Tag Archives: taoist art

New Work

Here are a few finished pieces. I’m behind on documenting the finished work, so I’ll be sharing more photos of the finished pieces not shown here as soon as possible.

Since I’ve already shared photos of Bytes and Amphitheater ad nauseum, I’m not repeating them here.

Working title: Generative Forms (2013). Medium: Mixed (acrylic monotype, watercolor monotype, trace monotype, serigraphy, image transfer, direct drawing, direct ink on Chinese xuan rice paper).

Building on my cornerstone interest in the development of matter from non-matter (philosophically – being from non-being), some of my familiar archaeologically-infused rock shapes tumble in a state of ambiguous gravity. However, working through these spinning, connective ingredients, I’ve blended glyphs and language, the linear strings of maps and filaments and even pictographic suggestions. I’m interested in the convergence of raw materials and the information that defines their construction–an attempt to reach an Alchemy of Image.


Working title: Generative Forms

Detail from Generative Forms:



The next piece has two working titles: Telegraphy and Data Pulse. Like the piece above, stones and shapes extrapolated from important archaeological fines or crystal structures find themselves spinning through a void rife with possibilities. The void in this case is not the stark “white paper” of some of my older pieces. Instead, inspired by the paradoxical “active voids” of Richard Diebenkorn, early Agnes Martin and Jean-Michel Basquiat, I’ve created a void, or negative space, in which the visual elements of “matter” and take root. In this case, the void is made from thin, highly transparent layers of serigraphy and monotype. This piece also heavily incorporates acrylic monotype and some collage.

The names refer to research I did into Information Theory, related to the original translation of language into a code of either electrical pulses or physically manipulated wood and iron machines (the first telegraphy, before Morse). I am fascinated by the fact that language, itself a conceptual code for the combination of verbal sound and interpreted meaning, can be transmitted via wire pulse or gesture–simultaneously making a “physical” journey, even as the message stays in its original place. Technically, then, the message exists in more than one location simultaneously, just as the message you’re reading could be up on a dozen screens at one time!

Working Title 1 and 2: Telegraphy or Data Pulse

Working Title 1 and 2: Telegraphy or Data Pulse

No working title for the piece below. This painting incorporates painted negative space, suggested space and layers of ink on rice paper. Interconnected forms gradually settle into faintly familiar shape-associations. A lot of the really subtle color shifts did not translate well to the photograph, so I’ll have to see if I can get a better shot that captures the surface variety.


Working title: Transitional Space

Medium: Mixed (intaglio, serigraphy, woodcut, trace monotype, acrylic monotype on Okawara paper).


The triptych below is designed to be arranged multiple different ways. My mentor and I are working out a good final presentation. Medium: Serigraphy, Intaglio, Direct Ink.


Hieroglyphs, 2013

Working title for the piece below: Superclusters. 

Medium: Layered acrylic and watercolor monotypes on thick, off-white paper.


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


The Asian Contemporary Arts Consortium on Facebook