The Meaning of Form in Hu Zhiying’s Art\Personal Religion\ and the Bacon Problem

  Luo: Formally, there is a big difference between your recent works and your earlier, technically mature paintings. What was your state when you painted those early works? Did you consider yourself a contemporary artist at that time? Did you communicate with the trends of the 1980s, such as the 1985 New Wave, the Star Painting Society, Chi Society, Xiamen Dada, etc.?
  Hu: I was obsessed with painting at that time. Painting, there is no concept of contemporary artist. My basic state and perceptions have always been personal. My basic point is personal determinism, not a fad. Although my style of painting has changed many times, critics have not been able to classify my art into any one genre. Because only when you establish a special individual personality can you truly prove that you are valuable as a Chinese, or a German or a French. The truly powerful “Chinese style” should rely on the self-confidence of the main body of artistic creation – the self-consciousness of absorbing Eastern and Western elements, the establishment of the mastery of the self-spirit in the works, and the form compared with the two latitudes (Chinese traditional art and Western modern art) – – Outstanding performance.
  Luo: Are your paintings in the 1980s and the reprints of several other paintings in your textbooks made just to express your painting skills? How did you find the theme? Obviously, the theme was not directly related to the situation in China at that time. What kind of cultural sources are there?
  Hu: I didn’t deliberately look for themes, and I didn’t express everyday and routine themes. I prefer the work to have power in form, so that it can be convincing. Moreover, this kind of persuasion is often not broad. I believe in the ancient Chinese saying: “The spring and the snow, the peace must be few.” The general social phenomenon is always that everyone likes to revolve around a popular thing, or is drawn by the things that most people pay attention to.
  Luo: You have a Ph.D. degree, right? I’ve been slowly starting to read your “Research on the Other Side of Literature” recently. How did you come up with research on this kind of question? Is it related to your work in the visual arts?
  Hu: Yes. “Research on the Other Side of Literature” is not so much a study of the ultimate problem of Chinese classical literature, but rather a description of my personal reading experience of certain types of Chinese classical texts. This experience came from my childhood, and this book can be said to have fulfilled a dream I have had since childhood. Obviously, “literary transcendence” is a question suitable for written expression, so it is not directly related to my visual art. If art is used to illustrate a philosophical proposition or a certain concept, this often leads to the failure of visual art, or it does not make much sense for visual art. In fact, what art can do should be to exert a deeper, some kind of latent, indescribable influence. This is a better situation.
  Luo: What do you think of your role as an art educator?
  Hu: I think the role of a teacher is more to inspire students than to simply teach students what to do or what ideas to form. Instead, it is to introduce more different art schools in ancient and modern China and abroad, and introduce the diversity of cultural phenomena, so that students can choose freely. Therefore, I hope to provide a kind of free space in teaching – including concepts and techniques, and give students independent choices.
  Luo: Are you interested in religion? Or, like Bacon, only interested in human behavior influenced by beliefs and myths? Does it have anything to do with Li Li? Can joy and terror coexist in your works?
  Hu: I The “personal religion” in one’s own conceptual system is very important: the subject of personal religion experiences the inner power of the soul only as an independent existence of the individual, can it go to the deepest part of the soul, and its transcendental nature is actually related to religious teachings, religious activities, Religious regulation of these acquired behaviors is fundamentally not the same thing. If religion is a sacrament used to soothe the soul, express distress or self-condemnation, then the expression of individual religion is not restricted by religion and has nothing to do with secular moral judgments, but is a reflection of the true and natural expression of the hidden language deep in the soul. Express. The attitude towards the language of the supreme soul leads the subject to think that doing so is more natural and original than religion itself. Religious beliefs are the result of reason rather than the inspiration of the soul, and a true and natural personal religion stands out from the crowd. I didn’t deliberately show violence in the painting, and the audience is free if they feel this way. As far as art is concerned, I think pleasure and horror can coexist for granted, although this does not necessarily follow the logic of rational cognition.
  Luo: I want to peruse a few paintings. On the story layer in Bacon’s paintings, the pedestal and furniture have a great influence on the body. In addition, Bacon’s drawing of a curve that supports the body causes a breakdown of the distinction between the story-level and non-story-level elements in the painting. In your work, the situation is very different. Is the base and the idea still important? It seems that the body is more important to you.
  Hu: I am not interested in the stories in Bacon’s paintings, and I myself have no intention of expressing stories in the paintings. The torso, bizarre creature shapes, interlocking skeletons, etc., are more in my control in a formal sense, and I believe that the form itself can inspire meaning. I hope these factors make the meaning of the work ambiguous and the range of signifiers wider. In addition, the background of my pictures is different from that of Bacon. My background is vast, blurred, and deep: the texture and technical language formed by the thick piles are also different. I interspersed the ghostly artistic conception of the East with the materialistic elements of the West, creating an indescribable atmosphere.
  Luo: The paintings you can see here are not the same as the original ones. Bacon later changed some places. Some elements have been eliminated, including flowers, landscapes, and a distant body. You added another body next to the main body. Did you already know Bacon’s first study? What are the red and yellow shapes behind the body, is it a landscape frame?
  Hu: The background in my painting is a group of Erotic scenes rather than landscapes, but instead of highlighting that, I zoomed in on parts to produce some sort of abstract visual effect. The strange creatures and other images in the foreground are more expressed based on the intuition of the picture form—shape, color, and space. Taken together, they are the realization of a certain visual form about one’s own feeling, thinking, and cognition.
  Luo: Bacon explores themes and styles in this painting throughout his life, and you seem to have begun to explore them when you are quite mature. What does age and experience have to do with your way of reinterpreting?
  Hu: Although there are many people who know Bacon, I believe very few people can really feel the spirit of Bacon, so there are very few artists influenced by Bacon. My reference to Bacon comes from a feeling of myself, and I have always had a strong interest and expressive desire for something mysterious, weird, and ghostly. Then these things collide with the things I have accumulated over a long period of time to form such an expression.
  Luo: For Bacon, the physicality of the body is very important, especially its mouth. In your work, the body seems to become more physical, more tortured. But the specific body structure has changed a bit: Do the spikes coming out of the body have a new meaning?
  Hu: I pay more attention to the form of the work itself. For example, I don’t have a clear and specific meaning for the spikes coming out of the body. refer to. However, the works are different from Bacon in terms of form and connotation, and the method of creation is also different. In fact, when some things change in some small or even unimportant aspects, they have actually undergone great or even fundamental changes. Historically, Cézanne’s borrowing from Pissarro is a good example. Cézanne thought he could never surpass Pissarro, but in fact, Cézanne changed Pissarro a little bit—seemingly a little change, already There have been fundamental changes, and even epoch-making changes.