Wednesday, December 14, 2011

“Chinese Mountains” By Derek Ottens

‘Chinese Mountains’ references Chinese painters, and writers, copying manuscripts, ideograms, and
landscapes over and over. If I do the same I may eventually get it right…

Like the educated but underemployed Chinese scholars during the Mongol Yuan dynasty I sometimes
share the cultural ideals of a reclusive world and often try to translate those ideals through a symbolic

Many Chinese mountain paintings were painted in shades of black and white to limit distractions and concentrate on the inner essence of energy and spirit. These mountains remain unfinished and with time will acquire a patina through handling and exposure to the elements.

Like the men for centuries wandering in mountains to purify spirit and find renewal, the making of these mountains seems to be a hike for me, realizing something that has no real purpose or function other than to be or to have been.

The inscription of the maker is inscribed on a Chinese landscape painting and each owner thereafter
adds their names or inscriptions as an ongoing response so the painting was not really completed when the artist put down his brush. 

That evolution I would hope will happen with these mountains as they remain unfinished but will continue to acquire a patina through the hands of each consecutive owner.

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