TRILOGY OF BLACK AND WHITE
A First Look at Qin Chong's Paintings is Like Taking a Walk Through The Course of One's Life.
The saying in Laotse's Tao Teking - ten thousand things hold the yin and embrace the yang - suggest continual changes and the development of precise scenarios, which bring me to the beginning of my journey. It is there that I peacefully collect myself and choose the path to follow to life's end. But it is neither necessary nor feasible to repeat the path already crossed. It is experience and warning that are the keys to wisdom and strength. These keys grant the beholder limitless plans for the future, plans brimming with spirit and energy.
The tadpoles and quiet black squares in Qin Chong's paintings seem to present the phenomenon of life and death. Labyrinthine coincidences and necessities can be seen in the paintings. The great work with arranged white porcelain bowls symbolizing the waning and waxing of the moon illustrate the coincidences and necessities of the circle of life.
The alternation of yin and yang is the basic principle of the universe. It speaks for the present as well as eternity. Perhaps Qin Chong's exhibition does not surpass the ideas of the traditional Chinese saints and wise men, instead with his special style he translates those ancient sayings into his own words.
A Second Look at Qin Chong's Paintings is Like Entering a Clear World.
Black can be separated into five shades, a principle of traditional Chinese painting which is compressed by Qin Chong into a sharp contrast of black and white. This simplicity turns me away from the mass of colours of the modern world allowing me to examine the depth of humanity, nature and honesty. A frank and sincere word may not always be profound but it is the only key to civilization. Let the beholder adhere to the saying - one yin and one yang together is the way - and only then can one understand the secret that honesty can reveal.
In Qin Chong's paintings, black is the venerable king of colours. All other colours would blend in and disappear. This reminds me of a passage in Sima Qian's composition The Biography of the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang where it is written: today the Emperor conquered the entire world, he separated black and white and created the only venerableness.
Thus, the contradiction of yin and yang in all things exists not only at the root of Chinese culture, but also in the modern theory of colour, which claims that black and white are neutral. They depend on each other and yet, are opposites at the same time, arousing feelings in the viewer and giving themselves special significance.
A Third Look at Qin Chong's Paintings Brings One Back to the Starting Point.
The Buddhist principle - put your body in order and nurse your heart - is accentuated in Qin Chong's paintings as a pure world. That idea calls upon me to remove, layer by layer, the clothes of civilization and to consciously cleanse myself of the dust of the trivial world, leaving behind nothing but a pure heart. After washing one must dress oneself again and put on a hat, but the foundation of every existent personality remains, the pure heart. Only then can one recognize oneself and decide what is truly a pleasing appearance.
Qin Chong's paintings are extremely pure, they are immaculate. Even if there were no - Do Not Touch - signs, the viewer would not dare to soil them. The Chinese have always regarded black, the symbol of a personality's golden mean, as a true colour. Bao Wenzheng, a incorruptible judge in Chinese legends and classic opera has a black face. The face is like a mirror highly suspended that can reflect the dirt hidden in the depth of the heart.
Qin Chong has renounced all colours and chosen black and white. He has carefully arranged them as if he stood between the earth and the sky casting the shadow of his body upon the white plains...
Beijing, March 2001