Reworking the classics: revitalization of Guohua, traditional Chinese painting in search of contemporaneity

Koon, W 2011, Reworking the classics: revitalization of Guohua, traditional Chinese painting in search of contemporaneity, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Reworking the classics: revitalization of Guohua, traditional Chinese painting in search of contemporaneity
Author(s) Koon, W
Year 2011
Abstract Since the early twentieth century a quest has been eagerly anticipated for Chinese painters to revive and rejuvenate the concept guohua, which literally means national painting. In Hong Kong which serves as a convergence of Chinese and Western cultural narratives, "hybridity" comes to be a primary concern for local artists to take into consideration in their art creation. As a Chinese painter I consider my artworks to related to the guohua concept, however I also aim to shape my art to reveal the identity of Hong Kong culture through hybridity, and to revive guohua through sustaining the great tradition of bimo (literally meaning the brush and ink), in Chinese painting, as well as appropriating Western modes of expression. Based on the concept of "reworking the classics", I decipher the codes embedded in traditional landscape painting and attempt to infuse my paintings with a new and contemporary look. With regard to spatial definition, I reinterpret the concept of the void and the solid and employ a multi-panelled setting for my works in order to further develop the "reworking" concept. Recently, I have been actively exploring other media, such as sound in order to create a contrast between ancient Chinese cultural heritage and contemporary city-life.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) classics
guohua
traditional Chinese painting
Chinse art
contemporary art
modern Chinese painting
contemporaneity
hybridity
bimo
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