THE SOURCES, PURSUING THE REALITY
AND DEVELOPING A NEW STYLE OF HIS OWN
Cai Changlin, deputy research fellow is a young art worker with the Shaanxi
History Museum. He has produced more than a hundred pieces of paintings
after his work of the artistic design for exhibition, using his peculiar
technique and his artistic experience from the modeling and patterns of
cultural relics. When I looked at it, I found everything fresh and new.
Collected in this album of his paintings are more than forty pieces of
his works. When it comes to press, I gladly set my pen to paper to write
Shaanxi had bred the splendid Chinese culture in a period of great prosperity.
In history, thirteen dynasties had seated their capitals in Shaanxi, although
it had been declining for the later thousand years, yet as a great culture
of that age, it had not been on the decline, for it had been embodied
in the historical sites and cultural relics. As a great tradition, it
will survive forever. Let the latecomer's use their passion of creating
a new culture to discover, translate, exploit and activate it and then
it will shine out with great brilliancy of the new times. There fore,
the workers in the museums and cultural relics institutions have an unsinkable
duty to study and probe the cultural relics from the point of view of
The art workers in the museums especially are duty-bound. Mr. Cai bases
himself upon his duty through his rational consideration, and intense
emotion he has expressed his experience and understanding of the modeling
and designs of the cultural relics. He has boldly absorbed the means of
modern artistic expressions, and has used it in his works to present the
spiritual beauty and the artistic beauty of the cultural relics; hence
he has produced many successful works.
"According Praise to Life" Enlightened by the pattern of colored
pottery unearthed from Jiangzhai, the author used the color and the tone
of drawing to passionately give a reproduction of the primitive devotion
to the worship of life and ancestors of our forbears.
"A He (cup) of Bo Yong Fu" In the picture, by his realistic
artistry, the author stressed the formative beauty of the bronze vessel,
from which he felt and conveyed a kind of heroic color, by a mutual contrast
of the main part and the background, an artistic feature of spiritedness
and elegance were presented.
Born in Qishan of Shaanxi, he passed his boyhood in Zhouyuan, the cradle
land of the bronze ware. With bronzes as the theme of his paintings, it
occupies an appropriate portion in his works. These "passion"
and "love" made him to continuously express the internal artistic
beauty of the modeling, designs and the inscriptions of the bronze ware
and further proceed to conduct the new probing.
"A painting of Feng Zun in Free-sketch Style" It is a reproduction
of the vessel of the Wei's family, the color of the mottled verdigris,
the orderly way of the inscriptions, the mysterious and magnificent designs,
are not these the Concentrations of the special magic power of the bronze
"Poetic Flavor of Stone Drums" In this picture, by the use of
the pattern of the bronze ware in the Warring States, with a poetic language
and blazing color, he clearly yet dimly reproduced a scene of the hunting
which is described in the inscription on drum-shaped stone blocks, thus
giving men a space for imagination to the best of their ability.
"Expressing My Feelings by A Han Bronze Mirror" On the basis
of his study and comprehension of the mythical animal design of the Han
mirror, he treated the artistic images of tiger Fuxi and dragon Nuwa in
the Chinese fairy tales amidst the color of rich imagination, which may
give rise to romantic imagination as if you were reading "Chuci",
so that you can see the reason why the Han mirror has attained a glorious
height is due to its absorbing the Chu culture.
"Ortos Tempest" In this painting, he put the Han's cultural
relics collected in Shaanxi History Museum--the gold strange animal into
the surrounding atmosphere of the prairie culture, through which you will
be affected by the intrepid flavor and infiltrating spirit of the people
in that time.
We can see that not content with the written description and the way of
expression of direct copying, in the art creation of the theme of cultural
relics, it is undoubtedly to blaze a new trail and is worthwhile affirming
and promoting. It is right to say that in the art archaeology there are
more people that can conduct their research work from the angles they
are familiar with.
The value of art consists in bringing forth new ideas. Why it should be
new, because, if it is new, there will be no echoing of the views, if
you search after the new, you'll not be content with the achievements
you have gained, if you want to be original, you'll dare to give vent
to the true feelings. If your music is super, there will be no fear of
fewer listeners. Creating the new is where the life force of art lies.
However, to be original, it needs "taking in the past", needs
studying and understanding the tradition, to be original, it is necessary
for us to absorb the latest achievements of the other branches of learning,
to put forth the new, it is more important for one to be sincere and passionate.
Only by so doing, it is possible for you to move the audience, thus arousing
sympathy. From Cai Changlin's paintings, from the choral relics exhibitions
he has designed, we can see such a pursuit of his. We hope, on the road
of tracing the origin, he'll never cease to go forward.
HAN WEI, THE DIRECTOR OF SHAANXI
ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE