January’s Artwork of the Month is ‘Wrinkled Texture 027’ (2015) by Wu Chi-Tsung, chosen by our Socially Engaged Photographer-in-Residence, Gwen Riley Jones.
Chi-Tsung is concerned with the poetics of nature and the intersection of traditional art forms and contemporary technology. ‘Wrinkled Texture 027’ re-interprets traditional Chinese landscape painting (Shan Shui).
Exploring the textures of mountain terrains, the flows of rivers and water, or celebrating the quiet beauty found in nature, Shan Shui paintings traditionally offer a subjective view of nature, while demonstrating the artist’s calligraphic skill.
In ‘Wrinkled Texture’, Chi-Tsung takes an innovative approach to Shan Shui, by working with the photographic ‘cyanotype’ technique. Covered in photosensitive solutions, rice paper sheets were folded and reshaped while being exposed to sunlight for thirty minutes. After the paper was washed, the creases, lines and folds were fixed as an abstract image of blue hues and textures, akin to mountain precipices and cliffs. Substituting ink washes and calligraphic lines with experimental photographic techniques, the artist reinterprets the imaginary landscapes of ancient Chinese culture.
This artwork has inspired our artist in residence, Gwen Riley Jones, to use nature and plant based photographic techniques to make images that explore plant-based solutions to climate change. Gwen will work with a group of young people, experimenting using techniques such as anthotypes – a photographic method that uses photosensitive materials from plants, and the chlorophyll process to celebrate the power, beauty and usefulness of plants.