Author: Lihong Zhang, Translated by Lily Ye
How has Master Ting Shao-Kuang been thinking about contemporary art these years?
Mr. Ting said: “New sciences and technologies are emerging one after another, after the emergence of computers and the internet. Like the huge impact on painting after the appearance of photography in the late 19th century, the emergence of 3D and anime has fundamentally transformed our view of the world.”
This has led to the change and replacement of many things in culture and art that were important in the past by today’s technologies. For example, the mystery of paintings, from figurative to abstract art, once gave us an unprecedented shocking visual experience. This effect can be easily implemented using a computer. A big screen the size of a whole building can display a huge picture, which is very shocking visually. Especially with the emergence of VR and AR, one can have an unimaginable visual experience. In a time like this, which path should painting artists take? We need to think about it!
We may conclude, if other forms of art can replace painting, then painting itself has no existential value. If painters could be replaced by other artists, they are not real artists either. This is a question that all people in the field of art and all painters should be thinking about. It is also the reason why I quitted the business and what I am thinking of now.
Along the river of human history, there were countless creeks and streams flowing around, but most of them went with the flow quietly. When a great person appeared, it would be like a giant rock blocking the flow of water and gathering water in front of it, forming a huge wave splashing down once again. Then it returns to the stream that flows with the flow, repeating the cycle… Such a giant rock is the master that links the past and the future, a character that changes history. Many cultural figures in human history cannot be repeated, such as Sanxingdui and Michelangelo… They are eternal and they can be overpassed.
This is not simply a technical issue. A giant rock or great artist also represents the spirit of an era, a spirit that can transcend time and space. Michelangelo and Beethoven’s techniques and methods cannot be compared to those in modern times. Today’s painting materials, sculpture tools, musical instruments, and so on, are far more superior than those in the past. However, the spirit of Michelangelo and Beethoven is beyond the reach of modern people.
Although the technology of the past is not as good as today, a great artist, if he is the giant rock epitomizing his era, must also represent the highest level of the techniques and methods of his time. Similarly, a great contemporary artist, if he can utilize the best science and cutting edge technology of his time, he cannot be the giant rock or the great master artist.
Therefore, in this world at this time, if we don’t use the most advanced technology, it is impossible to be a representative of this era.
It turns out what Mr. Ting has been thinking and exploring for so many years is: how and to what extent could science be integrated into contemporary art? Can we apply the most advanced science and technology to complete the innovation of contemporary art?
We witnessed that he completed a large stained-glass collage for the Cultural Square in Shanghai, China. The scale of the painting reaches approximately 365 square meters. The huge picture and the strong expressiveness of the stained glass is very powerful. From there, Mr. Ting, who never stops perfecting and exploring, began to envision color sculptures, with lights inside shining through stained glass collage outside. Furthermore, he wondered if he could roll his sculpture like a painting, to make a spherical building. The architectural frameworks in the past are all straight and monotonous in color. With a modern steel skeleton and computer graphic design, a variety of deformations and lines can be created, which is a big step forward. A typical example is the Bird’s Nest Stadium. Of course, Mr. Ting will not be satisfied with this. He boldly imagines if he could use the lines of an entire painting for the main framework to build a building. According to his draft, the lines drawn by a painter is now, using advanced technology, the structural lines of building materials such as steel bars. At the same time, different paintings can be presented between lines and lines.
It is currently known that only the color master Delacroix’s palette has more than 2,000 colors. He had amazing color memory and color matching ability. Flowers in nature have more than 4,000 colors. Once he saw color, he would go back and try to make a color to match it. In order to design the world’s first color building, Mr. Ting and some Japanese glass experts have surveyed the whole world. They found that the most advanced glass factories in the world now can produce glasses in 2,000 colors.
Mr. Ting told us that there is also new technology that can bond different colored glass with chemicals, which is very reliable and does not affect the expression of glass color. After the glass of different colors is spliced and put together, the colors seen from different angles are different and the glass itself can be transparent, translucent, or transparent in various proportions, and these different textures lead to more vivid colors. It can be said that it is beautiful, interesting, magical… it has everything you ever wanted.
Mr. Ting utilized a variety of amazing new technologies to achieve innovations that nobody has ever thought of before and went beyond traditional church glass paintings. The endless ever-changing colors and the unheard-of lines of musical rhythm by Mr. Ting will make the first color painting lined building in the world!
As one can see from the building design,the top transparent water-cloud glass allows effortless light transmission. It can host museums, theaters, galleries, libraries, etc. Mr. Ting hopes that it can include all the modern top ten art categories, a variety of schools of thought from classical to modern… It becomes a common ground for people to communicate fully and effectively, achieving complete tolerance and free spirit of innovation, as well as mutually beneficial learning. Mr. Ting also designed thelower five floors into a super-large parking garage. Just like a sculpture base, it can stabilize the building.
In order to realize the building design, Mr. Ting found a collaborator, the architect Wang Ke and got his full support. He believes that modern technology can fully realize Mr. Ting’s vision and that the building base is thick enough to support the entire building.
This new artwork is unlike previous architectural murals where the building was completed and then Mr. Ting was asked to paint murals for the building, which limited Mr. Ting’s creativity and many beautiful ideas could not be implemented. This architectural sculpture project, which had Mr. Ting’s full cooperation from the very beginning, has enabled his creativity to be fully utilized and his idea to be truly implemented.
After receiving the approval of construction experts, Mr. Ting made a long-term and comprehensive plan. Many people suggested that the building be called as “Ting Shao-Kuang Art Center”. Mr. Ting immediately denied it. He named the building “Chinese Contemporary Art Center”.
Why is it designed as asphere?
Mr. Ting believes that if it is a figurative image on a large building, it will make people feel that the building is small. Mr. Ting hopes that the architectural image of the China Contemporary Art Center he painted is a magnificent one. Therefore, it is necessary to make a sphere, so that it is a figuration from the front view; but because the circle is round, after turning it to the side, it becomes abstract. Walking around a spherical building constructed with the entire lines of a painting, the multiple pictures between the lines will present both the figurative and abstractive alternating in time. The huge gap between the public audience who have never understood abstract paintings and the masters of art who have never been able to express themselves clearly is diminished and they can now mutually understand and achieve in harmony in abenign way. There is also a whimsy in designing it as asphere, showing the feeling of water ripples and giving it meaning of the sea joined by rivers, which is suggestive of the great Chinese culture. Atthe same time, it will make a grand building look very light, giving people afeeling of floating, like a star coming out of the sky, symbolizing the freestar in the universe and the essence of Chinese culture that interprets theunity of nature and man.
Because the building is spherical, Mr. Ting said that the interior decoration could be very creative. It can display the visual feelings of Impressionism, Romanticism, Fauvism, Expressionism from different angles and from different perspectives. It canalso present different spatial relationships and endless versions of beauty. It allows anyone who comes here to visit fully experience the beauty from different history, nationalities, and different techniques. Moreover, you can also lookfrom your own personality and perspective to discover different beauty, to create different beauty, and to fully enjoy an inclusive, free, harmonious, beautiful and happy life.
In addition to artistic function, the visionaryMr. Ting also plans to use the middle section of the building for business. A huge industry can be created in the same building, collecting art derivativesfrom all over the world, together with all major brand stores. A good internal circulation will form, balanced by internal input and output, making this Chinese Modern Art Center sustainable.
I sincerely hope that the China Contemporary Art Center envisioned by Mr. Ting will be completed early! It will be a dream that comes true!