воскресенье, 29 января 2012 г.

The application of Wu Xing philosophy to Wu Xing painting

By Andrey Scherbakov, one of the style founders

In an article “A word about Wu Xing Painting” we have already talked about how the five Wu Xing elements relate to the five movements of Wu Xing painting. I’ve tried to give a detailed explanation about the principles of Wu Xing system and their application in this style of painting so that we are quite clear on this point.
When classifying brushstrokes, movements, and composition according to Wu Xing, we should follow our inner guidance and avoid hard judgments shaped by our “thinking heads”. We should always bear in mind that Wu Xing is a five-dimensional integrity where any object invariably has five characteristics. We can try and draw an analogy between these objects and those of our three-dimensional space. In our three-dimensional world each object has three basic parameters (along the three axes of x, y and z): width, depth, and height. No object in nature is devoid of height, it’s just that some objects are higher than others. The five-dimensional Wu Xing is much the same. No movement can be clearly defined as “wood” or “fire” movement. All five components are initially present in any one movement, it’s just that some of them are more pronounced, while others are less obvious.
How the Wu Xing concept manifests in this style of painting is a frequently asked question. In this article we’ll try to answer it as thoroughly as possible.
First of all, we should differentiate between the three important concepts:
1) The form of an image
2) The form of a brushstroke
3) The type of movement
The key to Wu Xing painting method is the movement. If we look up the hieroglyph 五行 (Wu Xing) in a dictionary, we’ll see that its first meaning is ‘movement’. What’s really important for the Wu Xing painter is to capture the unique quality of energy and state of being of any given image or phenomenon using a certain type of brushstroke. For example, a bird is a fast-moving creature and so in most cases it’s better to paint it in fleeting brushstrokes. But first the artist has to match the form of a brushstroke and the form of an image. This is a moment that brings new discoveries as there is a certain connection between the form and energy of a natural object and the energy of the artist who paints it.
As we begin to explore the Wu Xing movements, the first thing to note is that they can be yin or yang. In Wu Xing painting yin movements correspond with softness, gentleness, refinement, gradual change and unhurried action, while yang manifests through speed, swiftness, sharpness, directness and pushiness. As we know from an article about the Wu Xing system, its five elements are borne from yin-yang interaction. The implementation of this principle is most obvious in Wu Xing painting and its movements. In this popular video I demonstrate the five brushstrokes of Wu Xing painting in a compelling visual way.


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