by Hou Qing
200x120 cm | Acrylic on Canvas
A Tale of Pi-Pa
By Hou Qing
March 18 – May 08 2011
Review of the Tale of the Pi-Pa Written by Hou Qing
Dating back to the Han Dynasty two thousand years ago, Chinese literators began to express the people’s ambivalence by means of various art carriers. It was difficult for them to detach from material and desire in city; and on the other hand, they were longing for the peace of mind far from the crowd. Covering the beauty of busy and prosperous city, there is always some bleakness and helplessness. It is, as it were, the tragedies of the city dwellers as well as the tragedies of the human beings. Hou Qing could find the similar feeling in Bai Juyi’s “Song of Pipa”, which has slight difference due to time changes. The Romance of the pipa herein is to interpret the subjective feelings different from the pipa player written by Bai Juyi, whose failure in pursuit of power made him broken-down and what he expressed in his work is the sense that “Those who have the same misfortune sympathize with each other”, whereas what Hou Qing seeks for is the conflicts of desire and desirelessness of the modern “pipa players” in reality. Bai Juyi yearned for city, but as matter of fact, the city life was not always beautiful for him. The life recalled by the pipa player was not so beautiful, but it was still a kind of memory. Time and environment changed made the pipa player hundreds years ago find the excellent joint and the modern city ladies share the similar feeling as the pipa player hundreds years ago, a memory and helplessness for city life, rather than sense of abjection of Bai Juyi towards city prosperity.
Depending on his profound oil painting basics, he has absorbed many factors from western techniques, such as materials, color and skin texture. Whereas its composition is influenced from the Chinese traditional form and for the painting names. Hou Qing has shown the desire of city young girls, and the city desire and lure, nevertheless, the special bleak and lonely atmosphere of the cities could be sensed everywhere in the painting. In this series of paintings, Hou Qing has shown the “desireless” city young girls at the beginning changing into “desire”, from purity to erotic, and then regressing to the intermediate region between them. The young girl in the painting is placed in the empty space, very sexy, and it also seems that the girl is at some everlasting moment, seeming close to you but so strange and distant from you. This is the Tale of Pipa, another interpretation for current metropolis.