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Tonic

2006

Tonic

Tonic here has a neutral character; it is by no means absolutely a good thing, and is a narcotic when used inappropriately. These works magnify Chinese and Oriental culture to the point of vertigo:
1. They are not directed at any disease of the human spirit, nor do they aim to specifically cure an affected part; rather they express 'the unity of heaven and man', the Chinese medical philosophy of cultivating  one's moral and philosophy nature. Tonics are one type of medicine used for this purpose, and there are directed at the whole person, at mobilizing the innate vital energies. Here, illness is not necessarily a bad thing.

2. The misty effect of these large canvases originates from the idea of the 'Will of Heaven'. Because of this the impression they give people is non-specific and indirect. Oriental-style, they move and influence people in an invisible way. This is the paradise imagined by Chinese religion, full of tranquility and depth, free from brightness and gaudiness.

3. These works are the refraction of a sense of scholarly seriousness in my spirit. Obviously, they are a 'tonic', but constantly vacillating, afraid of using too much, of becoming addicted to it just like 'Placebo'. After all these are the work of ancient masters, and if they are the work of ancient masters then they are medications; if they are medications then, strictly speaking, be they 'placebo' or 'tonic', in either case it is not a particularly good thing.

Related Artists:
ZHOU TIEHAI 周铁海

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