Nathalie Dagmang 2010-24702 BFA Sculpture

Artist Statement Northern Song painters gave importance to the landscape as a subject. These painters avoided the portrayal of human condition and opted to show the human ideals in a symbolic manner. This was a step away from the mythocentric ideologies of the dynasties that preceded Song towards more religious and ethical subjects and finally, more philosophical and aesthetic ideals. Song landscape painting did not depict specific locations in China, as opposed to the western ideals wherein there is an exact likeness of a fixed location and vantage point, a result of the development of scientific thinking in the West. The goal of Song painters is to capture the essence of the landscape and show an understanding of the principles behind its form. It veered away from the realistic and minute details and opted for more expressive brush strokes and washes. It aimed to bear a spiritual communion with nature, which was believed to be the key to enlightenment. In the context of present-day cultures, human is deemed to be the basis of almost every dimension of life. The man increasingly takes hold of everything: from the exploitation of natural resources, to the establishment of laws, and even the designation of the time-frame of events. Its “mastery” of nature through science and technology has given mankind itself the pride and right to take control of everything that surrounds it. The natural landscapes/seascapes are given less priority, while humans are pampered at nature’s expense. While Christianity condemns temptations and bodily senses as the sources of the sins of mankind, the man aims to get to know himself and master his own body in order to achieve salvation. Christians in particular tend to label actions that are driven by temptation as “sins” (eg. Lust, greed, gluttony). In the contemporary times, human seeks communion less with the nature, and more with himself and other human beings. Hence, it is only appropriate at this time to depict instead, the contour, curves and flaws of the body in the quest to gain a deeper understanding of the world through the human nature.

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