четверг, 29 марта 2012 г.

The interview with Andrey Scherbakov, last part

The Path-walker: Why do you adhere to the Chinese style if you’ve grasped the essence of Wu Xing painting? Why don’t you develop a style of your own? Can a Russian man ever adopt a Chinese perspective?

AS: It’s an interesting question. Actually, when I started painting, the Chinese style didn’t appeal to me that much. You can see it in my early paintings, there’s nothing Chinese about them.
Here are two examples:
Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
But the more I learned, the more I felt attracted to traditional Chinese painting. It grew on me, and so began to study traditional Guohua painting and traditional calligraphy. It is the Chinese technique that I really wanted to explore in depth. This process is still active, that’s why a lot of my painting are made in the ‘Chinese style’. However, I feel that it is quite personal and there’s enough of ‘me’ in it. After all, traditional Chinese painting is full of conventions that serve to enslave consciousness rather than expand it. Besides, there’s no hiding the fact that I’m not Chinese. I was born in Russia and I’m not particularly ashamed of it. I can’t see the point of trying to be 100 per cent Chinese. I don’t see Wu Xing as an attribute of Chinese mentality. Rather it’s a certain level of viewing the reality.
The Path-walker: Recently there’s been a lot of online debate about the origin of Wu Xing painting that, some say, is not Chinese. What’s all that about?
AS: I can tell you straight away that this issue is of no fundamental importance. My teacher Maxim Parnah thought that if a painting style uses Xie Yi techniques and stems from Chinese philosophy, then it should be called Chinese if only out of reverence for the ancient Chinese culture.
One should also keep in mind that Wu Xing painting can serve as a great foundation for mastering the more authentic Guohua style. Wu Xing painting can easily be viewed as a method of teaching Chinese painting, which has been confirmed by my own experience and that of so many of my pupils.
The Wu Xing painting technique has become very popular for all sorts of reasons. At which point those who called themselves sinologists targeted us with various accusations because we got in their way. There’s been a lot of criticism from all directions. We also stopped to think about it and then approached our Chinese friends who were experts on Guohua style. And this is what they said: yes, of course the works of Wu Xing painting are part of Chinese painting. They make use of calligraphy and feature Chinese subject matter, which is quite sufficient.
Yet many of those who taught Guohua in Moscow behaved as true zealots and tackled this issue in an unbecoming way. Personally, it makes no difference to me whether it’s Chinese or not, that’s why I now don’t put these words together and talk about ‘Chinese painting” and “Wu Xing painting”. But all this is about form whereas what really matters is a point of view.
Other paintings by Andrey Scherbakov can be viewed on the website of School of Chinese Wu Xing Painting.

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