The weekend was what I’m looking forward to, especially at midnight, the busy hour of the day was finally lost in the darkness. Not a sound was heard. And I lost track of the time as I lost thought while I stared at the blank paper. Brush in hand, my mind was already filled with color and lines when the notes of the piano bounced out of the canvas.
“The Warmth of Love” was a concept art that I painted last year, which was collected in the Chinese Yearbook of Illustration Art 2022. And I was honored to be awarded the “Chinese Illustration Art Award”. As an important document, the yearbook showed the current level of the artwork of Chinese great illustration artists. Having been carefully selected from numerous participants across China, only 70 illustration artists of their excellent artworks were collected in the yearbook with various styles of art, including commercial and children’s illustration, conceptual art, comics, etc. The yearbook was aimed to help promote the development of Chinese illustration art, which not only provided important study and reference research for domestic illustration but also had a certain collection value. It soon would be displayed in major art institutions, libraries, art galleries, etc.
We all know that Cyberpunk is kind of a dystopian futuristic world of highly advanced artificial intelligence and cybernetics, featuring a combination of lowlife and high tech. Usually, it was starkly juxtaposed with unique and exaggerated color aesthetics, especially the strong light and shadow that display the technological light or reflections. It was often mixed with black, red, yellow, blue, green, and purple, presenting a grandiose visual impact.
CD PROJEKT RED, one of the famous game companies, offered us the chance to be an insider of the Cyberpunk world by presenting us with the visually stunning Cyberpunk 2077. I was very impressed by the design of high technology, architecture, vehicle design, UI, etc, in which the Night City had it all. Having completed all the missions, I still had a feeling of unsatisfied, as if I had enjoyed a cup of coffee the aftertaste came endless from the bitterness. Then, “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners”, a TV series animation, finally boosted our feelings to a new level. We all felt the same way about the moon and the two young lovers. Hope one day, we might end up with a wonderful ending — seeing the moon together.
而世界知名游戏公司之一CD PROJEKT RED向我们呈现了赛博朋克2077（Cyberpunk 2077），我们有幸可以在虚拟世界中感受这一未来的视觉盛宴。对于这一高科技、建筑、载具、UI等设计，我非常欣赏，夜之城画面设定也让我赞不绝口，通关后，还有一种意犹未尽，仿佛品味了一杯咖啡，苦涩之后回味无穷。加之延伸动画《赛博朋克：边缘行者（Cyberpunk: Edgerunners）》的点缀，让多少人感同身受，引起了共鸣，一轮圆月，二位年轻情侣。期望那天是一个美好的结局——一起去看月球。
The game and the animation triggered me to paint a cyberpunk concept art with a strong feeling of the urge as well. So, I intended to transform my study room in a cyberpunk way. I tried to get inspiration by observing the lights and shadows of the room at night. With the help of rainy nights and the help of light effects for my surroundings, including light strips, mouse and keyboard, monitor, etc., I could feel the changes between various materials of lights, shadows, and reflections.
In my artwork, the almost 45° overlooking view presented my cyberpunk study room. I created a two stories room, the upper floor was a rest area, and the lower floor was a study room. My bedroom was pretty simple. I added the blue and greenish light line under the bed to create an illusion of suspension. The large vase on the left was filled with small trees and leaves. And the leaves grew taller that touched the head of the bed, implying the concept of nature-loving. High-tech light effects on both sides of the door highlighted the entrance. To save space in the room, the stair was replaced by a ladder that was wrapped in a blue light flexible screen and led to the lower floor where the study room was.
Now, let me take you to the study room. The first thing you saw was some large computer-driven pieces of equipment overlayed one by one to form the shape of stairs. A large screen of aquarium behind the equipment. Swimming fish, flying water grasses, floating bubbles, and the touch of the blue-shining light, eased your mood instantly. There’re bookshelves on both sides of the room. On the second level of the left shelf, there was a harmonica I played lied there. Under the light of the incandescent lamp, the harmonica was shining that showing my passion for music. The grid trim style on the right shelf matched the same decoration style in the bedroom on the left.
