Landscape scenes, mountains enshrouded in clouds, craggy cliffs from which rise weather-beaten pine trees, delicate flower and bird paintings, motifs of bamboo, chrysanthemums or plum blossoms, elegant pagodas and tiny human figures which seem to lose themselves in the natural surroundings are the main themes, next to aesthetically dancing women and certain animals in these rich nuances of traditional ink paintings by Cui-Ying Zhang who now lives in Australia.
Interpretation of complete harmony is at the heart of traditional Chinese painting. This effect is achieved through unifying contrasts: distance exists next to nearness; concrete meets the abstract; the solid opposes the fluid - thereby bringing about a harmony that emits serenity. The artists aim is to capture the essence of reality and not necessarily reality itself.
The standards of these interpretations are the landscapes, being a symbol not only of nature but also the cosmos itself. At the same time they provide a projection for philosophical contemplation, personal feelings and moods and represent the whole human drama.
In that way, the landscapes may be compared to a window, which allows an unobstructed view into another world. In that world, the virtues as well as striving for inner peace and truth play a central role. Ensconced in the cosmos, as symbolized in these paintings by areas purposely left blank, the artist views herself as a part of an enormous, holy all.
The artist found her path to that place through the meditation practice of Falun Gong and its tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. Last year, she was imprisoned for eight months, and tortured regularly for practicing Falun Gong.
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