Star

1. Star’s Garden 2018
oil on canvas
182.8 x 244 cm
Welcome into Chen Ping’s ladybird’s garden, When I first entered into the gallery surrounded by these works, I felt like I had entered into a poem. I became the ladybird wandering around, feeding on the colours, decoding the signs and symbols surrounding me. Like a garden there is a fecundity of imagery here, evoking smells and arousing sensual stimuli along with awakening magical beings and hybrid possibilities.
Chen Ping is a story teller – he enters the world of the imagination, allowing his explorations to collide and meet – in this room I feel suspended in a mythical world of wandering poets, fantastical flowers and insects and magical beings floating through the multicultural world of flowers.
He has gone on a tour of the world looking at flowers, painting these decorative symbols, putting them front and centre in order to question their importance, their link to humanity, a common binding thread.
He investigates the imagery of flowers, querying why these forms are pervasive in all cultures and in all periods of Art production. What is it about the floral form that binds us as humans – a common language revealing a common humanity and yet we are prepared to kill for perceived transgressions?
In his paintings, his marks and gestures are tracing the structures and formal decisions made by artists across cultures and time. Through the language of paint, Ping seeks understanding of how patterns are formed and how they arrive at meaning. Within these works we can find Eastern, Islamic and western depictions of flowers. By tracing their forms with his particular brush stroke, Ping arrives at understanding but also new associations, links and references.
For instance, in the work here Ping said that as he was painting the forms, he wondered at their amazing link to Van Gogh. On further research he discovered that Van Gogh in his early work had been copying forms from Chinese woodblocks. Ping realized that the marks of Van Gogh are arrived at through process, rather than the disturbance of the mind as Art History would have us believe.
This ladybird’s garden of flowers is inhabited by the many magical, fable-istic beings that haunt our imagination reminding us of the extremes of human behaviour, the moments of great achievements, the invention of fire, the transformation of materials, from minerals into metals into wheels into carriages that sweep us through this world. The wars, the terrors, the transgressions, the constant tensions and divisions in the world that continue over millennium. These forms are not represented, they are not diagrammatic or illusionistic, Ping has brought his knowledge of paint, its fluidity, its structural material presence into dialogue with the traditions of Chinese calligraphy and ink and wash painting.
These works build on the traditions of the Chinese literati where poem and painting were part of the whole work. The mark of both text and image reveal the artist’s literacy and training; the skill level achieved, the influences of previous scholars but also the weaknesses in the turn of the wrist, the gaps in knowledge, the tweaks of ego.
The painted mark in this tradition has as its core principle a suspension Between the real and not real. The mark is made in the real world, it is about the natural world, informed by observation but also by imagination. It is a real mark, that when it is made it reflects that moment of creation; that everything in the world, the temperature, the smells of the bakery nearby, the spluttering car, the wings of a ladybird all conspire to influence that mark.
In Pings luscious marks it is if we are suspended in that moment of creation, the works are so fresh that the figures and stories are held, poised in the moment of becoming. The narrative is held in the fluidity of paint – the paint is not attempting to be anything other than paint – the marks all link and join if you follow the trail of the hand, the overlays the back and forth of the artist as he negotiates the story, the pattern, the images but mainly the language and logic of paint.
Why create such a world of otherness in the contemporary moment – why flowers, why the decorative? And yet aren’t they common to all cultures to all humanity? It is a common theme in all our hearts – flowers and garden are depicted in all artforms, across time, place, cultures – similar hopes and desires, similar fears and dreams – the eternal struggles continue.
Ping maintains the Chinese tradition of calligraphic mark making brought into landscape painting. The marks oscillate between line and colour. Paint itself is ambiguous and occupying different spaces and different times – is it foreground, is it blob or petal, foot or fire? The ability of paint to be so many things at once, allows this multicultural exploration to be possible.
Ping brings us into this world of ritual and process, the good and bad that exist in the world, but makes no judgements, inviting us into the uneasy path that we need to negotiate the multiplicity, the collisions of so many possibilities in the contemporary world. So, travel around, make new discoveries and enjoy Ping’s Ladybird’s garden
 
2. Garden 2018
oil on canvas
152.5 x 182.8 cm
3. Ladybird’s Garden 1 2018
oil on canvas
122.8 x 182.8 cm
4. Space Force - Fire Wheels 2018
oil on canvas
198 x 122.8 cm
5. Space Force -Flower Girl 2018
oil on canvas
198 x 92.5 cm
6. Space Force - Ancient Palace 2018
oil on canvas
122.8 x 152.5 cm
7. Space Force – Idol and Lady 2018
oil on canvas
137 x 112 cm
8. Ladybird’s Garden 2 2018
oil on canvas
92.5 x 122.8 cm
9. Ladybird’s Garden 3 2018
oil on canvas
92.5 x 122.8 cm
10. Ladybird, Guan Di Temple 2018
oil on canvas
122.8 x 92.5 cm

SOLD

11. Landing Guan Di 1 2019
oil on canvas
122.8 x 92.5 cm
12. Landing Guan Di 2 2019
oil on canvas
92.5 x 122.8 cm
13. Fortune 1 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
14. Emolument 1 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
15. Fortune 2 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
16. Long Life 2 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
17. Sex n Death 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
18. Garden 1 2018
watercolour on paper
56 x 76 cm
19. Garden 2 2018
watercolour on paper
76 x 56 cm
20. Garden 3 2018
watercolour on paper
56 x 76 cm
21. Garden 1 2018
watercolour on paper
56 x 76 cm