Feng Bin





Feng Bin (born 1952, Chengdu, Sichuan Province) Guohua painter. 1981 graduated from Chinese Painting Department, Sichuan AFA. Until recently director of Sichuan Fine Art Institute Art Museum. Professor of traditional painting, Dept. of Sichuan Fine Art Institute.Responsible for developing new approach to traditional painting. Specialized in painting monks and architecture of Tibetan Sichuan. See Chengdu Museum of Contemporary art.

An excerpt:

On the discussion of ink painting, we are inevitably confronted with two questions: one is how to continue the classical tradition of ink, or guohua in this changed world and time that are no more classical? The other is associated with the truth about art: art develops and flourishes by constantly breaking through stereotypes and creating new traditions.

For years, the art we have been making, paintings with very different appearances from so-called traditional ink (for a century its names have varied from guohua to Chinese Painting, which, as a matter of fact, only are different nouns) has been questioned whether they are still guohua and where the tradition is. I started my art by learning traditional Chinese Painting and perfectly understand that most people at most times make judgment and try to monopoly discourses according to the knowledge and experience they possess. This is particularly true with the Chinese, especially when the tradition is related, tradition that people thought they know well and are so arrogant about.

The transformation of guohua/ink is indispensable. The key lies in what to change and how. I insist that transforming of guohua/ink does not merely mean changes of forms and techniques. More stress should be put on how to renew it and give it contemporary significances, to grow a new cultural form out of traditional genes so as to be able to represent the image of China, a country rapidly advancing forward.

For over 20 years, the key words in my artistic practice are material, concept and renewing. I start with specific changes on materials in hope to transform the commonly-accepted conceptions of guohua/ink. For instance, I abandoned Xuan paper and ink for its long and jumbled history. In this way, it will be possible to generate new concepts in contents, themes and expressive ways, and will in turn bring forth new methods with the new concepts for the renewing of guohua/ink.

Based on this understanding, except for the regular requirements of calligraphy exercises, copying of ancient paintings and studies on tradition, I stress in my postgraduate teaching on conscious selections in studies of the vast tradition and the purposefulness of tradition learning in the process of incessant creative activities. In the artistic creation I emphasize the contemporaneity of expression, independence and profundity in thinking and sensitivity and acuteness towards the world and inner minds. Technically, I emphasize to make full advantages of traditional resources and wisely retain, even to the slightest possible extent, unique features of guohua/ink, features that are not to be replaced. Henceforth guohua/ink be continued and its possibilities extended.

Feng Bin
Director of Chinese Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

June 2008
Huang Jueping, Chongqing