Neon Paintings by Kong Lingnan

I ran across this artist on the Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium Facebook page and thought I’d share here, as I’ll be documenting exhibitions, artists and events I encounter as part of my semester’s progress.

Kong Lingnan is another Taoist artist looking to express aspects of the religious philosophy through an interpretive painting technique which mimics the look of neon signage. She’s specifically investigating and illustrating a single story from the Chuang-Tzu (Zhuangzi), one of the three primary texts of Taoism, which itself analyzes the objective state of the world. The story itself questions the very definition of objectivity and she tackles a personal interpretation of the tale with a visual vocabulary rooted in commercial materials (like neon).

I tend to avoid direct illustration when I’m processing or investigating even the more direct Taoist stories, but I find it interesting that she blends this very commercial aesthetic (the “tacky” neon, as the article intimates) with the sparse, negative landscape environs of Chinese painting, which itself typically expresses aspects of Taoist, Buddhist or Confucian philosophy in its composition, depending on the painter.

Any time I run across an artist actively engaged in an investigation of Taoist texts and subtexts, I take a look and save them to consider how different methods function (and whether or not they’re successful at conveying concept). I realize the article is a year old, but that’s the nature of the internet, after all. Information gets stirred up and recirculated to the benefit of all.

Sharin’ the resources.

Full article on Kong Lingnan: The Creator’s Project

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The Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium on Facebook

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