ambiguous dimensions

By Lars Koepsel for Wu Tung-Lung (吳東龍)

Born in 1976 in Taipei, Wu is one of the few artists of his generation in Taiwan who focuses on abstract painting. In this case the germ cell of his pictorial world is not reality, but the line, surface and color used without any associative subject reference.

Wu Tung-Lung has developed his own style of painting with reminiscence, both on the traditional techniques of European oil painting, such as the medieval panel painting and the monochromatic first glaze layer (Imprimitura) which emerged at the same time, as well as Chinese stone rubbings which first appeared in the Han dynasty (about 200 BC to 200 AD).

Wu Tung-Lung has consistently further evolved his innovative approach to painting. Due to the always very thinly overlapping translucent layers of color, impressions of a special light appear, which seems to be stored in the work and thus intends a unadorned elegance. These, lets say: "poly-monochromatic" areas of color are broken up by geometrical and organic sign-like elements, which Wu serially dubs with "symbols". But these symbols do not refer to anything symbolically and thus they remain pure form. However, these signs can be used to relate to Wu Tung-Lung's earlier, very intense examination of Chinese calligraphy.

Adolf Hölzel, the painter and well-known teacher of artists such as Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister, on whose color theory also Johannes Itten referred, once spoke about the autochthonous power of artistic means, of absolute painting. This seems to apply in a particularly contemporary manner to Wu Tung-Lung's work.