Zheng Chongbin has explored the intersections of the Chinese ink-painting tradition and Western abstraction by using materials from both, mixing black ink with white acrylic to create spontaneous and accidental effects. Zheng mounts multiple sheets of xuan
paper on a canvas backing, intentionally creating disjunctions between the sheets even as the flowing abstract forms unite the composition. He describes his process:
The way that I look at art-making is not to impose my vision but to expose the vision of the medium. The material I use is of traditional Chinese painting. The paper is made from sandalwood, mulberry, or bamboo fibers so the paper itself is quite strong. But what is special is that water can go through the paper without ruining it. This is what I like to refer to as “material as agent.” Water flowing over and through a surface is like the interactions between solid and fluid forms. In my work, I am not trying to control the water, but to find its flow, with its own meaning.
Ink and acrylic on collaged paper, mounted on canvas
105 1/8 × 72 11/16 in. (267 × 184.7 cm)
frame: 108 × 75 × 5 in., 232 lb. (274.3 × 190.5 × 12.7 cm, 105.23kg) (show scale)
Gift of Christopher Reynolds in honor of Bruce and Yoke San Reynolds
Large vertical composition consisting of soaked and stroked ink and white paint on collaged sheets of paper.
This item is not on view
Zheng Chongbin (Chinese, born 1961). Skylines, 2014. Ink and acrylic on collaged paper, mounted on canvas, 105 1/8 × 72 11/16 in. (267 × 184.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Christopher Reynolds in honor of Bruce and Yoke San Reynolds, 2018.25. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2018.25_PS9.jpg)
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