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“Shan Shui”? “Landscape”? “The Western world exists in the East but not vice versa,” said by artist Tim Yip, commenting on art in terms of aesthetics and various aspects. Lacking the context and understanding of oriental cultural connotation will result in the West that habitually observes the East with preconception, especially regarding to sentiments towards brush and ink. This is easily considered as cultural exoticism; the ‘Oriental Characteristic’ is embodied in the water-ink culture. However, the question of whether the culture of water-ink within the Western context is merely a representation reflecting the relationship of Chinese art from ancient to contemporary, or whether it has its own metaphysical values, is a controversial one.
Inspired by Yip’s comment, Jingwen Liu and Xiaochun Wang engage collaboratively in the work Lingering, and create moving-image installations that explore the relationship between Chinese traditional aesthetic, digital art and phenomenal experience. Intending to respond to this phenomenon, and allowing ‘Shan Shui’ to be considered in a contemporary perspective, it transforms the oriental ‘Yi-Xiang’ aesthetic as a strategy, breaking through the stereotype, getting rid of intertextuality and conventions and freeing the meaning of ‘Shan Shui’ painting from its 1500 years of historical context.