康蕾艺术创作 Kang Lei' Artistic Practice
Kang Lei, through a skilful combination of western traditional tempera with Chinese traditional painting techniques, carries out in her works an observation and a metaphorical description of nature and society, while exploring the notions of time and distance. This year we are honoured to invite Kang Lei to conduct an in-depth interview. The artist generously introduced her experience and her latest artistic researches to us.
Part 1 写生 Sketching From Nature P: 我们从您在央美附中和中央美院学习的经历讲起。您研究生期间于新疆写生作品《冥》刊登上《美术》杂志封面，这在当时是较罕见的。写生对您的创作有何作用或启发？Let’s start to discuss from your studying experience, both in high school and during your post-graduate period at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. During this time, your work Meditation painted from nature in Xinjiang, was published on the cover of the MEISHU magazine; it was something very rare at that moment. What kind of role and inspiration did “sketching from nature” exert on your creative process?
Kang Lei's paintings on magazine MEISHU covers
K: 从附中开始，就喜欢下乡写生和考察，漫山遍野，田舍人家撒开了自由画画。到研究生时，前后长达半年时间到大西北考察，宁夏、内蒙、陕西、甘肃、青海、新疆等地“深入生活”，对更过阔的社会和地域文化观察，了解，画了大量写生。尤其到新疆塔什库尔干时看到塔合曼草原上生活的塔吉克人，那里的生活气息和民族文化的确感染了我，特别喜欢她们。写生结合了现场真实感受和学院课堂获得的专业技术和经验。同时，不满足于写生画现场所见，也进一步激发了创作的热情 。
Since I was in high school, I used to go to the countryside to look at the natural landscape, admiring hills and plains, farmyards and people scattered all around: I would then freely paint. During my postgraduate studies, for half a year I went to visit places located in the North-West of China, including Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang. During these trips, I had the chance to delve into real life, strengthening my appreciation and my understanding of society and local culture, while focusing on painting from nature. When I went to Tashkurgan, located in Xinjiang, I had the chance to come in contact with the lifestyle of Tajik people: their living conditions, their civilization and culture, which I liked a lot, influenced me deeply. The chance to paint from nature enabled me to combine both the authenticity of the feeling of being immersed into nature and the professional experience and techniques I acquired during my studies. Even if I was not satisfied with what I was seeing in the space, I would still find enthusiasm for creation.
Gelefu and Aomate
布面油画 Oil on canvas 90 × 53 cm
纯真的眼睛布面油画 Oil on canvas 160 × 128 cmP: 您作品表面精密且特殊的视觉效果给观众留下深刻印象。色膜凝结产生的透明质感、颜料的调和、光线在画面上呈现的均匀散射，无不体现您对绘画媒剂的灵巧掌握。您具体使用哪种坦培拉？您重视坦培拉的何种特质？
The unique and accurate visual effect of your work impresses the audience. The transparent texture of the color film condensation, the harmonious chromatic combination, the uniform structure of the rays of light on the pictorial surface of your works confirm your ability to skilfully master the painting medium. What kind of tempera do you use? What kind of tempera’s characteristic do you focus on the most? K: 我用的是水性坦培拉，也就是鸡蛋坦培拉。坦培拉这种媒介融合了我使用油画的经验与对中国传统绘画的审美喜好，也突破了对传统与当代的执拗与藩篱，起到了连通作用。在使用的时候，我体会坦培拉柔和温润的质地和不断重叠的丰富层次：坦培拉材料不同于直接画法一蹴而就的清冽痛快感，质地更像品茶有回甘，坦培拉作品耐看，反光也不像油画那样直接，而是更润。坦培拉工序多。反复做底、打磨、做画稿、刻线，每天制作媒介材料，调和色粉然后一遍一遍薄薄地罩染，多层叠加后，看见层次越来越丰富，形象越来越具体。坦培拉未干时可以洗掉或擦掉，干了以后又非常坚固。干透之后，用干净的棉花慢慢打磨，处理好了有玉的质感，也是时间层层累积的质感。画油画的时候，多是用直接画法，虽然也试过罩染，但质地与坦培拉不同。