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Chinese art diary-questions and thoughts of Charlotte Hug
- The first spark of inspiration for digging deeper in chinese art was an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Lucerne in 2011.
As lead artist (artiste étoile) at the Lucerne Festival,
I was able to mount a solo show with Son-Icons (sound-drwagins, which are a hybrid of art and musical notation) at the Kunstmuseum: the installation “Insomnia”. The
exhibition “Shanshui - Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art” was running at the same time. This
was a stroke of genius on the part of the director and curator Peter Fischer, and was for me a great
and fruitful moment of artistic synchronicity.
Shanshui means “Mountain- Water painting”. What may appear as contemplative, was for the Chinese
artists a totally up-to-date interpretation, and intended to be read on various levels. The exhibition was
an inspiring amalgam of traditional and, at the same time, contemporary concepts, with appropriate,
as well as the most modern, media and materials. What stirred me from an artistic point of view was a
deeply felt inner relationship between the Son-Icons and Chinese landscape painting, as well as the essence of Chinese calligraphy.
In relation to this theme, I was also overwhelmed by the focus on common and universal themes, such
as nature, mountains, water and celestial energies.
As Ai Weiwei says: Shan is not Shan, Shui is not Shui. Mountain is not mountain, and water is not
water. These primal themes open up complex current topics and, in artistic terms, they point beyond