RAN HE

Painting
@heiart


Untitled, 2021. Acrylic and watercolor on paper. 18 × 24 in.
Windy Boston, 2021. Acrylic and watercolor on paper. 18 × 24 in.

Art is always a reflection of its culture; landscapes from China’s Ming dynasty have provided my starting inspiration. In these paintings, the rhythm comes out of the border and grasps the whole rather than sticking to the details. With this influence, I create abstract paintings to manipulate my sensory organs and to see from the viewpoint of my subconscious and imagination. Kuriyagawa Hakuson, a literary critic, stated in his text Symbols of Depression that inspiration is understood as the desires of the inner mind and represents the demands of survival that lurk in the shadow of the unconscious mind. I consider form and color as languages that can describe a fluid, narrative space rendered from my unconscious. I transfer the unconscious desire to my finite platform—the canvas, paper, etc.—in order to produce infinite creativity.

Currently, my intuitively constructed landscape paintings function as both utopias and dystopias that physically represent the forms I see in my mind and change according to my own immediate environments and moods. Most of my works do not follow painterly rules of realism. There is no gravity; objects can be anywhere. The light source is uncertain; light can shine from everywhere. There is no perspectival effect; closer objects can be smaller than distant ones. I make the work while guided by two fundamental principles: color and mark-making. The speed of my mark-making is very important, and that speed paired with emotive colors, like a calm blue, are what generate my subconscious. When strokes are painted rapidly, the emotion shifts to anxiety; when strokes are rendered timidly, the emotion tends toward melancholy. I experiment and push my color sensibility, expanding beyond a calm blue to include warm colors, and I am interested in how different colors can embody a subconscious and internal mood.