The space in the book Wang Yin: Friendship is reduced to the extend of a kind of Chinese operatic space, where there is one table and a pair of chairs, in order for us to focus on the subjects of the paintings; yet this book is differentiated from most catalogues by its pleasant format which allows it to stay closer to the feelings of a daily moment. In the book, Hu Fang’s prose Dusk flows in and out, with each paragraph of text intended to evoke an image or a rhythm close to yet different from that of looking at a painting. The reading gains its own duration and focus during the process.
It is as though there is a kind of waiting in Wang Yin’s paintings: waiting for the arrival of this ordinary moment—a moment that is not necessarily recognized by the people who live it; waiting for the arrival of a moment that simultaneously affects painting, painter and viewer all at once. Accordingly, we can enter time, and although the place is unclear, the objective unspecified, it by no means hinders the possibility of viscerally connecting with another moment: the moment we once shared together.
Departing from this, the dynamic force that drives the structure of Wang Yin’s paintings is really more of a caress: the brush seems to touch life itself, such that the texture of the painting’s surface begins to suggest a way of caressing the world—one that is both bodily and sensory. And so the bodily warmth of the paintings comes both from their retention of natural light, and from the particular temperature that they emit as existential objects. Even as the painting infinitely extends our senses, it also breathes with the glinting of the light.
This is the light of dawn, the light of noon, the light at dusk when day changes to night and work nears an end, fatigue nears relief. This is when even the gesture of eternal parting is suspended in mid-air. When the organization of society collapses, and history’s promises remain unrealized, people stand facing the light in silence, and another day begins without expectations.
The Forking Paths
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