“Being in the World” is the theme of the exhibition and the idea of curation, aiming at the core concepts of “harmonious and glorious coexistence between humanity and nature” and “art healing soul”, to which Yu Lanyin has been adhering throughout her creation, and from the perspectives of art and philosophy, seeking to face and alleviate the problems such as modernization dilemma, technical dilemma, environmental crisis in human society in a rational way. And the continuous existence of these problems makes us realize that positive works of art may be able to seek solutions by enlightening the minds of the public.
Here, we recall the “In-der-Welt-Sein” proposed by Heidegger more than 100 years ago (who, as one of the most oriental European philosophers in the 20th century, was deeply influenced by Taoism and Zen thoughts, and the “orientality” in his theory can still profoundly influence and guide the contemporary times), that is, “being in the world”.
It means that human beings need to realize that their survival and development are closely related to the environment, nature and the universe, and that as individuals, they should understand their own “destiny” and the “integrity” of the whole world. He aroused criticism of anthropocentrism, reflection on technology, and advocacy of “nostalgia in search of home” and “poetic dwelling”.
2023 is a special year: In January 2023, the online teleplay of Three Body bombed the screen. Its great cosmological and philosophical views have attracted wider attention with bigger influence than when it was published as a book ten years ago, and human non-dominance has become a more universal recognition of contemporary people. In the same month, Chat-GPT's active users per month hit 100 million.
In March 2023, the development of GPT-3 to GPT-4 was completed in only one month. The development speed of AGI technology began to alert all sectors of society to caution about the potential crisis of currently catastrophic change of technology. In the same month, the development and research of GPT-4 higher edition was jointly called for a postponement by the technical, capital and scientific research communities. How else should mankind develop themselves? Are we better than we used to be, so are we “better humans”? Therefore, “Being in the World” is not an elegy for the old world, but a topic about how humanity can coexist harmoniously with time, ego, others, society, technology, environment, and even the universe in the new century.
“Being in the World” is also the headstream of the formation of Yu Lanyin’s world outlook and the source of inspiration in her artistic creation.
The works on display are the most important representative ones in her 70 years of artistic career -- the Soul of Ink series, created by Yu Lanyin after her return to her hometown. The creation source is the contemplative world while she was deep-sea diving.
“In meditation and creation, I used to feel the detachment and inspiration of Lao Tze and Chuang Tzu.” Yu Lanyin said, “The enlightenment of nature that I got in the deep sea triggered a deeper understanding.
For a long time, when meditation has brought me into a constant state of selflessness, with deeper self-exploration, my mind becomes clearer.” The diving experience brought her three feelings: “impermanence”, “equality of all beings” and “encounter”. Impermanence means that, mountains, rivers, the earth and all things are under the laws, flowing without stop, and we all know their impermanence; The equality of all beings means that when diving, the sea life breathes and swallows the blips together with myself, shares the risk of the sea floor and the fragile fate, and the ultimate equality among species is achieved in the sea. Encounter is about the relationship between different species, between nature and man, between man and man, and even between man and themselves, seeing each other in the silence of the sea floor.
“The ocean is the source of life. In the same way, the ocean is also my teacher. She inspires me and she nourishes me.” “Many people ask me ‘what do you see on the bottom of the sea’. In fact, deep in the ocean are dark, and everything that can be seen there is partial and limited, but I always have a light in my heart guiding me ahead, guiding me to dive up, and to my home.”
From another perspective, “Being in the World” is a deep mining of her creation after she returned to her hometown in 1993, and it is also the tender care she gives the audience in the sense of life through artistic creation. After mastering the exquisite techniques of Western abstract expressionism and the essence of oriental traditional ink painting, she has reached the state of “natural perfection, either in eastern or western paintings”.
For her, returning to hometown is to understand her roots, and to find that her deep love and free use of ink painting as an art genre comes from her “DNA” as a Chinese artist. She deeply realizes that “ink painting is the blood flowing in her body”. After her return, she officially began to use the beauty of abstract ink painting as the medium, promoting the contemporary healing significance of oriental culture, Chinese ink painting art and Chinese philosophy abroad and at home (with the Greater Bay Area as the primary venue) every year, hoping for each viewer to discover the abundance of their own, the integrity and integration of their mind and the world in her works.
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