Taiwanese Artist Creates An Epic Blue Mountain-Scape, As A Result Of Hundreds Of Image Layers
The epic blue mountain-scape you see above is a composite of hundreds of image layers. But they weren’t made with Photoshop — or a digital camera, for that matter.
Instead, artist Wu Chi-Tsung turned to analog methods from the past. He drew from both the Western tradition of cyanotype-making, developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842, and Eastern Shan Shui (“mountains and water”) painting, which dates to 5th-century China.
Taiwanese traditional painter known for his experimental collages. When Wu began working as his assistant, more than a decade ago, he preferred Western art and materials, dismissing the brush-and-ink formula of traditional Chinese painting as too constricting.
Each collage takes up to two months to complete. To begin, Wu covers dozens of sheets of xuan (rice) paper, roughly 4 by 8 feet, with an emulsion made from iron compounds that turn deep blue after being exposed to sunlight.
After washing the paper to fix the chemicals, it’s time to compose the image. Wu selects dozens of wrinkled papers and individually pastes them flat onto the canvas, sealing each layer with acrylic gel before adding a new one.
According to Wu Chi-Tsung: “In the early spring of 2015, Mr. Ni Tsai-Chin, a prestigious artist and art critic in Taiwan, died of disease. When learning the news, I recalled a summer vacation more than 10 years ago some friends and I served as assistants of Mr. Ni. We experienced a memorable summer in Mr. Ni’s dormitory in Tunghai University. Being indulged in calligraphy and ink art all day, we often chatted extensively from southern transition of Chinese landscape paintings in Song dynasty to the western art made in Taiwan. His expanded horizons, insightful arguments, integrated knowledge of traditional and contemporary arts, and persistence in defending cultural subjectivity have nourished my art development since my novice periods.”
“To commemorate Mr. Ni, I present Cyano-Collage in a form of ink painting collage, what is Mr. Ni’s conventional method, combines with wrinkled-texture cyanotype. Rice papers with photosensitive coating were wrinkled and exposed under sunlight to record the lighting and shading on the paper. A selection from dozens of pieces of cyanotype photographic paper was reorganized and edited before mounting on a canvas. The work is displayed in a style resembling Chinese Shan Shui and photomontage.”
“Cyano-Collage substitutes ink and brush strokes used in traditional Chinese Shan Shui with experimental photography to interpret the imagery of landscape in Eastern culture.”