Liu Yanhu Pottery Seal Work Exhibition Unveiled in NAMOC
On November 2, 2015, “Prove with Seal: Liu Yanhu Pottery Seal Work Exhibition”, sponsored by Central Academy of Fine Arts, was inaugurated in the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC).
The opening ceremony was attended by Fan Di’an, president of Central Academy of Fine Arts; Zhang Zikang, vice-curator of NAMOC; Luo Pengpeng, dean of Chinese Seal Cutting Institute under Chinese National Academy of Arts; Yin Jinan, dean of School of Humanities under Central Academy of Fine Arts; Liu Zhengcheng, editor-in-chief of Complete Works of Chinese Calligraphy; Wo Xinghua, professor and doctoral supervisor of Fudan University; Tian Jun, curator of Shandong Ginza Art Gallery and president of Poetry Calligraphy Painting periodical; famous artists Zhang Lichen and Shi Kia; artist Liu Yanhu, as well as many theorists and artists from the artistic circles. The event was chaired by Wu Hongliang, vice-president of Beijing Painting Academy and curator of the art gallery under the academy.
The exhibition showed for the first time new pottery seal works of Liu created over the past six years. Fan served as the academic director of the exhibition, and Wu as the curator.
In his artistic creation, Liu lays emphasis on exploring “know” and “act”. He has made new advances in the course of sticking to tradition. The exhibition delivered the simple spirit of a seal-maker and shared it with audiences in a modest and gentle approach. “A seal is a matter of faith.” In the past six years, Liu has made over a hundred big pottery seals. He presented the process of making seal, stamping seal, and lute, and the relations of mould and seal in a brand-new mode. This also showed that today’s art, while integrating western culture, should turn to tradition and inner heart. The exhibition featured blending and interpenetration of classic charm and modern mentality.
“The method of writing seal characters is linked with the way of cutting seals. The two combine to make the language of seal cutting.” Liu has developed a new style in the way of cutting seals. He keeps clear intentions, and wields the carving knife fluently, without any hesitation in the move. The lines are thus distinct in edges, showing the depth in the way of cutting seals and the neat formation of lines. His seal works hence demonstrate lively aesthetic characteristics, and deliver distinctive spirit of the times in visual effects.
Liu said he chose black pottery as raw materials. In the process of artistic creation, he first built an even broader perspective of the history of sealing. In this way will he surpass the limitation of the literati school of seal cutting in imitation of gold with stone. Second, he took the classic and various schools, gold and stone as parts of an integral seal cutting tradition, mobilizing all the effectiveness. He also tried the feasibility of making new explorations. This is the value of a modern seal cutting historian and artist.
Fan commented Liu’s calligraphy and seal cutting as sharing a common characteristic, which is to shape character images in a heavy-handed manner. Liu’s calligraphy shows the “nature of architecture”, unique in its own style. The strokes look like components of architecture, his management resembles design of architecture, and his vigorous lines are similar to the framework of architecture. They combine to shape an image as one integrated mass, compact inside. Meanwhile, he carries out the “spirit of architecture” in his seal cutting, weighing spatial arrangement in the small squared materials to construct space order that is extension of the plane and construction of the solid, something like “a great master building a house”. In Liu’s meditation for construction, a seal surface is like a field domain dwelled by the spirit, as it shows not only unique style, but also the cultural nature of seal cutting art. It is filled with old artistic conception and conversion to the classics of seal cutting art.
The exhibition lasted till November 9.