BEIJING-based artist Tang Bohua depicts the romanticism of a mythical period in China with his first solo exhibition in Malaysia titled “Aquatic Colour”.
Tang transcends the conventional medium of static art and brings it into the cinematic arena while playing upon traditional Chinese aesthetics.
He deftly accomplishes this by transforming delicate rhythmic paintings into animated short films.
Films, whether animated or otherwise, start with an expression of ideas made tangible once sketched across a string of storyboards.
Tang begins through a series of panel paintings on plasterboard moulded by hand into a type of uniquely textured rectangular canvases within individual wood frames, which are then numbered in sequence to develop his storyboard.
Painted using an unusual mixture of minerals and paints, the storyboards range from watery landscapes of the slow setting sun over calm seas, to the tumultuous ebb and flow of waves that change subtly from frame to frame.
Richard Koh Fine Art manager Haffendi Anuar said these were then compiled and incorporated into a digital format that formed a short film he calls The Country of Summer Insects based on Zhuangzi, an ancient Chinese text.
Attracted by a sentence in the Zhuangzi text that reads, “an insect of summer cannot be talked with about ice”, the artist’s understanding of insects living through only three seasons inspired his wonderings on subtle changes of the season and the fragility of life.
“Tang looks at the world in terms of the macro and micro and parallel existences of how we live with different perceptions of reality and experience the passing of time differently compared to insects.
“It shows how sometimes different life forms can only live through a short period of existence, in their smaller reality and in that way, illustrate the need to make the best of what reality we live in.
“His paintings have traditional Chinese elements and cultural references so the works look almost like relics on a temple wall, while the video distinctively documents Chinese culture,” he said.
The artist was born in 1986 in Hunan Province and has had varied experiences within the art scene with exhibitions around China and attending several international film festivals in Germany, Scotland, Croatia, Brazil and Poland.
His works are being displayed at Richard Koh Fine Arta in Bangsar Village II with five storyboards made up of more than 100 miniature panels that culminate into one part of the film, as well as two stand alone paintings.
The exhibition ends today and the gallery is open daily from 10am to 10pm.
For details, call 03-2283 3677 or visit www.rkfineart.com