The Secret Vibration of Things

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I recently visited Zao Wou-Ki’s “Space is silence” exhibition in Palais de Tokyo in Paris. I highly recommend to visit the show which is on until January 6, 2019. 

The Chinese artist who moved to Paris in 1948 mixed Asian and European influences in his paintings.

I ended up my visit by browsing in the museum shop and found quite a few interesting books about Chinese art.

Here are my favourite quotes from “Empty and Full: the Language of Chinese Painting” book by François Cheng.

“We have to avoid focusing on doing a too precise and too finished work in the drawing of shapes and the application of colours, as well as on showing off the technique too much, depriving secret and aura in doing so” — Chang Yen-Yuan

“All things under the sky have their visible-invisible parts. The visible is its outside aspect, its yang; the invisible is its inner image, its yin” — Pu Yen-T’u 

“The gaze of the painter is towards the inside, since after a long assimilation of outside phenomenon, the effects of ink he achieves are merely nuanced expressions of his soul.” — François Cheng

“When we draw a tree, we must gradually feel that we elevate ourselves.” — Ancient Chinese saying 

“Painting mountains and water is like doing the portrait of man, not the physical portrait but rather the portrait of his soul: his rhythm, his gait, his torments, his contradictions, his fears, his quiet or exuberant joy, his secret desires, his wild dream, etc.” — François Cheng

“There are painted landscapes we go through and contemplate, others we can walk in, and others we would like to stay and live.” — Kuo Hsi

“Bulky threat comes with too much elements; slackening with too little elements.” —François Cheng

“In the outside, take the creation as a model; in the inside, follow the source of soul.” — Chang Tsao 

“Create an atmosphere of mystic romanticism” — François Cheng

— François Cheng