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A Time to Spring

Mar 18, 2023 ~ Apr 15

By/Cui Can Spring is mighty. It is fierce and cruel. It thrives and continues to rage, without stopping for anything or anyone. Aqin knows it. She believes her drawing is too slow to catch up with the pace of time. The flowers and fruits are withering as she paints. Her process is to outline what quickly fades first, leaving the enduring therafter, and finally painting the stems and leaf blades. And so, the flowers, branches, and leaves in one painting are drawn at different times, forming a sycnchronic presentation of duration evolution. Still lives of the 17th century also possesses this quality. For instance, the painter would combine flowers from different seasons together to present vividness with observations and memories. However Aqin cannot. Follow this process as she is very restrained in using watercolors, and there has no editing through portraying the areas. Her loyalty to details and textures determines the time required. She is very honest in her paintings: each petal and each corner of the tablecloth is scrupulous with no special treatment or special favors; just like what the spring breeze does when passing through the leaves. The word “Stilleven” is created by the Dutch in the 17th century. It consists of stil (still) and leven (life), two seemingly contradictory words in Dutch that build a crucial branch of painting. The keyword in the tradition of stilleven is "time": delicate bouquets, fresh fruits, and glass or ceramic containers. However, all the extremely glorious, magnificent, and fragile things are so quickly gone. The attitude towards time in Stilleven in the 17th century is the "warning of vanity," but Aqin's still life does not have such a philosophical burden. Her glasses are nothing more than containers of branches and vines rather than fancy breakables. In terms of perception and experience,...

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