Chinoiseries*

* Chinoiserie /ʃɪnˈwɑːzəri/ a decorative style in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century, characterized by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques. (Oxford dictionary)

First new chinoiseries are here! Yes, it took me a couple of months to finish them and it was quiet a work. Starting with two Chinese gods of prosperity whom I destoryed shortly after an unsuccess in colour scheme, I painted Chao Kungming’s >Black Tiger<  rather a merry depiction of this mythological creature remining me of famous Blake’s Tyger-Tyger poem. Yes, his saliva and semen do symbolise welfare and prosperity:

Michal Korman: Black Tyger, oil on canvas 73x92 cm, 2013 Paris
Michal Korman: Black Tyger, oil on canvas 73×92 cm, 2013 Paris

The couple of Shishis ( 石獅 ) in gold on black background comes from my personal acquisition of two XVIII century like wooden shishi statues in Beijing earlier this year. I wanted to picture them in very traditional gold-black lacked furniture like way, adding a bit of trash-like feel to each composition making these gremlin-shaped fellows looking more funnier. The result is a very lovely pair of ‘pendants’ that would nicely decorate an chinese/chinese-eque room.

Michal Korman: Shishi (male), oil and golden powder on canvas 72x60 cm, 2013 Paris
Michal Korman: Shishi (male), oil and golden powder on canvas 72×60 cm, 2013, Private collection Sri Lanka
Michal Korman: Shishi (female), oil and golden powder on canvas 72x60 cm, 2013 Paris
Michal Korman: Shishi (female), oil and golden powder on canvas 72×60 cm, 2013, Private collection Sri Lnaka

The last chinese-esque creation yet is a japanese-chinese thematic mixture titled >Moonless night in Shanghai< as hommage to ‘Paris of the Far East’, this huge city so inspiring and attractive by her singularity within China. Two bats – again symbols of good fortune – are the central theme of this painting, together with plum ( 梅 ), highly valued for it’s beauty blossoming in the middle of the night becomes a synonym of Shanghai, her vitality, and her capacity to attire. So the city lights attract people in the very same way as a simple lamp hypnotise moths or a frangrance of a flower attires bees. There can – of course – be felt a strong influence of japanese art, especially in composition own to ukiyo-e which I admire and collect since two years already. The colour scale of the background is very japanese-like too so the picture is kind of ‘bringing China and Japan together’ .

Michal Korman: Moonless night in Shanghai, oil on canvas 92x73 cm, 2013 Paris
Michal Korman: Moonless night in Shanghai, oil on canvas 92×73 cm, 2013, Private collection – Paris

‘Early Spring morning in Beijing’ a pendant of above pictured Shanghai painting is at once more decorative and more western-minded. No japanese influence but vivid chinese-esque colours are here to frame an empty hutong street scene under red morning sun dominated by mythological Fenghuang or Hoho bird, symbol of virtue and yin-yang union, seated on the branch over the death body of a bluebird. Just as grey clouds are there to remind of decorativeness of the work in ‘Moonless night in Shanghai’ four flowers of Beijing composition adorn grey hutong atmosphere and express the peaceful transition in which the chinese phoenix replace the bluebird’s domination over the curved branch of a death tree.

Michal Korman: Early Spring morning in Beijing, oil on canvas 92x73 cm, 2013 Paris
Michal Korman: Early Spring morning in Beijing, oil on canvas 92×73 cm, 2013, Private collection – Paris

Yet the last of this series entitled ‘Spirit of the Night’:

Michal Korman: Spirit of the Night, oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm, Paris 2013
Michal Korman: Spirit of the Night, oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm, Paris 2013
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