On the right side of the aquarium was a poster of my WeChat sticker to memorize that my beloved dog passed away a long ago. I put my signature and the LOGO of “the Dream & the Moon”. There was an elaborate white ceramic bone ornament on a display table in front of the poster. A’Wang, my WeChat sticker character, opened his mouth as if he was trying to eat the bone, which’s to create a funny moment in the room. A high-tech lounge chair rested on top of the stair-like equipment that was illuminated by a lamp, which indirectly presented a visual center for the viewers. There was a key device controller on the ceiling to be used for video projection, connected to VR as entertainment, and linked with other devices as a power supply.
The computer desk was placed in the right corner. The simple electronic screen projected from a holographic device on the desk showed my LOGO as the login page. There was a holographic colorful tree to feel the Spring in the room. In my early sketch, I intended to use the cartoon image of A’Wang emoji as the main character. I would paint him lying on the chair and reading a book, expressing a kind of visual effect of the combination of science fiction and animation. Later, I felt that it was not artistic enough to show my feelings, so I revised it after coloring.
I drew two shapes on the top of the lounge chair to imitate the ears of animals to make it look a bit of cuteness, and it was a hidden surrounding sound device as well. To meet the ergonomics, the front of the seat was designed to be slightly tilted so that would be more comfortable to lie down, The lamp on the right I designed was an industrial and simple style. I made the lamp’s pedestal in the shape of the moon to fit with the concept of my brand name “梦与月（The Dreams & The Moon）”. And the connection of each bracket allowed the lamp to be adjusted from different angles.
I created two center points, one was my poster as the main visual center. The hidden character A’Wang was the protagonist of the painting. Another one was two dogs in the lounge chair where the light shone upon them. At the sub-visual center, “Fortune”, a black labrador, was sleeping sweetly while “Lang Lang”, a small dog that we rescued by the river, was awakened and stared at the front as if there was something disturbed his sleep. At the lower left of the study room, my signature was carved on the floor, which implied who was the owner of the room.
This artwork “My Study Room – A Cyberpunk Way” I’ve been working on had many elements and easter eggs to discover, which took me nearly 4 months to complete in my leisure time. Like my other concept artworks, the painting was a 4K resolution. Zoom in, and you could see all sorts of details. Above was the scene of dogs sleeping and the poster, which worked well as wallpaper for both my mobile phone and computer.
At the end of my article, I’d like to boost your feelings for Cyberpunk World with a theme song “Shape of My Heart” from a movie, “Léon: The Professional”, which I played with my harmonica. And thank you for loving my latest artwork and appreciate your continued support.
最后，为了强化赛博朋克的感觉，我吹奏了一首口琴曲，电影《这个杀手不太冷》的主题曲“心之阴影（Shape of My Heart）”或许能让你们产生共鸣。期望喜欢我的新作和口琴曲，感谢一如既往地支持。
“Click the music to let the art and heart collide, leading thoughts to somewhere else that far away.”
When we were young, we often spend whole day hours and hours playing. There’s no TIRED in our dictionary as if we were like a perpetual machine that we could have fun from morning till night. We were energetic, but occasionally we’d love to lie on the grass and look up at the sky, letting the imagination find us in the clouds. Time was passing by while we were arguing about the figures of clouds with friends. This cloud seemed like a fairyland while another one looked like an animal. We could lie there for a long time and enjoy the moment for real.
When we were growing up as time went by, we probably were more eager to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, searching for our own inner peace and feeling the beauty of nature. When you were there and looked up at the same sky again, perhaps there’re only groups of birds, or the evening glow would make you stop for a while.
We begin to feel the rhythm of life, to feel the colors of nature, to feel the warmth around us. We are more likely to enjoy happiness and relief from a spiritual level. Our imagination changes with it, sometimes it’s figurative, sometimes it’s abstract. And the ARTS let it all out incisively and vividly.
Representational art creation is one of the important basic requirements of literary and artistic creation. Because it requires artists to be more sentimental and to feel the surroundings via their hearts. Then with the help of their abstract minds, their imaginations involve emotions. They turn the memories of some objects and sceneries into the embodiment of artistic image in every little bit.
Take painting which aims to depict the physical appearance of things in general. It is different from photography on some level. You may press the shutter to copy a breathtaking view in seconds. However, painting is a process of rethinking, recreating, and representing the feelings from the depths of an artist’s heart, I think. My latest artwork “The Warmth of Love”, for example, expressed my nostalgia and love for the loss of my dog. I put his scattered joyful memories with us together and turned them into the painting elements through emotions and love feelings. Having been racked my mind, I created a work that integrated color, perspective, composition, scene, and imagination.
