Sun Xiaodong: Concern about Nature at Heart
Art Exchange VOL.04/2013|by Chen Danqing
Plateau 2
Boshan Lake 2
Boshan Lake 7
Boshan Lake 1
Pure Earth 4
Autumn Landscape at Taihang Mountains 2
Plateau 13
Plateau 14
Ancient Stream 1
Ancient Stream 2

  • Plateau 2
  • Boshan Lake 2
  • Boshan Lake 7
  • Boshan Lake 1
  • Pure Earth 4
  • Autumn Landscape at Taihang Mountains 2
  • Plateau 13
  • Plateau 14
  • Ancient Stream 1
  • Ancient Stream 2

Reflection in painting can be divided into two categories, abstract reflection and concretization. In the current art circle, the abstract reflection seems to be in bustling interpretation. Personally, I never exclude any art form because I hold that all those artworks with author’s cordial attitude and capability for presentation will arouse great sympathy among spectators. If any art form goes too far to maintain self-awareness or pretends to be mature, the result will probably be a tragedy.

Today I am lucky to witness the painting by Sun Xiaodong and right now I found a lively air and scent of nature accurately reproduced in the lines and colors. Standing before his works, I feel as if his favorite mountain and stream are demonstrating their momentum and grandeur. For comments, I would like to say something about his source of inspiration instead of the technical feature of painting. I have been to all the great mountains in China, and wherever I am, I have obtained plenty of nutrition from a tree, a river, a batch of grass and any single part of nature. When I reached the peak of Mount Tai for the first time, I was overwhelmed with a different pleasure even when I had a random walk in a path of clouds. Amazed by the serenity, mystery and magnificence of nature, I began to understand more about the significance of life through such a simple humanist affection on earth. Such experience means a baptism and unique treasure to an artist, which can be obviously witnessed in Sun Xiaodong and his paintings. His painting is a life created out of vigor and force of nature, far beyond any description in any language. I sincerely hope that he will keep this precious gift forever in the nature at his heart.

While appreciating Sun Xiaodong’s paintings, I always admire the harmony between tradition and modernity and perfect combination of traditional Chinese landscape painting with focus on inner spirit and western one with emphasis on forms. With varied colors and capricious ink and wash, Sun Xiaodong’s works provides a sense of distance from the world and serenity out of seclusion. Audiences will easily access a wonderland like a dream where the remote clouds and lofty mountains seem to tell you an ancient and mysterious story. It should be pointed out that such artistic achievement demands for an artist’s resolute willpower and perseverant sacrifice. Sun Xiaodong keeps his habit to experience and draw inspirations in nature and therefore his inner artistic quality is gradually enlightened. At the sight of his landscape paintings with variation, I dare to say that the nature at heart is far more important than the nature itself. For every artist, it might be a lifelong task to achieve the transition and reflect his own expression through nature’s inspiration. It is my sincere expectation that Sun Xiaodong will conduct bold exploration in reproducing the magnificent scenery into his artworks and stride with the tide for reaching a higher peak in arts.

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