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Why Do We Read?
Why Do We Read?
-The Significance of Text for Art Practice

2021.06.23 19:00-22:00

Online Forum of Department of Painting, City College of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

Host: Chuanzi Kate Huang


Aesthetics / Literature / Poetics
history and present
perspective and expression
context and mood
controllable and uncontrollable
cognition and communication



Wen Senman

Artist, Doctor of the School of Intermedia Artist (SIMA) of China Academy of Art.

Liu Yuxuan

Artist, Lecturer of Department of Oil Painting of Hubei Academy of Art.

Zheng Jiajie

Artist, Doctor of the Department of Calligraphy of China Academy of Art.

Liang Junru

Artist, Horner member of Quan Shanshi Oil Painting Program

Zhang Jinhao

Artist, teacher of YISHENG Training Constitute



Taking textual memory as an entry point, Dr Wen Senman focuses on topics such as spatial narrative, memory, and modern nomadic spirit.  In the forum, he cut into the theme from a relatively grand narrative perspective, and raised the question from the perspective of human history and the philosophical significance of human existence: "Is time facing history and going back into the future? Or facing the future with its back to the future?". Use this to illustrate that the material world of human beings is a multi-dimensional interwoven web, and viewing things depends on the viewing angle.


Liu Yuxuan started by sharing his personal works and creative experiences to talk about his views on the relationship between "perspective and expression". He believes that perspective is controllable, while expression is uncontrollable to a certain extent. Creators should ensure their own knowledge reserves through reading, so as to dig out the perspectives of seeing the world. In artistic practice, they should cherish those uncontrollable "aura" and retain contingency. The result of art is a combination of reason and sensibility and contingency.


As a calligrapher with 4 years of oil painting and 3 years of Chinese painting experience, Dr. Zheng Jiajie talked about the relationship between reading and art from the perspective of the context in which art occurs and the artistic conception created by art. Just as ancient Chinese literati paintings are often discussed together with Western early Renaissance oil paintings, Chinese calligraphy is more discussed for its beauty in its "shape". It is entirely possible that completely different art forms are connected. Everyone has the ability to read art, it is just whether this ability is realized or not. 


Liang Junru started from the analysis of the historical paintings of contemporary Chinese oil painters, combined with modern Chinese history, to illustrate the importance of historical views in reading the deep connotation of works of art. If the viewer has knowledge of a specific historical event, when he faces a painted face, he can see more information and imagery given by the painter. At the same time, Liang combined with Paul Celan's Todesfuge to discuss the similarities between aesthetics, literature and poetics. He proposed that we should look at art from a poetic point of view.


Zhang Jinhao has a relatively in-depth research on philosophical phenomenology. He took Giacometti's work as an example to illustrate the enlightenment effect of reading on methodology. He mentioned that the evolution of the styles of some artists in different periods and the formation of specific styles are by no means accidental, nor achieved overnight. The artist's unique work method and work attitude need to be combined with the nutrients drawn from history and philosophy, as well as the stimulation of the real world.

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