Nothing, but everything

Peng Zhou

2019 - Ongoing

Project Description

My art originates from classical Chinese philosophy and the notion of appreciation of beauty. I try to quest the initial and profound generality among the multiple civilizations, and through the way of abstract photography to fusing diversified principles to demonstrate my claim to the art concept of Harmony.

My aesthetic direction has been inspired by Chinese painting—the Cavalier Perspective, Line, Void, Qi (Spirit-resonance and Life-movement)—and Western oil painting—Tone, Light and Shadow, and Third Dimensions. I mix all the principles and create balance in the artworks.

Artist Statement

Nothing, but Everything

Qi-Yun Sheng-Dong, Spirit-resonance and Life-movement is one of the six principles of Chinese painting, and it is also the essence of my artistic sense. Eighteen years ago, I lost it, but now it is coming back. For me when bad things happen, they are always somehow accompanied by something positive. Is that true? I want to find a firm answer, even though I know it’s impossible to have one because things are always ambivalent. Just as in Laozi’s Tao Te Ching: “As a thing the way is indistinct, elusive. How elusive, how indistinct! Within it is an image. How indistinct and how elusive! Within it is a substance.” The photographs I’m creating have variable perceptions underlying an individual’s experiences. Some may read, understand, and comprehend them specifically, while others might be speculative.

As a painter, I was trained in Naturalism and rejected nonrepresentational art. Now, I’ve taken the opposite approach, because abstraction has expanded my experience with my art. There is no tangible subject in my photographs. The “Image” is the essence of the light. The light is not only a unique element in my photographs but also the indispensable element of photography. The “Image” created from the energy in the photo is generated by the spirit-resonance; And the “Substance” is the procedure, which the energy implements into a picture that embodies everything from nothing. My light painting sometimes goes quickly, sometimes it goes slowly, and sometimes intermittently. This happens in the photograph according to how I manage my Qi. The Yun is the surplus which is endless imagination out of the photo, and it endows the photograph with vast room for contemplation.

Medium: Photogram

Size: 11in x 14in & 8in x 10in

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