Contrasted with representational art. The abstract is to simplify the realistic, definite, and simulative art form in the mind of the artists, in which to remove or retain some essential elements and features in the same painting. For depicting nature, we usually outline the flowers, animals, plants, landscapes, etc. with painting skills and techniques including light and shadow, color and composition to create a realistic or hyper-realistic and concept art, such as my artwork “A Secret Place to Fall”.
Then this realistic art could be refined by removing some visual details of nature, including plants, trees, rivers, etc. Instead, nature was decorated with shapes, geometric patterns, lines, colors, and other subjective elements to express the feelings for nature. The painting will be more like a shortsighted person who takes off his glass and look at things around him. You will see only colors and blurry shapes, lines, or images that be mixed together. At that time, the limitation of realistic and recognizable images is broken, and art is presented in a new form of artistic expression, which is abstract art.
In this article, I invited Adrien Asselin, a Canadian abstract and digital artist to explore more representational and abstract art. At an early age, one of his paintings, “LIBERATION”, was presented to the Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. Speaking six languages, he traveled around the world to find the meaning of himself and the art. Through his passion for art, Adrien was invited to be displayed one of his artworks in exhibitions or hold personal exhibitions for various times. In 2014, he visited Shanghang City, Fujian Province, China, which was his second time visiting China. Together with the local Association of Artists, Association of Photographers, and other local organizations, the Shanghang Federation of Literary & Art Circles held a three-day photography and art exhibition for him where he transferred his love of China into his art and offered western abstract concepts and photography to the locals. I was honored to be invited to join him as his accompanying interpreter and art adviser as well, trying to share the art culture of the East and the West with every art lover and student.
All these years later, Adrien recalled that exhibition with lots of emotions: “There’s something in Southeastern China that particularly fascinated me, which’s why I came to Shanghang for the second time. During my daily stroll through the town, I got a chance to get in touch with the working class.” After a pause, he said with sparkles in her eyes, “I yearned to know who are those people of whom I daily and diligently took pictures so that I could capture their uncommon ability to daily honor their trade. They truly are worker bees; we are marveled by it as much as it is the only way they know.”
“The curiosity and the sensitive awareness that guide me are translated in the artist wanting to immortalize these people with my camera. In their mere moves, rites, and traditional clothing unfading chromatic poetry is sprinkling. In their every glimpse, in the scintillating specks of their very soul, I also caught the pride that lies within them, despite the fact that I don’t speak Chinese at all.” He added.
“Masters such as Siméon Chardin, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and the Dutch school of their time painted the working class in all its glamorous simplicity, using a chromatic spectrum that did render an exuberant and loyal blend of color and light. What is your expression of art?” I asked.
“Yes”, he nodded thoughtfully, “Enough with the wealthier class and its opulence; the artists were rolling the dice on renewing their art with then trivial yet authentic subjects. Such pure and sheer simplicity with elegant style is also what I pursue”, he said: “My coming back to their workplace, factory workshops and unloading ports, had most certainly convinced them of my genuine interest. I had to spontaneously capture the most poignant scenes during those busy and diligent people. Through these images, these surreal flashes, these poetic happenings, my purpose was to unveil the working class’s environment and to let their every move and their every smile glow in symbiotic sparkles.”
“In today’s photography, retouching seems to be pretty normal. What do you think of this photo retouching?” I continued to ask. Pointing to one of his works from the camera, he said: “These pictures are nothing but a too-small sample of what I had the utmost privilege of witnessing. The effects are all-natural and genuine, as nothing has been touched up, no software was used for anything, no artificial distortion has been allowed; the light is that of the sun, of the lighting devices they use, and of the people themselves. Only zoom-ins and close-ups have sometimes occurred, so that everyone could have access to more intimate details that would have, otherwise, been part of a mere background. In the exhibition, for example, I could still remember seeing those women vigorously and relentlessly working construction and other heavy-duty imperatives almost always, at least in Canada, materialized by men and manhood. Because of this, I hope to restore the real scene, so that people could understand these photographs.”
