In Yau Wing Fung’s work Floating Mountain XI, his depiction of rock fragments increases the spatial ambiguities. In traditional Chinese painting, rock fragments, called “fantou” (矾头), often appear together with...
In Yau Wing Fung’s work Floating Mountain XI, his depiction of rock fragments increases the spatial ambiguities. In traditional Chinese painting, rock fragments, called “fantou” (矾头), often appear together with foliage on mountaintops. Yau reinterprets this setting by placing the rocks amid clouds, sometimes hinting at foliage by using tinges of azurite and cyanine. In absence of other objects to use as reference points, the distance between the earth and the sky becomes difficult to gauge. Fragments are easier to spread out over a flat surface and provide limited indications of depth. They underline the flattened pictorial space through their rhythmic linear pattern. The shift from a traditional landscape view to an aerial perspective also defamiliarizes the shape and form of the rocks. Instead of solid fragments, the rubble becomes an amalgamation of forms and protruding shapes. For some, the rounded outline of the rocks recall shapes of ganoderma, or lingzhi mushrooms, a cultural symbol of health and fortune in China. This blurs the distinction between organic and inorganic, making it difficult to pinpoint what the objects are. Differ from the previous works of the “Floating Mountain” series using gold paint to outline the rock fragments, Yau also uses silver paint to depict the gradation and abundant the image.
The spatial structures of Yau’s landscape are varied. Yau’s ambiguous pictorial space is like an accordion. Depending on how viewers approach the paintings, the space will expand or compress. It points to the immense distance between satellite and earth; it can also be compared to the projection of satellite images on a digital screen. The aerial view Yau constructed foregrounds the contradictions, ambiguities, and complexities of a contemporary visuality shaped by technology.
邱荣丰 蜃境 XI，2022 水墨设色纸本 54 1/8 x 27 1/8 英寸 137.2 x 68.9 厘米