Past Exhibition

Lin Guocheng: A Dance of Landscapes and Civilisation

19 Sep - 09 Dec  |  2023
Lin Guocheng
Opening Reception
19 September 2023, Tuesday, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Artist will be present

Artist Talk
Ink in Our Modern Times
Artist Lin Guocheng in conversation with Dr. Susan L. Beningson
Independent curator & Professor of Asian Art History, New York University
27 September, Wednesday, 6:00pm-7:00pm

Alisan Fine Arts is excited to announce an upcoming exhibition featuring the novel works of Lin Guocheng. This exhibition will showcase two distinct series from the artist––the “Landscape” series and the “Civilisation” series, each delving deep into the intricate relationship between nature and human civilisation. Through his masterful integration of Western classical sketches with Chinese ink paintings, Lin Guocheng offers a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving dynamics of our world.

For Lin Guocheng, there are two fundamental elements in his paintings: lines and perspectives. In the artist’s mind, line is not just a tool, but a vehicle of expression and a bridge between thought, manifestation, and cultures. Influenced by masters from the East and the West, his artworks are characterised by intricate lines that weave stories, emotions, and philosophies. These lines, whether bold or delicate, straight or swirling, are a testament to Lin's mastery and his deep understanding of their potential. With his background as a software designer, perspectives are pivotal both in his digital endeavours and artistic creations. Often depicting sceneries or objects within a rectangular frame, Lin seamlessly blends the Western linear perspective with the ancient Chinese "three distances" technique. This fusion results in a sense of abundance, where the main subjects seem to saturate, if not overflow from, the defined space.

The Intersection of Landscape, Cityscape and Dreamscape
In Lin Guocheng's “Landscape Series”, the boundaries between the tangible and the intangible blur, giving rise to a harmonious blend of landscape, cityscape, and dreamscape. This trinity of realms offers viewers a multi-dimensional experience, where the serenity of nature, the dynamism of manmade structures, and the ethereal world of dreams converge in a rhizomatic interplay.

In “Moonlight Mile in the Snow”, Lin alchemises traditional Chinese landscape painting, with urban elements and dreamy feature, by portraying a snowy scene with traditional Chinese cottage within a rectangular frame, whilst in “Along the Riverbank – A Variation”, the artist composes a halcyon image of a vast river bank with manmade structures by deploying the intricate sketching techniques. With his signature swirling lines and intermittent white spaces left intentionally, he depict the snow, clouds and mist that expand across and beyond the limit of the frame he laid behind, creating a conflicting sense of ethereality and physicality that is likely found in dreams.

Civilisation and the Pixelated Present
Central to the artist’s “Civilisation Series” is the question how human civilisation would grapple with our own technological advancement. Lin overlays elements of human civilisation against pixelated backdrops, creating a stark contrast between the digital and the analogue.

In “Three Star Mound”, Lin paints the renowned relics from Three Star Mound, a majestic ancient burial site in Sichuan, China with rich historical significance, on a colourful and linear-perspective background; whilst in “Dance of Galaxy”, the artist lays down a pixelated background of bursting blue, yellow and red that is non-linear and then adds a handful of auspicious icons that appears to warp the backdrop perceptually. With ancient artefacts, historical landmarks, and symbols of cultural significance juxtaposed against the uniformity of pixels, the artist seeks to highlight the irony of our epoch: while we have made monumental strides in technology, how should we deal with our historical roots?

Together, the two series of works present a holistic narrative: they challenge us to reflect on our relationship with the world around us, the digital transformations within our society, and the delicate balance between our past and the present. Lin Guocheng's works stand as a testament to the complexities and wonders of the human experience, intertwining the tangible with the intangible, the analogue with the digital, and the real with the imagined, all done through the magnificent weaving of the simplest form of all artistic vehicle that transcends the East and the West: lines.