This year, I will be part of the Position Vision Manner exhibit at the Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute in China. On a recent visit last November, the trip changed my perspective and understanding of language. As a result, I wanted to create artworks that connect this experience. While differences exist, art bridges together humanity.
Slowly learning to speak Chinese, the pictorial language and characters become abstract artworks. The appearance is diverse compared to English by portraying a story with representative marks instead of uniformed, obedient, and sterile letters. History and culture become the arbitrators of syntax and meaning.
It was important for the artwork’s concept to expand and define the disorientation of language. Started with sketches to formulate abstract characters. Could shapes become organized to develop a new language? Spanning human history, the picture and mark holds meaning. Egyptian hieroglyphs and Native American cave paintings come to mind. The power of the symbol such as the circle, triangle, and spiral continue today.
Part of the exhibit will include two pen and ink drawings created during my last trip to China. It recorded the time spent with artists and educators amongst beautiful vistas. Alternating hands, each line was a meditation and a practice of being present.
Gun culture is part of the American experience. Using drawing paper, I created an installation piece titled West utilizing speed and movement as an medium. The Mossberg 500 shotgun creates diverse patterns from various distances representing life’s fragility. Accessibility isn’t a question in the United States of America. Strong and fragile, I had given the Strathmore Bristol paper to my Chinese counterparts. West explores the normal, right, and contentment in a diverse global societies.
Position Vision Manner does matter in the context of global connections. These experiences develop narratives unique to cultural influences. Humans use language as a mode of written or spoken communication. Art investigates and questions this structure with or without words.