for the county’s territory, WaveForms rise from the distant shore and behind them is the sea-washing cliffs of the Land’s End. The conceptual design of this sketch could be used for future development, but it is uncertain at this moment.

Collection, 2015, John Greenwood
Too Much is Never Enough, 2014
Spoilt for Choice, 1995

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About cechenpaints

An artist, painter, illustrator based in London.