Wiesław Borkowski’s works, created using the traditional Chinese painting technique, were presented in Hangzhou. To date, it was the largest solo exhibition by a Polish artist in China.
The exhibition, titled Influx, was held in the Hangzhou Public Library, where in the gallery space of 2000 square meters over 300 works of the artist were shown. Among them was the series of ink-on-paper paintings titled Encounters, combining traditional Chinese landscape with futuristic elements, monumental calligraphic work Evolution as well as the blue-and-white porcelain series decorated with underglaze cobalt. The exhibition also featured Wiesław Borkowski’s MA Graduation Artwork Dialogue Between Apsara and Angel, awarded the Golden Award at the 2015 Graduate Exhibition of the Chinese Painting Department at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Borkowski was the first foreign student in the history of the Department to receive this prestigious award.
Wiesław Borkowski’s works are the result and, in a manner, the record of the process of his long-term immersion into the Chinese culture, which he initially observes from the position of a newcomer, a stranger, gradually deepening its understanding. The artist combines techniques characteristic for traditional Chinese painting with the elements of Western culture. An example of such merging together East and West is his work Dialogue Between Apsara and Angel, depicting two supernatural beings, Buddhist apsara and Christian angel, involved in an intimate conversation without words. The monumental size of the painting (290 x 370 cm), composition and perspective, as well as the painting technique, refer on the one hand to the European plafond paintings, and on the other hand to the Eastern Buddhist cave art and thangka scrolls. Spiritual traditions of East and West are represented by Buddhist and Christian temples, located on the edges of the painting. Skies and clouds in the background, painted in two different ways, typical for Western and Chinese art, eventually merge into one circle in the center of the image, painted with real gold. The artist tells the viewers that different cultures and religions, despite seemingly profound differences, have the same foundation, which enables people from different worlds to find a common language and reach harmony with each other.
Wiesław Borkowski, originating from Krościenko nad Dunajcem in the southern Poland, known in China as Bai Wei, is a graduate of the Chinese Studies Department of the Warsaw University. Simultaneously with his university studies, he studied traditional Chinese painting – gongbi (linear style painting) and xieyi (so-called ‘sketching thoughts’ style) – as well as calligraphy under the China-educated artist Stanisław Tworzydło. Later, as a full scholarship student, he studied Chinese painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, from which he graduated with honours in 2015. The exhibition Influx was the artist’s third solo exhibition in China. Following the presentation in Hangzhou, his works are shown from 4th to 12th June 2016 at yet another solo exhibition held in the city of Ningbo.
Written and translated by AW, 10 Jun 2016, source: artist's materials