“The purpose underlying this exhibit was to pay a tribute to a gigantic class, too often ignored and neglected by the media sphere, seemingly guided by sheer complete indifference, and by their own counterparts and fellow citizens. It was a great honor for me to have this opportunity to present them at an exhibition. They truly were the atoms in the realization of herculean tasks and projects such as buildings blooming like a perpetual sudden springtime in the Shanghang”, He continued:” I was only witnessing and trying to grasp what an astronomer was able to take in from the start; the latter was shooting, while the former was falling. The working class was humble. The people were noble and were all-worthy, who were subtly honored to be living.”
We smiled at each other and nodded knowingly. Following the subject, I asked, “Besides photography, abstract art is your favorite creations as well. However this kind of art is actually difficult for us to appreciate, coz there is no specific identifiable image, at first glance, it seems to be a disorderly, random painting with a pure accumulation of pigments and color blocks, I guess. So, would you mind explaining to us how you picture abstract art?”
As soon as the question was asked, he seemed to remember something and let me wait for a while before disappearing from the computer. A moment later, Adrien held a large abstract painting in front of me and explained, “This abstract painting was my first work, and I kept it well to encourage me to continue to explore the beauty of life and create the art of my life as if the god work.” Set at the computer, He put down the painting and continued: “Picasso and his arts had a great impact on me for a long time. He was a brilliant artist that I admired him so much and followed his painting style as a starter. In my childhood, I had lots of opportunities to reach nature. I used to sit on the mountain overlooking the town, the fields, and mountains, listening to birds and enjoying the fragrance of flowers. Gradually, the plains and valleys opened my mind and became my friends and great sources of inspiration. So, most of my early artworks were based on nature. I painted the shapes and structures of natural objects by overlapping bright colors and geometric elements with the feeling of awe for nature. In the end, those three-dimensions images were changed into graphic art. So, Abstract Art is the simplification of the images before my eyes, I think. It is an art form with an expression of stylization, simplification, conceptualization, and superposition that mix with your emotions, colors, shapes, lines, and geometric elements.”
“I learned from Picasso and tried to depict my surroundings, stories, and lives with different ways of artistic expression. I even changed the traditional paintings into digital art. However, my concept of abstract art is the same which to show the ideas and objects in front of us. Together with realism and abstraction, I applied beautiful colors to the objective images and added my inner emotions to them. The surface and the dimension became clear. It formed into a relationship, and into a kind of sense of space that’s involved in the abstract structural form.”
“Indeed, when appreciating abstract paintings, it may be easier to understand them if you get the picture of the artist’s background first, and then try to feel the painting context with the help of the title of the work,” I said: “At that moment, colors of the painting may begin to flow, blurry shapes become more and more clear. Then your imagination and emotions start to play a part in it, where resonant expression will collide.”
“That’s right,” Adrien replied immediately: “Normally, painting skills and styles are not the keys to abstract art creation. It is the sentiment that does the work. To follow your hearts and your emotions when comes to appreciating and creating arts around you, even it’s sad or happy, or a warm feeling.”
And that reminded me of the Rorschach test, a famous psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then normally analyzed to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning by using psychological interpretation or complex pareidolia. The latter is the pattern of objects, shapes, or other patterns of visual symbols that are related to a person’s sentimental feelings. Nowadays, since the scheduled urban life, it seems that there’s a psychological paradox between people and objects, and within people as well somehow. In which, when they failed to load off their shoulders or be comfortable in reality, they are more likely to unwind from the expressions of art, including music, literature, painting, etc. This may explain why the framed abstract works of art are displayed in many grand places, residences, hotels, etc. The abstract, as if the cloud in the sky, is unpredictable and be related to the viewer’s emotions. At a certain moment, perhaps, they find inner peace from abstract art.
“And so, through countless walks, I witnessed the fieriest sunrises and sunsets. At night I lay down and gazed at the ocean of stars slowly revealing its quest as my mind would make its way through the darkness of silence. Out of these abstract scenes and colors, new paintings would translate my love for nature and the cosmos. I never attempted to copy what my eyes saw, knowing any camera could do that. No, I wanted to create, and to express the world that gave me such forms, energy, colors, and poetry,” He said with a smile at the end of the interview as if a summary of his whole life. It’s hard to persistent in doing something that you preferred and good at it in a field, especially when you actually achieved something during the journey of pursuing your big dream. Every one of us is special I think. Find out what’s special in yourself and make use of it to the utmost.
