As a thing the way is shadowy, indistinct.
Indistinct and shadowy,
Yet within it is an image;
Shadowy and indistinct,
Yet within it is an essence.
This essence is quite genuine
And within it is something that can be tested.
Lao-Tze: Tao Te Ching
There is no greater privilege and responsibility than to enter the world of another person.
In a culture consumed by ever-faster formulas for newness and change, I choose painting as my primary medium. Through painting, through its sheer stubbornness to survive as a language, through the immediacy of its physical, mental and spiritual demands, and through my own personal engagement as an artist, I try to examine what it is that touches us as human beings.
I am interested in the resonance and sustainability of an image. I build on the simple premise that if the work is to give something genuine to the viewer, something genuine has to be given to the work.
Through my Chinese father, traditional Asian culture lies rooted in my upbringing. Within a contemporary context, reflecting on the essence of beauty, and its power as a universal language remain key to my artistic approach. In a media strategy often dominated by the negative, there is a danger that we become immune. In contrast, I find reaching my viewer with a certain kindness gives way to introspection. It is here that I hope my paintings become communicative.
In my approach to painting, I stay close to what I see. Living in Ticino, Switzerland, painting in a large studio that faces through large Himalayan cedar trees on to Lake Lugano, landscape becomes the essential basis of my enquiry. Through attention to detail and the slow building of an image, I try to create a sense of presence and accountability. The subjects I choose, be that fragments of cedar trees, engaging with each single needle, or the horizon of a landscape through which millimeter for millimeter I examine the exchange between mountain and sky, or in still life painting where the observation of a thing becomes an existential enquiry into the ephemeral question of reality; all require time, reflection and persistence.
My scope then, through the act of painting, lies in transforming my own time into a visual language offering the viewer a sense of space in which he, or she, can renew aspects of the self tarnished by the density and haste of daily life.
I like to think of a painting as a sort of time bank; a place where one can come and go to deposit and withdraw energy. Whilst painting, I am aware that if the painting succeeds, it may become a doorway to the world of another person: a humbling and inspiring prospect.
Angela Lyn, Lugano, 2017