I use water tempera and egg tempera. Tempera as an artistic medium, enables me to combine my painting experience and my fascination for the aesthetic of Chinese traditional painting. At the same time, it also functions as a link to blur the barriers between tradition and contemporaneity. Using tempera also gives me the opportunity to fully grasp the softness of this medium and its property to be applied in layers. Conversely to the technique of painting directly on the canvas with oil colours which gives an immediate and instantaneous feeling, tempera is applied through a slow process and its texture is characterized by a sweet aftertaste, like tea. When looking at a tempera painting, the reflection is not direct as in the case of oil painting: on the contrary, it is glossy. The process of working with tempera is long and various. First of all, different layers of colors need to be applied to create the base. Then it is important to polish, to make sketches, to engrave lines, to produce on daily basis material for the medium. Once the chromatic nuances are balanced, the layers of color need to be applied thinly layer by layer. After multiple layers, the images are more concrete and definite. Before drying, tempera can be washed off and wiped off, once it is dried, it is extremely stable and resistant. After tempera is dried, it is advisable to use a clean piece of cotton to polish the surface of the painting: the beautiful texture is the result of different layers applied throughout time. The visual effect achieved through the usage of oil painting which is applied in a more direct way is different from the one achieved through tempera even if the same layering process is adopted.
Tempera is not a modern or contemporary fashionable medium. When did you start experimenting with tempera and why? I find it very interesting that you use an ancient painting medium from the Renaissance to create works whose colors are rooted in the Oriental painting tradition. Is this combination done on purpose?
Motivation provides the opportunity to study. I started getting familiar with tempera around 2007, when my studio was located in Beikao Manka club art district, together with the studio of Zhan Yuncong. Now they are no longer located there. At that time the atmosphere over there was very nice and lively, nearby there were a lot of art districts and studios of artists like Cao Jigang, Ma Kelu, Feng Lianghong, and Xiong Yi who was a student at that time.
康蕾像 Portrait of Kang Lei 2007 木板坦培拉 Tempera on wood 36 × 15 cm
曹吉冈老师是中国较早的坦培拉应用者之一。曹老师作品宁静高远，气象萧寒，有极高的绘画造诣。我和由旭先后向曹老师学习坦培拉绘画技法，后来岱海鹰老师到美院材料工作室和张元老师上坦培拉课时，我又学习了一次。曹老师是用传统的西方古典坦培拉技法画肖像教我，他平常不画肖像，画山为主，但他的造型能力非常强。他画了一幅我的肖像示范，我按步骤学习画了自画像。Cao Jigang was one of the first artists who started using tempera relatively early in China. Cao Jigang’s works are quiet and lofty, characterized by a bleak weather and by a high level of painting technique mastery. You Xu and myself learned tempera painting technique from Cao Jigang; afterwards, Professor Dai Haiying led the course of studio materials at the Central Academy and Professor Zhang Yuan started teaching tempera lessons: therefore, I studied it again. Professor Cao used to adopt Western classical tempera technique of portrait to teach us how to use this medium. Very often he would not paint portraits but mountains: in any case, his modelling ability was very strong. He painted a portrait of myself as example and I followed every step to learn how to create a self-portrait.
布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas 24 × 25 cm接触坦培拉之后我就开始也喜欢上这种媒介。自画像系列后，接下来画了《戏韵系列》，50厘米直径的圆框，做了30多张研究，每一张都稍稍有一点变化。之后又画了很多大尺幅作品。在过程中结合个人兴趣，也逐步把坦培拉的技法和自己的思考表达进一步融合在一起。材料的突破为我做其它创作积累了不一样的经验。After I got familiar with tempera, I also started valuing this medium. After the Self-Portrait series, I started working on the Drama’s Rhyme series: I created more than 30 round framed works of 50 cm diameter: each one of them displayed some small variations in terms of iconography. After that, I also created many large- scale paintings. In this creative process, I managed to combine my personal interest with the tempera technique and the expression of personal thoughts. The experimentation with this new technique enabled me to collect a large and multifaceted creative experience.
