All posts tagged: Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson

Wesley Tongson 唐家偉

Spiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley Tongson 靈山:唐家偉的藝術世界 / Berkeley Art Museum 美國柏克萊大學藝術博物館 / Jan 12–Jun 12, 2022 2022年1月12日至6月12日 / DeWitt Cheng / Originality is the tacitly assumed essence and sine qua non of creative art. Young artists in the ultra-individualistic US sometimes avoid looking at older artists’ work for fear of being influenced or contaminated – to their detriment. Artists of the past learned from the masters by copying and assimilating. Arshile Gorky famously copied Picasso (“If he drips, I drip”), himself an omnivorous eye; and Ben Shahn praised the artists of the past as friendly ghosts, not obstacles or enemies. Creative talent may be inherent but it has to be developed. Postmodernist theory has added to the confusion in recent decades. The deaths of the author or artist and of individuality itself have been widely accepted in academia. Jorge Luis Borges parodied the death of originality in his prescient 1939 pseudo-article considering the literary achievement of “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote”. “His admirable ambition,” wrote Borges, “was to produce pages which would …

Wesley Tongson at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Wesley TongsonSpiritual Mountains: The Art of Wesley TongsonJan 12 – Jun 14, 2022 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive2155 Center StreetBerkeley, CA 94720Wed – Sun, 11am to 7pm http://www.bampfa.org  Spiritual Mountains debuts a recent gift to BAMPFA of eleven paintings by the Hong Kong artist Wesley Tongson (1957–2012). His work draws heavily on traditional Chinese painting techniques and processes, including painting with his fingers and hands, but takes these a step further to create a personal expression that is wholly his own. This exhibition combines Tongson’s works with historic paintings from BAMPFA’s extensive Chinese painting collection to demonstrate the relationship between his genius and that of past masters. Throughout Tongson’s practice, we perceive a strong admiration and acknowledgement of the past, even as he pursued a new direction in his own work. It is in his highly lyrical brushwork and exuberant style of painting—which included large-scale landscapes and intricately patterned, dense examinations of the natural world—that we comprehend his range and genius. The exhibition’s title reflects the importance of spirituality in Tongson’s journey as an artist; he was a student of many …