The composition of a painting, according
to Ben Lau, is an orchestration of calligraphic
elements in order to produce poetic metaphors with strong
By asking the art students to focus on the
black and white in the composition, I urge them to examine the core of the
great masters’ painterly action in order to observe the vitality of masterful
calligraphic elements in the paintings allow the poetry of forms to
come alive. In doing so, I intend to show a creative impulse in painting
in contrast to what is simply just an invention of ideas. Hence the
difference between painting and illustration of concepts cannot be
greater, separating the living from the inanimate. A painting must
be teeming with life, in contrast to illustration, which is
platitude and entropy. Beauty cannot be expressed through ideas (or
concepts) alone, as some of us have made so much effort in an attempt to
“break out” through concepts, mistaking the ego for nature. The result of
a conceptual experiment is a breakdown in art. Beauty has to express
itself through the artist’s subconscious where intuition generally rules.
That is why the great American master, Knox Martin said, "To study
art, you have to first know what it is!" Sound simplistic but definitely
logical. (Knox Martin is a genius with an I.Q. of 196.
Things normally simple to us is not usually simple to those people).
In my works can be seen a resolution
towards life in abhorrence of the inanimate. That goes hand in hand with a
striving towards the poetic in avoidance of the photographic. The success
of that effort should be determined by whether my work can form a lasting
communion with the viewer. It is important that the work can speak to the
viewer from hereon now, since life is short—art is long! A masterpiece
composition is therefore timeless. For any such dialogue to take
place, vertical intelligence is required of the viewer. Vertical
intelligence, which has depth and height, is transformative. So the
artist/viewer relationship is pertinent and is something that an art
student should be aware of.
Total awareness is demanded of the viewer
or the art student, whose transformation through looking attentively at
great masterpieces should eventually fulfill a yearning in his/her inner
being for harmony.
After examining the works on two
compositional levels: i.e. linear as well as two-dimensional, the
viewer/student should find herself affected by the integrity of the
forms in the art. To accomplish a masterfully executed composition,
therefore, has become both the goal and subject matter for painters like
Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse and Knox Martin. I have spent the past 28 years
of my life studying from the greatest masters of all times in order to
achieve painterly results through enlightenment and practice. I intend to
follow in the footsteps of these masters.
The crystallization of the form and the
achievement of a masterful composition is explainable to a certain extent
through the simpler logics of Chinese calligraphy, which I call “the
fundamental science of painterly action”. The unexplainable part is just