Pen in my hand that stopped in the air for a while, I tried to put the closure to my article, but my mind didn’t want to. As my article was about to be published, Adrien’s family informed me of the bad news. Adrien, the 82-year-old artist, had passed away of complications from his cancer on the 30th of October, 2021. And now, there had been another amazing artist in heaven. He who loved arts all his life and was always curious about his surroundings. He who had a warm and kind heart. He loved his family and friends, treating everyone around him kindly. At a certain moment, life or death has no end. It is written in another way, the lighting of our life. We’ll miss him more than words can say. Hope he continued to have his brushes and his colors, then he painted the paradise with radiance. Rest in peace.
I never thought that my art interview with my friend was the last exclusive time, and the video chat with him was the last time seeing each other as well. Indeed. It is unknown to all of us that what TOMORROW could bring us? Probably, to learn it from my friend, Adrien. Find out our gifts and do more of what makes us happy. Living in the present, and cherishing every beautiful moment with families and friends.
Artworks/Photos/Interview/Writings/Art Edited & Translated by BubbleSwan
部分展览拍摄/ Some Photoshoots at EXPO by Jennifer
抽象艺术作品/ Masterpieces of Abstract Art by Adrien Asselin
The Articles You may Love to Read | 猜你喜欢
1. Trapped at Home for Pandemic? How about Travel in Your Minds via Painting 出不了门，肿么办？画幅画，想象中遨游吧
2. Personal Short Film “The Dreamcatcher – Prologue” 个人微电影 | 追梦人-序章
3. When Harp Met with the Art 当口琴遇到了艺术，你的耳朵怀孕了吗？
4. Earth Hour | Painting Sections for My Advertising 地球一小时 | 手绘定格广告
5. The Charm for Weaving 编织的魅力
6. WeChat Sticker | The Daily Life of A’Wang-Episode Two 微信表情包 | 阿旺的日常-第二弹
7. Arts Exclusive | When Book & Design Found Each Other 艺术专访 | 当书与设计寻觅到了彼此
When the night tip-toes and crawls on our hearts, when the clock strikes twelve, it has been on a daily basis of alternate the night and the day. Between the horizon of the sea and sky, the sun rises slowly in the east and sets quietly in the west as usual. At that moment, the clouds are getting misty and colorful while the morning or evening glow touches every corner of the earth. As if God has forgotten to close a door, letting the beauty escape from the crack. In which, it’s ready to spill out with the last existing magic to declare a beginning or an ending of the day. It’s warm and splendid.
From sunrise to sunset, from the beginning to the ending, the day and night take the place by turn, again and again. So does life. A life is completed with birth and death. Somehow, no one will be able to experience a whole life from the beginning to the end truly. Usually, we come and go through the middle of life. However, it is the memories that connect us emotionally with those who passed away. Even they are gone, they may still compose life in a certain way.
The first draft of this artwork was brewed in 2018. I never had the guts to finish the painting for the death of my dog ‘A’Wang’ last year. By chance, having been read the book ‘You Can Heal Your Heart’, I got enlightened from one of its sentences, saying “Loss offers a chance to rebuild your destiny in life”. So I picked up the pen once more, wishing he would be long live in my painting.
I struggled for a while with the artwork scene-setting. Would it be a sunrise or a sunset? Considering our ancient meteorological proverb “No outdoor activities at sunrise while it will be ok to travel thousands of miles at sunset”, I went for the setting sun then. Because the evening glow often indicated that the rain would be stopped at the west, and the day would be cleared up soon, which implied a good life would be coming at a certain level. Turned over a new leaf, and everything would be fine.
As the sun went down, the temperature tended to be more stable and the convection was reduced. And the sunlight got through the clouds more easily. At that moment, there were orange, gold, and red colors blended with each other in the sky. The sea was wonderfully calm as well, and now it was rich with all the color of the setting sun. It’s very visually appealing and the warmth rested on you with the sea sparkled. This warmth just like A’Wang, our loved dog, offered us the kind of passion, warmth, and easygoing that had a great impact on us. He who loved to explore each day of life, enchant every moment of life with full of curiosity.
