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The Beauty of Oneness
-the Aesthetic Values of Yu Runde

Yu Runde is a friend of mine. The alias he names himself is “Jue Yi”, meaning combining various elements into one. The idea of “estrangement effect” mentioned in his autobiography is a reflection of his aesthetic pursuit as well as mental world. His representative works The Impression on Peach Blossom, The Blurred Radiation, On the Edge of Weightlessness, The Melancholic Dusk and so on, have distinctive characteristics on their own, while they all share certain similarities, namely, a sense of “oneness”. The idea “oneness” refers to the state of combining multiple contradictory elements into harmony, such as east and west, the ancient and the modern, the abstract and the representational, poetic elegance and picturesqueness, the brightness and the ambiguous, the concrete and the illusive, the indifferent and the enthusiastic, the bounded and the free, to name just a few. This kind of combination is just like various tones interweaving together, creating an exotic and original air.

The category of Yu’s contemporary art works lies between traditional wash painting and western oil paintings. Ink and oil paint were originally two sharply contrasting elements, yet they mingled harmoniously in Yu’s paintings. His wash paintings collection and the oval-framed “melancholic dusk” series had a mixed air of antiquity and modernity as well as strong visual impact. As human beings’ tradition is always in a dynamic state, the responsibility of constructing contemporary history lays on our shoulders.

The relationship between tradition and modern culture is like Yellow River surging into the roaring sea. Either the yellow seed is embedded on the blue earth or vice versa, a new cultural mode has come into being. Since then the new mode has taken the place of traditional and modern fashions as a prevailing style. There is indeed certain diversity within the new mode, and Yu’s paintings serve as an unique interpretation of such diversity.

Within the abstract paintings, the images are either presented or absent, depending totally on the interpretations of audience. In this sense, painting is an open context for multiple possibilities. The meanings of the artworks becomes diverse under the influence of Bakhtin’s theory of dialogue. Taking an analogy for example, the relationship between the sense of abstractness and concrete images is like a piece of melodic tune mingled in artificial sounds of electronic music.

Recently, there are many poets devoted to painting, while Yu creates a sense of poetic elegance in his paintings. His work The Blurred Radiance is both picturesque and poetic. However, this kind of idyllic splendor is not in a traditional sense, for the “weightlessness” presented in the picture has made it more obscure for interpretation. On the other hand, the obscurity makes the painting unique in its beauty. I would like to compare my own poems to the kind of fruit that is without blossom, containing too many concrete images to create a illusive atmosphere, while Yu’s paintings are not so.

One of Zen’s idea is that “As to a flower in haze, though in bloom, it’s not flower anymore; though hazy, it’s not the haze either”.

This idea is exactly reflected in Yu’s paintings. It is like a vivid flower brightening the dreamlike illusion. Brightness is the impression on both vivid colors and lines he employs and the clear plotting of the whole painting, like playing every note of a lively melody neatly. Ambiguity is also the impression on the colors, lines and the plotting of the picture, like playing every note of a mild melody emotionally. Still, the essence of poem and dream are not lost in his experimental works.

Images like “blossom””dusk” in his works created a sense of concreteness even in the most abstract shades of colors. The the gesture of characters in the pictures are the symbol of vitality; the melancholic atmosphere is like a pause note in music, conveying the artist’s emotion in a silent way; the sense of weightlessness is like the Revolutionary Etude, through which the artist bursts out his strong passion. Although very representational, there is still an dreamlike air with in his wash paintings, as if it was the incantation of Prajna Paramita and the fluting from God’s lips.

The way Yu deals with the indifferent world is through presenting the scenes full of visual tensions, such as a flapping butterfly that has the power to destroy icebergs through the amplification effect and resonance, and the color shades that look like the momentary shape of volcanic eruption or the fluid Appassionato Sonata made in a static sculpture. Whether the audience are easily affected or indifferent in nature, they are all strongly impacted by such images, in either passionate ways or mild ways.

While the artist externalizes his ideas and spirits on the two-dimensional canvas, the world seems to become static for the moment.

For most artists, craftsmanship is a two-side sword, either restricting the artist’s ideas or giving way to free thoughts. The most important thing during the cause of composition is to break the restriction of conventional mode. Outside the conventional mode is the labyrinth of thoughts, while outside the labyrinth of thoughts is a world of free will. To cultivating the pioneering spirit, Yu once retired from painting for years in order to experience different lifestyles. When he reached the entrance of the world of free thoughts, he was back on painting again with a free, unfettered style. Yu acquired freedom from a restricted situation, in which sense he made a brilliant move in the current context.

Yu’s aesthetic values of the idea “oneness” has broadened our horizons on the way of artistic expression.

Apparently, it is just the beginning of his experiments on painting. His way of dealing ink, color and the relationship between image and concept is very enlightening to us. I do believe that his pioneering spirits will lead him to some ultimate truth and that he will impress us with more artworks and aesthetic ideas.

Song Jin

Teacher of the Musicology Department at the Central Conservatory of Music, Ph.D. in Music Aesthetics from the Central Conservatory of Music, Professor of the Musicology Department (Doctoral Supervisor), Deputy Director of the Musicology Research Institute, a key research base for humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education. Additionally, he/she is a Council Member of the National Guidance Committee for Arts under the Ministry of Education’s Self-Study Examination Office, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Chinese Society for Music Aesthetics (2005-2015), Council Member of the International Council for Traditional Music, President of the Beijing Aesthetics Society (2015-), Council Member of the Chinese Society of Aesthetic Education, Member of the Chinese Musicians Association, Member of the Chinese Society for Music Psychology, and Member of the Beijing Literary and Art Critics Association.

03 October, 2021



水墨与油面的混合,隶属度在前者和后者之间漂移不同作品有所不同,其异质化在直观上却都非常鲜明。本不相溶,在润德的画作里竟然浑然一体。古风从水墨印象、忧郁的黄昏系列的椭圆画面飘来,又在刷新眼球的瞬间放射出现代感。传统是一条河,历史就在当下。当黄河流经 20 世纪,遭遇了咆哮而至的海水,黄色精子侵入蓝色卵子或相反,沧桑大地孕育出混生即杂交的新文化。从此,新艺术的骡子在驴和马之间占据了广阔的地盘。在后骡子时代,新潮艺术展现了内部的差异。润德近作为多样性作出了新诠释。






水墨的浓淡疏密之间,有般若婆罗蜜多空门吹出的上帝唇边的笛声。 面向冷漠的世界,以桐乡冷漠的镜像对峙。反向张力绷紧了视线,与同样细紧的心弦并置。远方一直蝴蝶拍动翅暖,共振与放大效用瞬间摧毁坚冰,那些水墨色团是未走形的火山喷发,是热情奏鸣曲的雕塑,贝多芬窃喜:观者的灵魂无论是干柴还是湿草。都逃不掉火星的点燃,干者烈焰斑澜,湿者浓烟缭绕。



文/ 宋瑾



03 October, 2021

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