back to the homepageAll material is copyrighted. Click to read the details.find an artistwhat´s going downwho are we and what do we do?
back to the homepageback to the homepagewhat´s new & the site all about itOrdering Back issues of Arts Dialoguesubmit material / help with our work
find: Visual Arts China

Wang Xin  

    painting, drawing, photography, P.R. China.

Wang Xin and Zhongming Qiu, 2004  
Photo: S. van Kerkhoff.

Wang Xin, born 1964, Xingtai, China, started having lessons in calligraphy and painting from the age of eight. From 1983 to 1988 he was a designer for an advertising and printing agency, and in 1991 he graduated in traditional Chinese Painting at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.
He has regularly exhibited his paintings since 1992 and has exhibited his work in solo shows in Chongqing, Qingdao, Shanghai and Chengdu as well as in Belgium and Italy and in the 2002 group show,"D'orient et D'occident", in Cahors and Figeac (France). Currently he lives in Beijing with his wife, Zhongming Qiu who is finishing her phD in Buddhist Art History.

title 1, 200?, watercolour on paper?, ?cm x ?cm

"My works vary from calligraphy, seal inscription to landscape, flowers and birds, and to figures. Using traditional Chinese paints, ink, brush and rice paper, together with such western aesthetic factors as an abstract use of composition, colour and visual interplay, my work shows a fusing of western art into Chinese art.
A diversity and unity. The past five years has seen a flowering of my interest in the lotus (water lily)."
- 2004.

title 2, 200?, watercolour on paper?, ?cm x ?cm

Flowers of One Garden
I have learned and mastered the languages of traditional Chinese arts-painting, calligraphy, seal carving, and Chinese literature and history. The various relationships and differences between traditional Chinese art and western art are an important influence in my thinking and in my art, where I aim to create a bridge between oriental and occidental art, tradition and modernity, form and content. I have always believed that all races of humanity share a common art and spirit, and that there

should be no barriers between them. I refer to these links as a "cosmopolitan spirit". I believe that all the excellent arts around our globe are just like flowers of different colors and shapes in a same garden. Flowers that are nurtured by the same sun. Flowers fragrant and beautiful that share the same quality.
It is these differences that make the garden richer, more beautiful and hence more interesting and charming. This perspective influences my openness to western art while giving me confidence and faith in Chinese traditional art.

I often choose lotuses and monks as the main subjects of my painting. They are representative symbols in oriental culture. Lotus symbolizes lots of characteristics such as purity, chastity, humility, straightforwardness, peace, etc.
Monks are typically spiritual and faithful. They search for perfection, freedom, the true meaning of life, profound secrets of universe, and all other things that are unattainable for earthly people.

I interperate my traditional Chinese painting training in the way I focus on the concepts behind the tradition rather than copying the forms of this tradition. Hence my paintings are meditations on concepts such as "wise", "supreme void", "emptiness", "nothingness", etc.

Pastoral, 2004, watercolour on paper?, ?cm x ?cm

The Lotus Project
- An Embodiment of World Peace, Diversity and Unity

In oriental cultures, the lotus has been a popular symbol for hundreds of generations of highly educated monks as well as for ordinary people.

The flower's characteristics show its hollow stem (in Chinese, "xu xin") a symbol of humility, while the straightness of its stem (in Chinese, "zhi shuai") symbolizes directness and being upright (not stooping to flattery). The flower emerges out of dirty silt ("chu wu ni er bu ran") a symbol of the flower's purity and persistence or tenacity despite a dirty and difficult environment.

It blossoms in summer, perishes in autumn and winter, and roots in its own seeds, re-germinates and blossoms again next spring and summer. So its own life cycle is also seen as a symbol for rebirth.

Legends, literary works, paintings and religious scriptures by Confucian and Taoist scholars and Buddhist practitioners speak of the special spiritual qualities of the lotus flower. In Hinduism the lotus is regarded as holy and pure. In Buddhism, the lotus is often used in Buddhist contexts and sometimes symbolizes Buddha Himself. Some of the scriptures even incorporate the lotus in their titles, such as the, "Lotus Sutra". Lotus is also evident in all Buddhist art (sculpture and painting).

A few examples are "The pedestal of lotus" (the pedestal on which a Buddha sits), the seven lotuses symbolizing the birth of Buddha, and the lotus in the hand of Avalokitesvara.

A lot of Chinese folk art and even Christian architecture, ceramics, folk painting and papercuts, use the motif or theme of the lotus.
A contemporary example from another perspective is the Bahá´í House of Worship in New Delhi, India, also known as the "Lotus Temple".
The Indian Bahá’í House of Worship designed by Fariburz Sahba. Photograph by Francisco González Pérez from his book: Arquitectos de Unidad (Architecture of Unity) featuring photographs of the seven Bahá`í Temples around the world, published in 2001 by Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, Spain.

Over the centuries, the lotus motif has developed in the Asian context to now symbolize - peace (in Chinese, "lotus" is "he" which is the first character of "he ping", meaning "peace").

My art practise enables me to give expression to these ideas. Since the age of eight years I have been actively immersed in traditional Chinese art, namely calligraphy, painting, seal carving, and literature, including poetry. Then attending the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts enabled another avenue of theory, of aesthetics and especially training in western art.
As China and the world is in rapid change, I have been thinking how to establish my own style within China and in the international arena.

Lotuses, 200?, watercolour on paper?, ?cm x ?cm

For the past 5 years I have been focussing on a series of 'Lotus' paintings. My diverse 'lotuses' change on sunny or rainy days, in the evening or dawn, in the heat of summer or cold of winter. Nevertheless the spirit of these lotus paintings is constant. The diversity and unity of these paintings are like a large garden of flowers of different colors and shapes nurtured by the same sun and dewdrops.

I think that we should always search for transcendence and the lotus is a symbol of transcendence for me and hopefully for not only others in the east but the rest of the world.
It is my wish to scatter the seeds of peace to every corner of the world. In thinking about this, I am looking at ways of creating an art project that is global where my lotuses will go out to all peoples. Perhaps I could work through the United Nations or some other organization where I would donate one 2 by 2 metre painting of the lotus to each country. Every country would have one original work and perhaps copies (such as a silkscreen print) of the whole set of the other paintings. I am still looking at ways of doing this as it is also important that the project has more symbolic meaning than just a collection of paintings.

My idea for The Lotus Project is not limited to painting. It is a theme that I express in other media as well. At the South Korean Nine Heads International Art Symposium (April 2005) I will make an installation on the theme of the lotus and I have also made some designs for a public sculpture also based on the Lotus motif.

Lotus Sculpture, 2004, design for a public sculpture by Xin Wang.

Drawing for a public sculpture, 2004

Drawing for a public sculpture, 2004

description of this sculpture comes here
description of this sculpture comes here
description of this sculpture comes here

Any suggestions about advice or any kind of help The Lotus Project will be highly appreciated.

Wang Xin's email:

More of Wang Xin's paintings and about his Lotus Project:

A Gate-tower at Mutianyu, The Chinese Great Wall.
Photographs by
Wang Xin, May 2005.

Mutianyu, The Great Wall. Photographs by Wang Xin,
May 2005.

Mutianyu, The Great Wall. Photographs by Wang Xin, May 2005.

Mutianyu, The Great Wall. Photographs by Wang Xin, May 2005.

  • Paintings: Just Let the Wind, 2005

Arts Dialogue, Dintel 20, NL 7333 MC, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands