It is extremely difficult for a person living in this world to persist on his chosen path, like a boat buffeted by the ocean waves. It requires a clearly defined direction and goal, as well as a strong will, determination and confidence. Destiny and luck are also indispensable. This era is moving forward, rushing forth at a blistering pace, and each individual is being swept up beyond their control. Many things in our memories have already grown so distant, becoming relics of the past. The distance between today and those “days gone by” is a mere ten, twenty, thirty years. This era is so progressive, so clamorous and energized, but I often feel so lonely inside.
Living in this impetuous society, we need faith. Faith is different from person to person. Xie Dongming’s faith is sincerity, sincerity in his dealings with others, sincerity in his approach to the world, sincerity in his quest for the truth about life. He looks upon everything in the world with kindness, and pursue spiritual beauty in life, and the courage to live up to his responsibilities. His faith comes from the spiritual needs deep within his heart, and his understanding and thinking about the history of nature and mankind’s existence. Modern civilization is material and consumptive, struggling for profit. In his mind, the agricultural civilization of the past was spiritual, poetic.
Xie Dongming stand between the two with a conflicted heart. Deep down he wish to live in a spiritual and poetic world, yet my body enjoys the fruits of material civilization. His struggles are rooted in this, because his heart yearns to escape reality. Painting is his means of escape and release. Art extinguishes the anxiety and unease of life. The selection of subject matter is important to him. Most of his themes come from rural life. Xie Dongming often travels to those remote, hard to reach places, the high plateaus and deep mountain gorges. His find the scenery and people there to be quite compelling. Because modern civilization has yet to reach these places, the natural environments and living conditions have preserved the ways of the past. The lack of material objects and the simplicity of existence are accompanied by spiritual freedom and courage, as well as an optimistic outlook on life. Xie Dongming identify with those people and their way of life. Today, the benefits of modern civilization are eating away at all of this. Under the pressure of modern civilization, those quiet lives and their harmony with nature are being wiped out.
Xie Dongming’s paintings are only his inner perceptions. He likes to look at people’s faces. Hope, dreams, courage, longing, fear, joy, suffering, friendship, love, these are the most essential emotions of mankind. He likes to depict such touching faces, using visible external appearances to seek out the invisible truths within. Xie Dongming expresses the ideals and poeticism of life, as he perceives them. As He gazes at them, He is gazing at himself. In this day and age, ideals and poeticism can only survive in a work of art. In real life, they would be bruised and bloodied.
Jakarta, May 2011