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Dongling: I Ching and calligraphy

Wang Dongling - I Ching
©Wang Dongling

Wang Dongling (1945) is a Chinese poet and calligrapher well known because of displaying big format scripts, a «wild cursive» with erratic and dynamic strokes. Inspired by Buddhist and Taoist philosophies, he was instructed with traditional techniques but in the 90´s he started combining with experimental techniques, reinterpreting ancient forms and freeing Chinese calligraphy´s conventions from the limitations of the text associated with written characters.

In its classic forms, calligraphy has been considered as a genre linked to text but Dongling seems to have created a kind of «pictorial» and abstract calligraphy in which he combines Chinese aesthetics and techniques (the movement in the body, rhythm, speed, a constant tension in the brushstroke) with Western influences (composition, style, the use of colours).

Usually, Chinese characters tend to be a formal way for the calligrapher to transmit his state of mind and deepest feelings, following a strict order in strokes. Dongling´s expansion includes a complete absence of a linear narrative framework, more related to the fact that in characters´ linguistic translations something is lost …For instance as when Dongling was invited to perform in the opening of a group exhibition in Sweden that was called The changing landscape in Chine (2014). His assistant translated the exhibition´s title to Chinese language, Dongling associated it to four I Ching´s hexagrams, and the translation of these to English offered the title «The ultimate search for knowledge is understanding change in the universe». Let´s think of this related to an artwork.

And specifically related with mancias, in 2010 decade the artist rewritten in white painting more than twenty ideograms of The Book of Chances in a transparent glass table 105.6 ft long. The script, as was expected, generated an unrecognizable style and, instead of focusing on the meaning of the hexagrams, it was centred around rhythm in lines.

Calligraphy had reached its total liberation and had been separated from its functional restrains, entering into a category of aesthetic appreciation without restrainments. Thus, it reaches the genuine meaning of a purified nature in art.

Wang Dongling (2004)
Wang Dongling - I Ching
©Wang Dongling

For more works of this artist visit Art Sy.

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