戏韵系列 Drama's Rhyme Series
布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas Φ 50 cm each
戏韵系列 Drama's Rhyme Series 布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas Φ 50 cm eachP: 以往的《花间词》《乐园》等系列中可见您标志性的色彩使用，比如近似克莱因蓝又同时极其符合东方审美特质的经典蓝色，不少观众评价这一兼具高辨识度和神秘色彩的蓝令人心旷神怡。In previous series like Huajianci and Paradise we can see some of the most iconic colors of your artistic practice: for example, you used a shade of blue color which is similar to the Klein Blue, while also being in line with the classical blue of oriental aesthetic characteristics. Many viewers commented saying that this blue conveys a sense of familiarity while bestowing your works with a new, fresh and mysterious character. K: 色彩本身的力度对作品的表达起到重要的作用。去除色彩中不必要的杂音，使其单纯有力，是为了表达的纯粹。但色彩一定是有所感而选择的，主观的色彩也是观念的色彩，在不同时期用过的颜色都有其具体指向性，也和我在某一阶段的心境有关。The intensity of color plays a fundamental role in the expression of the artwork. Through eliminating the unnecessary elements within the color itself to make it pure and uncontaminated, the artist aims at expressing purity. However, the chromatic selection is also an instinctive action. Subjective colors are also conceptual: the choice of different colors in different periods of artistic creation is also determined by concrete and specific directions and it has to do with the emotional condition of a certain phase of our life.
青花·名伶系列 Blue and White Diva Series 布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas Φ 50 cm each 2008《戏韵》系列后，因为对传统文化的兴趣，08年接着画了《青花名伶》系列，当时有感于传统戏曲文化在今天社会发展中的存在状态跟青花瓷残片有某种感觉上的呼应。2014年又开始青蓝系列的《花间词》和《距离》系列，那是积累一定感受和资料后又继续创作。的确有评论家说到克莱因蓝，但确切说，我作品中的蓝色特指中国传统青花瓷中的蓝色感觉，与从小意无意间积淀起来的关于民族与传统文化的审美意识有关。After the Drama’s Rhyme series, in 2008, as I developed an interest for traditional culture, I started working on the series Blue and White Diva: at that time, I felt that traditional opera culture, through the blue and white porcelain fragments, could establish a sensorial parallelism with the existential condition of contemporary society. In 2014 I started the blue and white series titled Huajianci and Distance: these series were the result of an accumulation of emotions and material which encouraged me to continue to be creative. Some critics establish a parallelism between the blue I use and the Klein Blue: to be precise, the blue I use in my work reflects the character of the blue of Chinese traditional pottery and it has to do with the aesthetic awareness about civilization and traditional culture which I developed, consciously or unconsciously, since my childhood.
距离 No.5 & No.3
Distance 2013布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas 200 × 140 cm
Part 4 乐园 2021 · 世界 Paradise - The World
P: 新作品呈现了高纯度和明度的粉红和绿色，和一些用于留白处的灰色则传达未来感信号。是否可以就这一色彩选择的转变与我们谈谈您的想法？The new works display pink and green colors: they are characterized by high- purity and luminosity and they display also grey portions of colors with white dots. These works seem to convey a sense of future perspective. Could you please share with us your thoughts about this shift in the chromatic selection?
乐园2021 · 世界
Paradise - World 2021
布面丙烯 Acrylic on canvas 140 × 200 cm × 3pcs
K: 借助绿色蕴涵的生机和乐园主题来隐喻自然、社会与人的关系。我喜欢旅行，喜欢观察自然；我的画面是内心变化的反映，创作随着个体成长、生活轨迹、对世界的认识发有展变化，内容和表达形式也随关注点不同而变化。到过北美、中南美亚马逊热带雨林、东南亚菲律宾、云南西双版纳雨林，雨林里动植物的生命力与生态关系就如同人和人类社会关系一般。I take the theme of green vitality and paradise to metaphorically represent issues related to the relationship between nature, society and human beings. I like travelling and observing nature. My paintings represent inner changes: my creations follow individual’s growing up process, the circle of life, the changes about the perception of the world: content and expressive forms of my artworks also undergo constant transformations. I had the chance to visit North America, the Amazon rainforest in Central and South America, The Philippines and the rainforest of Xishuangbanna in Yunnan. The vitality of animals and vegetation in the rainforest and the ecological relationship between them reflect the relationship between people in human society.
