Chinese Nobel author trades pen for brush



REUTERS

Published — Thursday 4 July 2013

Last update 4 July 2013 3:45 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

A dark figure stands alone in the center of a bleak, shadowy landscape in one painting, while an ethereal tree-like form claims attention in another.
The haunting black-and-white paintings are the work of Gao Xingjian, the first Chinese-born Nobel literature laureate, who traded pen for brush to explore a realm of mood and meditation in a rare exhibit in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei.
The 20 works on display in “The Edge of Reality” exhibition, the 73-year-old Gao’s first in Asia for three years, present stark landscapes of form, shade and shape that stand in sharp contrast to his detail-rich novels such as “Soul Mountain,” for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2000.
“Painting and literature are two completely different languages,” Gao, who lives in France, said at the show’s recent opening. “Where literature reaches its limits of expressive power, that’s where painting begins.”
Gao’s literary oeuvre, which also includes “One Man’s Bible” and numerous stage plays, has won him global acclaim. In his native China, however, his works were banned in 1989 after a play, “Escape,” explicitly addressed the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
He said his two artistic endeavours have been part of his life since he was a child, although as an adult he keeps a distance between them.
“For my tenth birthday my uncle gave me a notebook that was just white pages, no grid and no lines,” Gao said. “At that time I used it for both writing and drawing.
“I strictly separate the two disciplines. When I’m painting, not only do I not write, I won’t even read.”
Gao’s art began to garner public attention in the 1980s with a number of exhibits across Europe. Since then, his works have been showcased in group and solo exhibitions around the world, although only rarely in mainland China.
“His art used to be more imagistic, more concrete,” said Thomas Lee, president of the Asia Art Center that hosted the exhibition. “These pieces are more abstract; he’s opened up a more imaginative space for the viewer.”
Attendees at the opening described a sense of emotion, particularly loneliness, from the barren scenes and dreamlike vistas on display.
“You really see inside his mind,” said collector Henry Chow. “Even though we’re standing outside the work, it draws you in completely.”

Though Gao intends to keep on with his art, readers may be disappointed to find that he plans no more novels.
“It’s too tiring,” he said. “That kind of work is too intense.”
“The Edge of Reality” continues until July 28.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Kingdom and Namibia have signed a protocol to establish diplomatic relations between them.According to SPA, the protocol was signed on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Abdullah Al-Mouallimi and his...
JEDDAH: Official reports reveal nationalization levels of medical and health workers in the Kingdom remain low, with Saudi nationals making up only 21.7 percent of physicians, 31.8 percent of nurses, and 67.4 percent of ancillary staff.According to t...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) will begin receiving clearance applications for medicines and medical supplies, including drugs containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, for Haj missions or other government bodies on Saturday....
JEDDAH: Saudi importers of cattle said the Haj season this year will not see an increase in the price of livestock due to the stability of the local market and the available supply.There are also guarantees from exporting countries that required quan...
JEDDAH: At the upcoming elections the national identity card will be the only approved document used for identifying voters of both genders and allowing voters to exercise their electoral right, provided all statutory requirements are met.In a press...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil has spoken of a new education policy which emphasizes the importance of harmonizing admission policies in universities with the needs of the labor market.Al-Dakhil made these remarks during a meeting with un...
JEDDAH: Local bottled water consumption during the summer, Umrah and Haj seasons this year will increase by 10 percent.“This translates into an annual growth rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent,” Rashed Bin-Zouma, a water industry expert, was qu...
RIYADH: Four Saudi secondary students including a young woman from the Eastern Province have received prestigious medals at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which concluded in Azerbaijan last week.The winners of the four bronze medal...
JEDDAH: The UAE’s decision to lift fuel subsidies beginning in August has raised the possibility of other Gulf states following suit.Economists suggest a wide disparity of prices of gasoline in the Gulf countries will lead to more petrol smuggling op...
DAMMAM: The tourism industry in the Kingdom is witnessing great interest by authorities to develop the archaeological areas, promote their support services and create the best environment for tourism products, said businessman Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair....
JEDDAH: The ongoing World Circus at north Obhur has brought smiles on the faces of orphans, with its show of acrobats featuring 20 performers and clowns.The orphans of Al-Rawdah district charitable organization said they found the circus entertaining...
RIYADH: The Nepalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udayaraj Pandey, thanked the Kingdom on Thursday as he ends his four-year tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.Earlier in the day, he called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to pay him a courtesy call a...
RIYADH: Movies produced by young and amateur Saudi filmmakers will be shown on Saudi Television starting in the middle of next week.“The films will be shown daily to encourage young Saudi filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Eid, senior broadcaster a...
RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) and Taqnia Energy to launch the first standalone 50MW solar power station at Al-Aflaj.KACST also...
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...

Stay Connected

Facebook