Pitch-dark has been presented in a series of Xiang Liqing’s artwork in recent years. The concise but forceful black images of the sunflower and other ambiguous plants or something in silhouette have been roughly placed on the center of the canvas, without any renovation or artificiality, like they are subtly sustaining an eye contact from which no one can escape. However, the process of eye contact doesn’t seem to last very long while the simple and direct silhouette disappears from the canvas. It has been properly overlaid with black when we take a look at the painting again.
Being viewed as a color, black can be understood as either there’s no light or all colors of visible light are absorbed. Therefore, we might be able to feel the cold and the shadow from the unitary black, on the other hand, to witness some secret power as well as an unsurpassable unreality. The two feelings occur alternately in work Smeared.
The white wall forms a striking contrast to the almost black picture which can be found unequally painted if looked closely. It seems that the artist tries to conceal something, yet hasn’t been covered very well in a rush. Or perhaps he wants to tell people something else, knowingly or unknowingly. The way it has been covered is also like an implication. The twisted feeling of both despondency and confidence led by the colors, affords much food for thought.
The silhouette in Xiang Liqing’s painting and the process of eye contact with the audience soon are smeared by a large block of black. This arouses people’s curiosity to find out what it really is. The artist seems to carefully conceal his emotion during this transition, and upon that the sharpness has been gingerly covered in his series work Smeared, the ones with the same shades. The emotion isn’t completely gone although being concealed; it can still be discovered from the unequally painted black on canvas. The ambivalence of the artist has been accidentally revealed. And to conceal that emotion is no more than to heighten the thing that doesn’t want to be seen under the huge block of black, which makes everything become a bit incongruous and void.