乐园2021 · 世界 局部
Paradise - World 2021 Detail
The use of large portions of pink in the new works has to do with the pandemic: the selection of pink is aimed at healing the soul and release the stress. During the outbreak of Coronavirus, even though I did not directly paint contents related to the pandemic, I depicted the process of observation and the mental condition of that period. Before the pink period, I went through a period of depression during which I was using mainly dark colors. The chromatic selection has a strong visual impact and it directly express the feeling of stress and pressure that was permeating everyone’s life in both tangible and intangible ways. It is also functional to express an extremely sensitive psychological state, the changes in terms of life and works that we were all experimenting and the pessimistic feelings and the psychological stress that were produced by the circulation of negative pieces of news. Reflections about the world and the ups and downs of life influence the chromatic selection and the pictorial details of the works. The passing of time and the progresses in fighting the pandemic generated a feeling of yearning and expectation for the future. The pink color expresses the need for psychological liberation and for breaking away from the cage of the pandemic. 开始构想的画面是淡粉色与灰色结合的，在画的过程中粉色就变得越来越明亮纯粹。画一旦开始，就依靠它自己的逻辑和生命力生长。粉色在画面中消解了很多构想时的灰色部分。When I started planning the painting, I had in mind to combine light pink and grey; however, during the painting process, the nuances of pink became brighter and purer. When I started, the painting developed following its own inner logic and vitality and therefore the pink color took over most of the grey parts originally planned.
Paradise - World 2021 Detail
P: 早期系列里您关注少数民族女性、青蓝系列则进一步转向舞台戏剧人物；在后来作品《向日葵》、《生长》、《乐园》、《小径分岔的花园》等，大量生命力顽强的植物出现在画面中，尤见向日葵和仙人掌。您对这两种植物的钟爱缘何而来？In the earlier works you focus on women from ethnic minorities then in the blue and white series you represent characters from theatre stage. Later paintings are characterized by the representation of a lush vegetation full of vitality, such as sunflowers and cactus. Where does your love for these flowers come from?K: 我在乎植物在自然中的生长态度。画面中的树是对仙人掌的辅助表现，树资料来源是我08年在台湾拍的。I like plants growing in wild nature. The trees in my paintings are visual representations of cactuses and the inspiration for this visual repertoire come from trees that I photographed in Taiwan in 2008.
各种花花草草我都喜欢，在选取创作素材时，相比于插在花瓶里的娇嫩的花朵，我喜欢生命力更顽强、可以抵抗粗劣的生存环境、生长空间更开阔的植物。自己喜爱的植物比如向日葵、仙人掌，既有对其造型的审美喜好，也因对其生长状态感兴趣。I like all kinds of flowers and plants: in the selection of the visual repertoire, rather than choosing tender and lovely flowers in vases, I like plants with tenacious vitality that can resist in poor living environment and that can grow in large spaces. I love plants like sunflowers and cactus both for their aesthetic qualities and for their characteristics in terms of growing process.
Sunflower Diary Series 2010坦培拉 Tempera 40 × 40 cm each梵高、都表现过向日葵。向日葵局部与整片的宏大气势各具不同美感，并且不论是灿烂向阳生长，还是成熟饱满花头低垂、几至枯残成干葵，不同状态都枝干挺直，枝叶婀娜。成熟的向日葵，也有生命孕育的感觉，我画向日葵融入的是对女性的观察与认知。Artists like Van Gogh and Kiefer represented sunflowers: they have a unique and multifaceted beauty both in individual detail and in their wholeness. They are brilliant and magnificent during their growing process, when they are mature, they display dropping flower heads and some parts withered into sunflowers. Regardless of their condition, their branches are straight and the leaves have a graceful carriage. Mature sunflowers seem to nurture life: in my representation of sunflowers, I also incorporate my observation and my perception of women.
