Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

Updated: 2013-10-20 08:01

By Zhuan Ti(China Daily)

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For Mei Mosheng, painting allows one to say what cannot be put into words.

A master of ink wash painting, Mei is also a calligrapher and an art critic. The three things he loves and does well - Chinese painting, calligraphy and art theory - define him as an artist.

Born in 1960 in Hebei province, Mei began his art studies at the age of 18. He took further education in China Central Academy of Fine Arts, majoring in Chinese painting, and graduated in 1991.

In the past few years, Mei has published collections of art criticism, Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Art critics say Chinese painters today struggle to maintain an identity while walking a tightrope between the traditional and the commercial, but Mei has maintained his own voice, calm and confident. His works and attitudes toward arts might be the answer for those suffering painters, art critics say.

Calligraphy and Chinese painting, especially ink wash painting, are closely related. They are two art forms that celebrate a burst of emotion and energy at a certain moment. For Mei, this is also what he is looking for and trying to express. He once said that his best painting is always the one in his mind, not on the paper.

For many years, Mei has been creating both paintings and calligraphy works. His works are well received by the critics.

His calligraphy is aesthetically traditional but sometimes punctuated by flurries of bold innovation.

His paintings, mainly depicting natural scenery and animals, are seemingly randomly composed, but actually they aim to recreate the flow of nature.

Mei cares more about the action of painting and writing calligraphy - the moment when ink flows onto the paper from the brush, which means his work is carefree, spontaneous and never pretentious, critics say.

Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

Brush painting can be full of both strength and softness, while ink can further soften it and add profundity.

Mei's paintings of mountains capture that effect exactly, critics say.

Not as otherworldly as Mei's mountain paintings, his paintings of flowers and bird are full of life and a personal touch.

One titled Flowers is simple and honest, with the innocence of someone who has maintained a positive outlook despite hardships, critics say.

For Mei, Chinese painting should be the reflection of Chinese people's attitude toward life and culture. It should always draw on the deep structure of Chinese culture as well as be true and loyal to one's feeling and perception.

Mei's calligraphy works and Chinese paintings have won a lot of awards in China and been featured in many exhibitions.

Some of his works are collected by the National Art Museum of China and the Great Hall of the People, as well as collectors from China and aboard.

Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

Art Special: Artist lets his brushes talk for him

(China Daily 10/20/2013 page8)