First and foremost, I would like to admit I do not possess the knowledge and experience to appreciate abstract art. I agree most of the paintings are visually stunning, and I do feel the impacts conveyed from the components on the canvas, such as its shapes, lines, compositions and colours, instead of its hidden emotions. At least, it made me realise its own beauty and brilliance, which is what art is supposed to be able to do.
Among the artists that have been shown in the last session, I found interest in the following artworks, or furthermore, impressed. These artworks are Cai Guo Qiang’s gunpowder drawings, Andy Warhol’s Oxidations, and Yves Klein Anthropometries.
Let’s start from Cai’s drawings. Gunpowder is known as one of the four great inventions of China which symbolised wars and chaos throughout the histories of any parts of the world. Yet Cai used it as his painting material. However, Cai managed to create fine arts without just burning up his canvas but using different types of (mostly traditionally made) gunpowder to produce various textures and colours. Some of the patterns created were peaceful, still and sometimes dynamic, which create a conflict with their material. Gunpowder finally has a new function besides destruction in the hands of Cai Guo Qiang.
Next, we have Andy Warhol, the pop artist who won’t stop redefining the popular art culture of his time. When I first saw Warhol’s oxidation painting, I thought the series were his attempts to move on to other types of painting. After reading the fact that these oxidised stains on the metallic paint were created by his and his friends’ urine, I was shocked. A lot of thoughts ran through my mind at the moment. Was he trying to imitate the motion of liquid but he couldn’t thus the method was thought? Were there buyers who wanted to buy the series solely because they have urine on it or they have Andy Warhol’s urine on it? One thing for sure is that he did managed to create a unique pattern that can’t be done by merely paint brushes. It may not impressed me for its artistry, but it certainly made itself unforgettable.
Similarly, Yves Klein created art in his own non-traditional way. By directing models to paint with their body, he created a unique series of art that acted as performing art as well, the Anthropometries, with the blue he used so much that people named the blue after him.
Through the artworks mentioned above, I realised that the methods to express have absolutely no limitations in art. Not only the outcome on the canvas can be an art, but the process of making it as well. These act of creativity inspired me to think out of the box and be willing to express my ideas and emotions, regardless the methods of painting. However, one thing for sure, urination is not on the list.