Sunflower Diary Series 2010坦培拉 Tempera 40 × 40 cm each仙人掌布满刺，防御性的外表下却有柔软的内在，这样的造型和特性吸引了我。在干旱地区生长的仙人掌，是继向日葵之后又带给我绘画感觉和触动的植物，之前见到表现仙人掌的人很少。它的刺以及被针刺的痛感可以隐喻地表达生活中的一些体会。
Cactuses are full of thorns; behind their defensive appearance they are characterized by an inner softness: their shapes and their unique properties attracted me. Growing in a dry environment, cactuses, after sunflowers, inspire me good feelings and touching emotions for painting; moreover, there are not many people who engaged in the representation of cactuses. Theirs thorns and the pain caused by them can metaphorically express our existential experience. The Garden of Forking Paths 2017布面综合材料 Mixed media on canvas 200 × 700 cm(点击图片查看更多资讯 Click image for more info)在洛杉矶仙人掌公园，我第一次集中看到姿态各异的仙人掌；在中国驻阿根廷使馆我曾不小心触碰院中仙人掌，摸了一手细绒毛刺，使馆工作人员教我用胶带粘净；在智利去大山中拜访当地艺术家，看到漫山遍野、一丛一簇高高低低的巨型仙人掌……
At the cactus park in Los Angeles, for the first time, I saw cactuses with different structures and postures. Once, at the Argentinian Embassy in Beijing, I accidentally touched a cactus in the courtyard of the Embassy: I touched the point where I came into contact with the cactus with my hand and I felt the very thin thorns. An embassy operator suggested me to stick it with tape. In Chile, when I visited local artists in the mountain, I saw cactuses of different sizes all over the mountains and plains.
布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas 140 × 200 cm × 4pcs(点击图片查看更多资讯 Click image for more info)对植物的选择是个体自我的投射。早期创作中，人与植物 “参互成文，合而见义”， 始终有一个呼应关系。早期画面中的时候人物与植物并置，多在中间，后来人物有时候会变成影子或者在画布的边缘，形象有一个变化隐逸的过程。The selection of plants is the reflection of my own individuality. In my early works, human figures and plants were echoing each other: they were juxtaposed, mainly in the middle of the pictorial composition. In later works, human figures progressively turned into shadows depicted at the edges of the pictorial surface. Their images were reflecting a process of isolation.关注自身是没有错的，要是没有自我，艺术家其实就没有太多值得表现的了。托物寄兴，无论我画新疆、戏剧、还是植物，借景而非直陈，实际上多是自我的某种体现。There is nothing wrong in focusing on the self: if there was no emphasis on the individuality, artists would not have much to express. In the end, it doesn’t matter if in my paintings I represent Xinjiang, theatre dramas, plants, reinterpretations of natural settings or direct representations: all these images are basically reflections of the self.
布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas 160 × 300 cmP: 在圆形“气泡”中出现几处睡眠状态或睁大眼睛的小动物形象；另外画面中还出现齿轮一类的事物，这些形象背后有怎样的叙事，它们之间的相互关系如何？In the round bubbles, we notice images of small animals depicted while sleeping or with their eyes wide open. What’s the narrative behind these images and what is the relationships between them?K: 觉得动物也很漂亮，万物有灵，看动物的眼睛跟看人类的眼睛是一样震撼的，它们的状态其实就像人一样，小猫相依就跟人的一种爱恋依赖关系一样，表情也跟人很像。描绘动物也是对生命的了解和对人的投射。实际上我没有养过小动物，我把它们“养”在表情包里、画册里、电脑里，像两个小猫相依在一起的图片资料，在用绘画表达的需要的时候应用上。I think that animals are very beautiful, and they have spiritual sensitivity: to look at animals’ eyes is as intense as looking at humans’ eyes. They share with humans also the same attitude. The interdependency between cats is similar to the relationship of love and dependency between human beings. The expression of feelings is also similar. The depiction of animals represents the understanding of life and the reflection of human beings. I have never had pets. I “keep” pets in emoticons, in animals’ catalogues, in my computer: I have photos of two kitties which I take whenever I need it for painting purpose.
