Style, to death II
Welcome to this weeks post.
How are you hanging in there? Due to a storm drawing in over Belgium we couldn’t post yesterday so let’s make up for it in style.
Last week we discussed Western style. We took up some contemporary icons of art and two artists who have a very distinct style.
This week we’d like to discuss Eastern style and some of the lesser known (in the west) styles.
When we say “Eastern” we are referring to Asia and East Asia. Please also note that this is in no way a comprehensive, or necessarily correct, discourse over Asian art. Just observations.
Asian artists have largely been unknown to westerners. To introduce them now would take far more time and space than what this blog can do in a single post. So let’s focus on a smaller part of Asia, East Asia. More specifically, let’s focus on China and Japan for this time.
To understand how style works in China and Japan, we need to understand some of the background of the art movements through time in these two countries.
China has always had a strong cultural drive. Whether in form of theatre, dance, music, pottery, or painting; there has always been a strong development of the arts.
When it comes to painting in particular, the Chinese have always had interesting ideas around it; i.e. ink has been a strong influence on art. In western art, black has on occasion been seen as no colour, or at the very least a colour that should never be used. The Chinese, on the other hand, revered black as the best colour. Black ink was considered to have all colours in it, and thus could portray all colours. To be able to do this the ink had to be “alive” and applied in varying tones to display all the subtetlies of the spectra. Other colours become secondary and the ink takes the centre stage.
As there is a very specific manner to paint with ink on a brush, the form evolved and is something that still nowadays can clearly be seen in many contemporary Chinese artists.
A comprehensive list of Chinese artists throughout history can be found here:
Whereas Chinese art was always bound by traditions and evolved under strict circumstances to evolve into something perfect, Japanese art has had a number of influences from both mainland East Asia and the western world. The Japanese also took things to it’s extreme many times, for instance evolving the sumi-e in much the same fashion as the Chinese evolved their inkbrush techniques, but at the same time it could be influenced by the west, as with ukio-e, landscape paintings that where very common in the Edo-period.
Some basic knowledge about Japanese artschools and artists can be found through here-
A quick rundown of some of the most notable historical painters from East Asia:
Whereas Ai Weiwei does make interesting art, it hardly comes in mind for what we are looking at: pure painting/illustration. And whilst Anime and Manga are interesting, there are tons of interesting articles online about how to make your art look so.
So here are a couple of interesting artists that you possibly will know and that I would like to add for their distinct style:
Whereas Studio Ghibli undoubtedly is an Anime studio, there is something specific and precise about the style which is lent by Hayao Miyazaki. This is more about design then style, but the daring manner with which he blends traditional and new concepts to create something new make it feel less like manga/anime and more like little perfect stories, filled with anything your imagination can manage, and more.
Look at the textures, and the colours. The amount of natural occuring textures in this piece of art make it almost unfathomable that it is actually a purely digital piece of art. Fenghua works as a conceptartist and freelance illustrator. Specifically the manner with which the almost colourless and monotone colours come out as vibrant and diverse is interesting.
Ruan Jia is a master with colour and tone by mixing colours of contrasting hues, but making them work because the tones are so close. Take a closer look at the eyes of the above illustration. Notice how the predominant colours around the eye, the eyelid, the brows, the lashes, and so on, are cold. Either blue or green. But that the eyes themselves, what little can be seen of them between the eyelashes, are pinkish/orangey-red. These things make the painting come alive with life rare to see outside of a master oilpainting.
So that’s a quick look at some Eastern Styles that are worth investigating. Do you have any other artists with styles you find unique or worth looking at when it comes to exploring your own style? Let us know in the comments!
Next week we will take a look at how we can use the Western and Eastern style-examples we have looked at to help further, and find our own unique style.
If you have any suggestions on artists we should look at please let us know through the comments below, or through our Facebook page. or Twitter Page (dont forget to hashtag with #dontfeartheclown on Twitter!).
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