Sitting at the small marble table in the round of the living room window, I look out. I see thick hazy forest sloping gracefully down the back of the San Salvatore. Beyond, I see several other mountains seemingly fused together; pale and flesh like, their outline suggesting the shape of a large silent mouth. A pinkish light emerges, darkening as it spreads towards the rooftops of Paradiso. Further along, I follow a line of trees that delicately defines the Malcantone against a milky sky.
On my way to work, I pull up onto the curb and step out of the car. I lean against the sidewalk railing and face out over the lake. The morning air shimmers with whiteness. I look into the distance towards the causeway; a thin powdery line stretching from Melide to Bisone appears suspended in mid-air. I imagine the stream of early morning commuters, tapping on steering wheels to radio music as they motor across, on towards town.
I drive down the Via San Giorgio past the cemetery. The caretaker stands in the doorway of his tool shed biting into a sandwich. The magnolia tree by the churchyard has begun to blossom. A delivery truck is parked outside the old people’s home, two young men unloading potted plants at the entrance. A busload of school children comes up on the opposite side, the driver nodding to me before disappearing around a bend.
I slip into the narrow street where I work. I stop and look across the lake at the large mountain facing me; the upper half obscured by heavy cloud. Other than a few houses dotting the shoreline of Caprino, the remaining foot of the mountain weighs uninterrupted into the shadow of its own reflection.
My thoughts wander.
What do other people see when they look out.
Angela Lyn 2007
The shaping of Landscape
(from the Italian)
What shapes our perception of the landscape in which we live our daily lives? Is it the response of the retina or the emotions that prevail? How much is absorbed through the corner of the eye, only to become invisible through repetition and habit? For her solo exhibition at the Museo Cantonale d’Arte Ala Est, the anglo chinese artist, Angela Lyn, has chosen to confront a challenging theme: the Ticino landscape in which she lives and works since several years…
The cycle of paintings living here was specifically done for this exhibition in her hometown. In this recent work, Angela Lyn clearly indicates her perception of landscape. She presents us with the idea that in frequenting a place, the details of the typical faces and plants one sees from day to day: the hairdresser, the insurance agent, the bus driver, the magnolia or the palm leaf, become transformed into an integral part of the panorama itself. The result is unsettling. In a subtle balance between both oriental and occidental cultural imprints, the Stimmung of the artist is expressed within a certain ambiguity of the landscape. This sublime sense of space integrates the interferences, the details of faces and plants, into the whole. Looking out, Angela Lyn embraces all and everything: she brings this into focus by closely observing these details, yet leaving the landscape open, ephemeral, as is the essence of nature itself. One recalls the myth of romantic landscape. However, it is precisely within this subtle equilibrium, between the infinite of nature, as suggested in the landscape, and an anchorage to the earthly, as articulated in the careful attention to detail, that Angela Lyn manifests a contemporary sensitivity. The subtle variations of light rendered in the landscapes seem to respond to the shifts of the artist’s state of being, rather than to those of atmospheric phenomena: it is the symbiosis between the artist and the subject that renders the varying aspects of this work inseparable. It was Baudelaire who wrote, with incisive clarity, “Whilst looking at the landscape, the eye of the spirit beholds that which the eye itself cannot grasp.” It is this same profound awareness of nature that guided Angela Lyn in the realization of these paintings.
Marco Franciolli, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano 2007