布面坦培拉 Tempera on canvas 140 × 200 cm each齿轮造型代表钟表，暗示时间的痕迹。时间和距离一直是我感兴趣的主题。随着时间流逝，很多事情都有了答案，也又出现新的问题。时间是什么？到今天我还没有真正把它弄清楚，有时候以为自己明白了，却也未必是真的。The round shape represents the clock, which suggests traces of time. What is time? So far, I have not been able to provide a clear answer. Sometimes I think I understood its ultimate meaning, but then it is not necessarily true.
Part 7 圆 Circles
P: 您提到自己创作的主题是时间与距离；这一研究方向在新系列中是否有迭代或转向？如无，仙人掌丛中的大小“气泡”为作品构建怎样的时间观和空间意识？You mentioned that the notion of time and distance are two of the main themes in your artistic creation. Does this research direction also determine shifts in your latest series? If not, do the bubbles in the cactus works suggest an awareness of time and space? K: 我一直对圆形空间有兴趣，中国文化也是圆满文化。通过文化来认识自己同时，也希望借助于形式通感。2008年开始用圆形的框，陆陆续续画过很多大小不一作品。I have been always interested in circular shapes. Chinese culture is also circular. While culture is a means to know ourselves, I also hope to draw support from visual expression. In 2008 I started working on round framed paintings and I have made one after the other many paintings of this kind in different sizes.
2008---2014 Φ 200 cm / Φ 50 cm
In Paradise - World 2021 the round suspended space is conceived to be integrated with another space on the pictorial surface, which is parallel to the painting while also projecting another time-space dimension. On the painterly surface, many different lines appear within the same time frame: everything happens at the same time, awareness is also multi-dimensional and simultaneous, and it does not exist as a single entity. The other spaces that can be seen on the painting are not necessarily concrete: they might refer to the realm of consciousness and to a mental dimension, which can be connected or not to the other spaces. This work is not completed. In the future there will be many circular works which echo the main painting, and which represent an extension of the space. P: 在过去的系列创作过程中，旅行是您重要的灵感来源。因此，新系列的创作历程更加引发我们的好奇：在保持社交距离、出行不易的近两年，您通过哪些事物获得新的感知和思考？您所想表达的主题或者对艺术创作本质的看法是否因此有了些许变化？In the creative process of previous series, travelling represented an important source of inspiration for you. Therefore, the creative process of the new series awakens our curiosity: in the past two years, characterized by social distancing and limitations in travelling, where did you find new ideas and perception? In terms of main themes selection and vision about the essence of artistic creation, did you experiment any changes lately because of this new situation? K: 旅行和在家其实都是灵感的重要来源，旅行增加直观的鲜活感受，在家则可以汲取多样的信息，每天的资讯一样可以带来思考。不管人在哪里，心都一样在“动”。旅行，阅读，日常，都可能是提供思辨的契机。只不过是日常生活太熟悉了容易麻木。Both travelling and being at home can represent a source of inspiration: travelling enhances our vivid feeling of direct observation, while being at home enables us to collect many new information: these daily inputs can also bring new thoughts and ideas. Regardless of where we are, our heart is always “in motion”. Travelling, reading, the experiences of daily life can all provide opportunities for analysis and thinking. The only difference is that at home everything is familiar to us so we might end up feeling apathetic. 在家10天可能感觉每天相差不多，日复一日；但出门10天，每一天不重复，新鲜的景像象对于从事视觉艺术创作者肯定有吸引力，所以旅行时吸收得更加敏捷迅速，但离不开平日生活的积累和认知。If we spend 10 days at home, we might feel that days are all similar to each other, but if we spend 10 days going out, then there is no repetition. New and fresh sceneries clearly exert a strong attraction on those people who engage in visual art creation: when we travel, we tend to absorb new things more quickly, even though we cannot discard the knowledge accumulated during our daily life.
