Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai is pleased to present Lin Guocheng – Moonlight Mile in the Snow. Following the success of the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, this exhibition continues to explore Lin’s ink pen practices with more than ten recent works pertaining to his contemplations on the aesthetics of Taoism, the synergetic growth between nature and urban environment, as well as the flow of his own state of mind.
“Incredible”, perhaps, is the viewer’s first impression on Lin Guocheng's works. It is hard to imagine that a large-scale work with such momentum is done with a pen. Combining European sketches, engravings and Chinese literati paintings, the artist's pen technique originates from his unique perspective on the Eastern and Western painting traditions, while the tension and dynamism of the work stem from the constant blending and collision of the two systems. Small condensed engraving strokes work with long smooth flowing lines; intricate details play alongside the use of blanking under the composition with both scattered and focus perspective. Lin's confidence and relatively relaxed state is the magic potion that makes all his hard work seem effortless.
This sense of "naturalness" sheds light upon the influence of Taoist aesthetics on Lin's methodology. As one of the oldest philosophical systems in China, Taoism believes that everything in the universe originates from "Tao" — bodiless, invisible and yet ubiquitous. In Lin’s heart, “Whether it is an instant or eternity, solidity or liquidity, there is no definite answer. Things are neither tangible nor empty, which provides artists with a vast creative space where they experience moments of life and eternity in one picture, transcending the material world and pursuing their spirituality.”
To express his innermost thoughts and feelings, Lin Guocheng empties himself in this mundane world and traces the flow of energy in all life forms through depicting the illusion and reality of scenery or space. “What I would like to show is simple, nothing more than lines and beauty.” As one frame of his "Moonlight Mile in the Snow"—one of his most cherished memories, "Moonlight Sonata" unveils a dance of light and shadow performed by the glistening trees covered with snow during one of Lin's riding moment in the silver moonlight. The deep forest turned into a portal that leads to a paralleled space-time as if time had stopped. For Lin, painting is to bypass the exterior and to focus on the running of his inner world. In works such as "Manifolds III", "Tree on a Cliff III" and "Heartbeat", Lin transfigures forms and imagery, lines and space with his deep understanding of "Relativity".
More than a memorable personal experience, "Moonlight Mile in the Snow" also corresponds to Lin’s pursuit in the realm of beauty, as well as the unique experience that he wishes to offer the viewers — inviting everyone to perceive, meditate and find a place for one’s true self beyond this overwhelmingly informative and materialistic world.