Mag. Carl Aigner (General Director of Kunst Halle Krems)

May 19, 1998

Speech by Mag. Carl Aigner
General Director of Kunst Halle Krems
At the Opening Ceremony

In Palais Harrach of Kunsthistorichen Museum, Vienna
On May 19, 1998

Dear Ambassador, General Director and Mr. Wang Wusheng:

       The General Director has already described this exhibition and the works by Mr. Wang in such beautiful language.Now I would like to talk about how I felt when I first viewed Mr. Wang。ッs works in August last year.I was attracted by his unique style.I felt that it was not necessary to think of an approach to understand these works once you were in front of them.The works themselves offer you the best interpretation.What you needed to do was to gaze at them, and gaze at them again, and again, and go on gazing at them.

       Over thousands of years, art has been developing along certain trends and framework.People are used to appreciate and analyze works of art with a mode of thinking long accepted by convention.To me, Wang Wusheng。ッs works brought me to a new horizon in understanding different forms of art.In his form of art, people can just relax and follow their own instinctive existence to experience the works.It is this kind of interaction, an internal realm and a transparent self-reflection that Wang。ッs works are searching for.

        In today。ッs world, art has gradually become industrialized.Photography has become a product of technique.It is a record and portrayal of an existing object or an object that once existed.Just as the French philosopher Roland Barthes said, 。ーWhat photography tells us is something that once existed.。ア? Nevertheless, Wang Wusheng。ッs works not only present the beauty and grandeur of the mountains, but also illustrate the fairy tale complex.Gazing at his works, you feel the instantaneous moment as well as the continuous flow of time.In fact, the more you look at them, the more you feel a momentary sensation, an illusory mood.We Europeans would associate his works with the paradise described by Christianity, which also talks about the feeling that transcends time and space.

        As a Chinese residing in Japan, Wang Wusheng。ッs creative source does not come from Japanese culture; in other words, it does not come from the Japanese concept of Haigu, which is a Japanese literary form, mainly used to express the concept of instantaneousness.Wang Wusheng。ッs works demonstrate a breakthrough in twentieth century art.It adopts the concept of Chinese traditional ink painting, a creative style acceptable to Europe and America.Identifying a landscape concept is a wonderful process in any culture.That is exactly what Wang Wusheng is doing, returning art to nature, to eternity and immortality.Each picture of his 。ーCelestial Mountains。ア photography reflects one aspect of a certain object leaving a vast space for people。ッs imagination.The difference between photography and painting lies in that the former is considered to reflect one aspect of the world, which is open without any enclosure while the latter depicts an object in its entirety.Wang。ッs works manifest this openness, set no bounds and relate to nature.Gazing at the photographs, people feel the grace and litheness and sense the ever-floating and ever-changing movements in them that go beyond the mundane.All this is in harmony with the sense of void in Daoist philosophy expounding the connection between art and nature.Nietzsche said that partial perception of things could offer people a sense of perfection.I hope you will not define hastily his photographic images because they have potential transformational force in them.

        Wang Wusheng has had his works displayed in front of us Europeans, leading us into reverie.We are more charmed by his works than Asians as Asians。ッ mode of thinking has been too much influenced by their cultural background.Viewing these pictures, we are faced with a challenge of adopting a fresh perspective to appreciate something seemingly familiar yet quite new to us.Let the new stay new, and let us remain in a state of indefiniteness and open-mindedness!