Lin Shu. SKYLANDTOXIC (QINGLING)Limited edition photo series
Our Price: $4,800.00
Title: Toxic (Qinling) (2009-2010)
Artist: Lin Shu 林舒
Dimensions: Four panels. Each panel 350 x 350 mm (image)
Materials: Digital archive print on Epson Hot Press art paper, 265 gsm
Packaging: Unframed in archival portfolio, wrapped in acid-free paper
Edition of 5, signed, dated and numbered
About This Series
In his series of brooding, black-and-white photographs Toxic Lin Shu takes on the cultural and historical weight of the landscape in Chinese art. Made between 2009 and 2010 the works are depictions of some of China’s most famous mountains yet heavily distorted, either through blurring or by interventions by the artist on the original negative film. The results offer a range of effects in form and tone in which the pictures can appear almost totally drained of light or crowded by lacerating peaks of inky black. In so doing they are as much an exploration of the psychological as they are of physical topography.
Lin made six trips for this series, including to the Yellow Mountain in southern Anhui province, reputedly named for the mythic emperor Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor) and widely celebrated in classical Chinese poetry and painting. Lin therefore orientates himself in a long tradition yet his works are a sharp departure from the pastoral tranquility favoured by painters of the Anhui School or the romantic mysticism of the great Ming dynasty master Shitao (1642-1707). Instead, in images such as Huangshan 3 (Yellow Mountain 3 ) the rock face appears to tremble as if shaken by a violent earthquake, the result of Lin making multiple exposures on a single image. Elsewhere in the more subdued Huangshan 2 the scene is under exposed to give a flattening effect, while in other works such as Lushan 1 and Lushan 2 the pictures are over exposed to create the impression of vast swirling grey clouds.
The landscape in Chinese art has traditionally acted as a proxy for political and social debate and in taking on the subject Lin’s works inevitably engage with this legacy. For literati painters of classical China the natural world expressed cosmic harmony and a model for the ideal society, while in the modern era photographers of the New Wave in the 1970s and 1980s found in it elemental purity and an antidote to the political repression of the immediate past and the displacement of the near future. Most recently, a new generation of landscape photographers has highlighted the massive environmental cost of China’s industrial expansion. Lin’s works are more oblique. In formal terms they subvert the traditional status of photography as a factual record and offer a sensory experience similar to that of painting. Yet in their contemplative tone can be sensed the artist’s attempt to describe a spiritual space that connects with an ancient past, albeit one characterized by unease and uncertainty.
Works in this series are available exclusively to buy at 3030PRESS ARTWORKS. For further information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Artist
Lin studied oil painting at the Art Institute of Jimei University in Xiamen (1999-2002) and took up photography towards the end of his studies. Following graduation he worked as a freelance photographer for domestic news and lifestyle magazines such as Weekly Pictorial and City Pictorial. Yet as his interest developed the two strands of his art practice converged. As a result, a painter’s eye can be detected in his use of the camera to create dramatic abstractions of light and dark.
Works from Toxic have been profiled in numerous magazines in China and overseas. In 2013 and 2011 the series was presented at one-man exhibitions in Paris and Tokyo.
Lin’s photography has been shown at exhibitions and festivals including the Lianzhou International Photography Festival (2010), Tora Tora Tora – Chinese Cutting Edge Photography at the Caochangdi PhotoSpring festival (2010), the Three Shadows Photography Awards Exhibition (2009) and the Pingyao International Photography Festival (2005 and 2006). In 2009 he was named Best Newcomer at the Three Shadows Photography Awards. He lives in Beijing.