Ben Lau's name stamp in Chinese Calligraphic writing originally means "The Great Wall of Han Dynasty"

Artist's Statement

Ben Lau's name stamp in Chinese Calligraphic writing originally means "The Great Wall of Han Dynasty"


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Artist’s statement

The composition of a painting, according to Ben Lau, is an orchestration of calligraphic elements in order to produce poetic metaphors with strong visual impact.  

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 painterly magic.

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