The swans in the scene symbolized the same virtues as my dog, including loyalty, purity, kindness, courage, and nobility. As an Angel of Goodness, the group of swans rested on the sea. Some of them were catching fish and drinking water while some cygnets were snuggling up next to each other on the pen. And there were a couple embracing in the distance, enjoying their own world. From that, it indicated a warm and loving feeling to present the same feelings for my dog, the eternal love and mildness between A’Wang and us. In some way, it also intimated that he went to another dimension, a paradise of beauty to which he belonged.
My dog and I shared a boat, rowing through the group of swans, and moving ahead toward the corner of the sea. The travel conveyed that we lived in the present and would explore the unknown with no fear. To welcome the future with ambitions whether we were faced with a calm sea or the rage one along with strong wind and waves. For that, I painted it in FPV and added the mist to improve the reality of ambience and boost aestheticism.
Almost three months later, I finally completed the artwork by picking up the scattered times at weekends. My artwork, “The Warmth of LOVE“, was another 4K resolution concept art, which was a great catch for home decorations, and a theme background for desktop and mobile phones. Since the epidemic, we have lost the chance to go traveling. I hope this painting will give us a yearning for a better life, and inspire us to go sightseeings, to feel the beauty around us, or around the world. Meanwhile, I prayed for each of us, wishing we all had a joyful life and a sense of well-being via fewer catastrophes and more happiness.
The Articles You may Love to Read | 猜你喜欢
- Personal Short Film “The Dreamcatcher – Prologue” 个人微电影 | 追梦人-序章
- When Harp Met with the Art 当口琴遇到了艺术，你的耳朵怀孕了吗？
- Earth Hour | Painting Sections for My Advertising 地球一小时 | 手绘定格广告
- The Charm for Weaving 编织的魅力
- WeChat Sticker | The Daily Life of A’Wang-Episode Two 微信表情包 | 阿旺的日常-第二弹
- Arts Exclusive | When Book & Design Found Each Other 艺术专访 | 当书与设计寻觅到了彼此
Short Video | Painting Sections for My Advertising
【短视频 | 手绘广告片段组合】
If 2020 is an extraordinary year, then 2021 may be a year filled with hopes for the future and a desire for change.
World Wildlife Fund(WWF) will launch a worldwide moment, Earth Hour 2021, at 8:30 p.m., your local time on Saturday, March 27, 2021. It will be the same approach as last year or Go Digital in order to take a moment to reflect on what we can do for nature and to preserve our planet.
Traditionally, turning off the lights is a symbolic gesture of commitment to preserving our planet. Based on that, I got a spark and drew some freeze animations for my advertising. Plz, feel free to enjoy the short video above the article and zoom out the painting sections. Let’s save our earth and make a better planet to live in.
“Mankind is a community with a shared future.” Indeed, global tragedies had alerted humans to the danger of the future, as if hitting our head really hard, which shook us out of our complacency. For Earth Hour 2021, WWF will host a guided meditation led by internationally celebrated yoga teacher and scholar Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, which to create a moment of solitude to calm our busy minds, to escape from noisy cities, to practice gratitude for our nature, and to reflect on our commitment to saving the beauty.
“人类只有一个地球，各国共处一个世界”，诚然2020年全球大灾难的悲剧已为我们敲响警钟，好似当头一棒，把沉浸在自满中的我们彻底唤醒。此次活动，WWF邀请了一位国际知名瑜伽老师Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts，通过线上视频，牵引我们的身心进入心之境，忘却生活与工作的烦恼，远离城市的喧嚣，一起携手感谢大自然的馈赠，反思我们的过错，担起保护地球的责任。
Artworks/Writings/Art Edited & Translated by BubbleSwan
The Articles You may Love to Read | 猜你喜欢
01 The Charm for Weaving
02 Sticker | The Daily Life of A’Wang – Episode Two
03 Arts Exclusive | When Book & Design Found Each Other
艺术专访 | 当书与设计寻觅到了彼此
04 There Once was a Sparrow Took Human as Its Family
05 What Sparks My Inspiration for Digital Artwork?
06 This Typhoon has a Story
Read More, plz visit my official WeChat Account “梦与月“