Oil painting is heavy and deep while the watercolour is light and pure. The two kinds of nature-specific media have a long history in western art creation, and after more than one hundred years of introduction, they have taken root in China, and they have sprung up in the collision and converged in the blending.
In the late autumn of 2017, 14 painters, either specialise in oil painting or adept at watercolour painting, gathered in Longxi, Gansu province, with their different styles. Their views and pursuits of art are also different. Facing the boundless and distant scenes, however, they chose the same way to express their feeling directly – spreading oil paintings and watercolours on the scrolls to capture the soul of this mountainous landscape.
The gathering of these artists also directly contributed to the exhibition of Different Colours Same Path. The exhibition was opened at the Zhejiang Art Museum on 26th May, which not only attracted the attention of a large number of art professionals, art lovers and collectors, but also provided a chance for the artists to talk freely about their creation.
The artists talked freely about their views on art, expression language of art and the state of creation, which led to the integration and reference of oil painting and watercolour, so that the influence of this integration and reference on the art world was discussed in depth.
The exhibition was successfully concluded on 10th June. The achievements of this exhibition are not only the artistic inspiration for the viewers, but also the deeper understanding of the artistic media and the expression techniques of the participating artists.
As the Artist/Professor Zhou Gang said, in China, the development of watercolour painting has been influenced by traditional Chinese painting and gouache, but the group of artists who really adheres to the study of watercolour is always there, and this line is always there, and also happens to be integrated with the line of oil painting research. After a century of development, today we finally sit together again, and use the way of painting to present what we see and feel in our inner world.
Zhao Yunlong, an artist who specialises in watercolour creation, also lamented the rugged path of watercolour development in China. And he felt that this opportunity of communication and collision between different art forms is very precious. He said that on the one hand, the restrictions on materials in early days made it easy to question its expressiveness. On the other hand, it had been marginalised in art education. Therefore, I am very interested that this work can be exhibited with fellow artists; we can see the achievements of the oil painting artists, which is revelation and reference for us and we can learn from them.
Artist Wang Hui talked about the development of oil painting and watercolour in China, and believes that they are inseparable from the integration of national changes and local culture. Artist Wang kun, the executive editor of “Chinese Oil Painting”, also commented on the characteristics of Chinese oil painting. “For more than a hundred years, Chinese painters hope to become attached to western art and give birth to children of their own descent. Today, this exhibition is our own child.” He thinks Chinese culture is more about Xie Yi（写意）, and the way of thinking in the West is very different from ours. As an artist, we always regard oil painting with Chinese characteristics as our ultimate goal, so this exhibition is a step in our pursuit process, I hope everyone likes it.
Artist Ren Chuanwen emphasizes the importance of mastering his own unique artistic language in addition to the media: the artist must have his own artistic language. This is a process of enlightenment and needs to be practiced slowly.
The sentiments of the painters began with the similarities and differences between the two media, exploring their developmental characteristics in the presence of China and the West, and the importance of the most essential personal expression apart from of any media.