When feelings of joy, happiness, sadness or despair came upon me, I ran to the waterfront and shared laughter or tears with the sky and the sea. My soul attempts to echo Nature,’ Wang Tingxin
Opening to the public on 9 March, Courtyard of the Soul is Tingxin’s first exhibition outside of Hong Kong and will feature 32 works in ink on paper depicting her deeply personal meditations on landscape.
In Chinese culture, water lilies are symbols of purity, goodness and elegance, despite their roots in shallow and often murky waters. This strength, beauty and flourishing spirit moved Tingxin to paint for the very first time. The eponymous exhibition – Tingxin meaning ‘Courtyard of the Soul’ in the Chinese language – can be seen as an ode to her beloved water lilies through an exploration of light and colour.
Reminiscent of the late works of Claude Monet in subject matter, Tingxin’s practice is also deeply rooted within the Chinese traditions of her origins. Each piece is produced on Xuan paper - an ancient variety of paper originating from Xuanzhou city in the Anhui province, where raw materials go through more than 140 processes in order to create its fine, smooth and tenacious texture. The dark, enigmatic surface serves as a canvas for abstract bursts of colour, illuminated by dense gold. Coloured ink is then carefully applied, blended and reconciled with water to create a unique effect of an ever-changing interplay of light and colour.
‘The world was dark at its inception. Painting on black Xuan paper opens a realm of imagination and gives me a sense of the process of creation,’ Wang Tingxin.
Embedded in the artist’s practice, Tingxin’s application of ink to paper is reminiscent of calligraphy in its seamless synthesis of both form and meaning. Harnessing the balance between mimetic representation and subjective expression, Tingxin remains true to the fundamental dialectic in modern Chinese painting.
Marrying Chinese ink and colour within a contemporary cultural context, Courtyard of the Soul is a dream-like meditation on the fragile and finite nature of memory. Referencing both inner and outer worlds, the viewer is taken on a deeply personal journey with Tingxin and encouraged to formulate their very own visions and interpretations throughout.
‘It is an incredibly important decision to take on a new artist at Halcyon Gallery and it is with great pride that we introduce Wang Tingxin. I hope the public will join me in wishing her every success at this important and exciting juncture,’ Paul Green, President of Halcyon Gallery.