GUO Haiqiang

GUO Haiqiang

China

GUO Haiqiang graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, and is currently working primarily with painting. The artist’s practice inhabits the boundary between sculpture and painting, with an aim to bring shape to his spiritual world. In recent years, GUO Haiqiang has mainly been working in the mode of “sketching.” As the artist rides through the Zhongnan Mountains alone, he outlines the shape of the ranges in oil, and uses these sketches as the basis for his work. Although this practice of working “in plein air” is all but rare in art history, and has long since been elevated to a methodological model of artistic creation by Cézanne and others, GUO’s approach is much more than a simple nostalgic repetition of 19th century practices by one inhabiting the 21st. With a shift of cultural context and artistic concept, the artist’s sketches reveal an attempt to infer the truth of things and seek out the underlying laws of everything - a concept termed “ge wu” in Chinese epistemology.

To the extent that it is possible, GUO rejects contemporary techniques, and internalizes what he observes with the naked eye. Then, he translates what he sees of the material world into a simple, yet peaceful inner world through artistic creation.

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