Oriental Art . Master, February 2015
Today Art Museum Zhu Wei Works Exhibition -- The Temperature of History
By Bai Jiangfeng
About 1605 years ago there was a Gu Kaizhi in Eastern Jin Dynasty, about 1341 years ago there was a Yan Liben in Tang Dynasty, about 1034 years ago there was a Gu Hongzhong in the period of The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, about 869 years ago there was a Zhang Zeduan in the Northern Song Dynasty, about 810 years ago there was a Liang Kai in the Southern Song Dynasty, about 707 years ago there was a Yan Hui in the late Song and early Yuan Dynasty, about 362 years ago there was a Chen Hongshou in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty...
In the long and splendid history of Chinese figure painting, "Six Cannons" (六法six techniques of figure painting introduced by Xie He - translator's comment) has been taken on new meaning with the change of times. By using techniques of brushwork (勾勒outlining, 皴擦shading, 点dotting) and ink (烘polishing, 染dyeing, 破breaking, 泼splashing, 积layering), the traditional techniques and contemporary characters and scenes are fused into vivid artworks which also follow the ancient methods. The figure paintings played different roles and fulfilled different missions in the temperature of history, and Zhu Wei's works are representative of the beneficiaries in such temperature. After coating the paper with alum water for three times and dyeing it for nine times (三矾九染), and painting it in color (设色), Zhu Wei depicts the contemporary characters and scenes in various historical temperatures, inheriting the traditional methods, while enriching the expression of contemporary life. Zhu Wei's "creating" and "inheriting" open a new path in the temperature of history.
And from thence, Zhu Wei's creation has been in the context of a tradition which is parallel to the Western painting's tradition. The reference system and concept of his ink painting were derived from Fan Kuan of the Song Dynasty, Shi Tao and Bada Shanren of the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty. With masters of different period passing the baton, the temperature of history has been continued into our own day, although a journey of ups and downs, the relay never stopped. There always are new artists who dare to step forward and take over the baton, who are brave enough to innovate, to accomplish the "inheriting" but not "conservative".