爱丽丝·门罗有短篇小说《逃离》，不知是不是每个人都有逃离的渴望？人是矛盾的，在一种状态里久了会，变换太多又渴望稳定和安全感。所以短途旅行是比较合适的。暑假的时候幸运地又去了一趟北疆，回来后疫情又反复。Maybe everybody has a desire to escape, as expressed in the book of Alice Munroe Runaway. Human beings are full of contradictions: if they live for a long time in a certain existential condition, they feel extremely agitated, and then when they change situation, they yearn again for stability and sense of security. So, short trips are a reasonable solution. Luckily, during the summer holidays, I went to Northern Xinjiang again, but then when I came back the pandemic re-started.我确实喜欢时不时出门，古人讲“饱游饫看，才能历历罗列于胸中”。不出门的时候，则会整理积累的创作想法和资料。我想表达的感受和内容都特别多，主题也是需要反复思考的。主题和对艺术创作本质的看法，有时会因外在影响产生些变化，这次变化的原因是疫情。I definitely like going out from time to time, as ancient people used to say, it is important to enjoy the experience of travelling, to see different things and to keep all the images inside our heart. If I don’t go out, I reorganize creative ideas and material. The emotions and content that I would like to express are incredibly multifaceted and therefore also the subject matters to be selected need to be analysed repeatedly. The selection of the subject matter and the vision of the essence of artistic creation can undergo some changes under the influence of external factors: this time, for example, it was the pandemic.
旅行古巴 Travelling in Cuba
While the pandemic brought about many problems messing up our normal rhythm of life, it has also triggered new ideas and thinking which need to be reorganized slowly. With the pandemic outbreak, I am also going through a process of psychological struggle and reconstruction. Even if not in a very direct way, what I painted was somehow connected with the pandemic. When I painted Twinged, Stop or Eternal Night from the series Paradise, I was somehow asking to myself these questions.
There is no good or bad way to carry our artistic expression, it’s just a matter of different choices. I my work, I like to have a creative approach based on “using the objects to express rather than directly speak out”. I prefer to use metaphorical expressions to represent my vision about certain things.
Creative people are sensitive: to be able to avoid inertia and to observe the self and the individual life is as important as accumulating experiences and knowledge. Since the pandemic outbreak, I have been reflecting about these issues: I believe that creating artworks aimed at expressing my own feelings will not make me waste my existence.
Would you say that painting is not just your profession but it is also what you like the most?
K: 是的，早已超越了专业需求，融入平常中，成为自己的生活方式。喜欢听着音乐画画，或者就在工作室整理资料、酝酿画画情绪。 生活琐碎没有杂事时，神闲意定地画画是最好的创作状态 。
Yes, I think that painting, for a long time, has been beyond the working dimension: it was integrated into my life becoming my way of living. I like to paint while listening to music or to spend time reorganizing the material in my studio to prepare my painting mood. When life is trivial and there are no chores to take care of, painting is the best creative state.
康蕾，艺术家，中央美术学院博士，中央美术学院油画系教授、硕士生导师。作品曾于第十四届巴⻄库里蒂巴双年展、北京国际双年展，AISA NOW巴黎亚洲艺术博览会，加拿大UBC亚洲中心、巴黎大皇宫，韩国光州市立美术馆，德国柏林中国文化中心、智利普罗维登⻄亚文化中心、西班牙巴塞罗那MEAM现代艺术博物馆，基辅乌克兰宫，纽约艺术学院，俄罗斯列宾美院美术馆，巴拿马运河博物馆，巴拿马当代艺术馆，白俄罗斯明斯克 ，俄罗斯中央美术馆，哥斯达黎加国家画廊，丹麦，悉尼、秘鲁利马等艺术展等展出；作品被中国美术馆、中央美术学院美术馆、国家大剧院，时代美术馆，嘉德艺术中心，东亿美术馆，ASA基金会等艺术机构收藏。
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