Jinglu Li: The End Of Woods

Jinglu Li

Artwork’s Title: The end of woods

Materials Used: Acrylic, oil pastel

Studio Based: Beijing, China

Jinglu Li, The End of Woods, Acrylic on paper, 112 x 80 cm, 2021

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I come up with an idea first. The idea should be specific enough so I could imagine a scenario including the character and the context. The scenario should contain the emotional moment I want to capture. I will draw a lot of sketches on paper or my ipad to capture it. Once I capture the idea, I will paint on canvas. I also use some materials to express my ideas when painting is not enough.

我先找到一个想法,这个想法需要有足够具象的表达,包括形象和场景,及我想捕捉的情绪的瞬间. 我会用素描或者 ipad 画一些草稿,一旦想法成型,我会在画布上绘画. 除绘画外我也会用一些混合的材质来表达想法.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Atmosphere, sensation, tension. 氛围,感官,紧张

How did you come up with this new painting idea? Is there any story behind this work?

I wanted to paint someone who is waiting for something in a space of emptiness. I wanted to present the scenario in a ritual way, so I made the background symmetrical, and the figure himself became the visual focus, carrying on all the sensation and emotion I’d like to express.

我想画一个人在一个空旷的空间等待的状态. 我想给这种普遍的状态一种仪式感,所以设置了对称的背景,人物形象被聚焦,这种情绪也被放大.

It seems that your colourful paintings mainly rely on figurative portraiture which represents characters with physical exaggerations: big heads, pointed noises, small ears. Where do you draw inspiration from in order to create your characters on canvas?

I’d like to amplify the internal feelings which are universally hidden by people in their daily life. These feelings like isolation, tension, anxiety are very common but well concealed. I just want to reveal these feelings by creating a stage with spotlights. So big heads, pointed noises and small ears as well as the narrative backgrounds just serve as the stage for the feelings I’d like to express. 

I think technically I draw inspiration from many artists I listed in a question below; For the notion itself, I get inspiration from my daily life, by observing people.

我喜欢放大人们在日常生活中隐藏的内在情绪,类似隔离感,紧张,焦虑等. 这些情绪在我的绘画里成为舞台的焦点. 人物五官特点等及叙事化的背景都是为了表述并放大情绪本身.


Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?

People’s sensation. 人的感受

Large or small scale canvases dilemma; are there any kind of standards that drive you to decide which surface length is better fitted for your final painting visualisations?

I bought my canvases with similar sizes. So I don’t have the dilemma. The scale of the canvas always matches ambition I hold before painting. I really enjoy painting on large canvases and I think I will create more large scale works in future.

我买的画布都差不多大小,所以不用太纠结尺寸. 画布大小一般和我每次创作的野心匹配. 我是很喜欢在更大的画布上作画,未来应该也会创作更大尺度的作品.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

I haven’t thought about it yet. If possible, I’d like to exhibit them in a bus station. 我还没仔细想过,如果可能,我希望在公交站展出.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

There are a lot: Peter Doig, Francis Bacon, Noah Davis, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, Marlene Dumas, Nicole Eisenman, Alex Katz, Tu Hongtao and many others. I also take inspiration from some traditional Chinese landscape artists and some contemporary photographers like Alex Webb. Music and poems are also sources of inspiration for me.

有很多,大家的名字就不翻译了. 我也从一些中国传统山水画家和当代摄影师身上获得灵感,音乐和诗歌也是灵感之源.

Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?

Deciding when an artwork is finished is also a part of creation. I think presenting the artwork, naming the artwork are all additional work always needed. Sometimes additional work becomes an essential part of the work itself. In my work <Identity>, a man’s figure was cut out. I hung an ID card on his neck. It is definitely an additional step but making the work more completed.

决定何时作品完成也是创作的一部分. 我觉得作品的呈现,命名等都是必要的附加工作. 有时候附加工作会成为作品核心的一部分. 我的作品 <Identity> 里,人物形象被切割出来,我挂了一个工卡在他脖子上,这一步是附加的,但让这个作品真正完整了.  

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I turned half of my living room into my studio. It is quite small, next to my bookshelf, but should be enough for me to do my work. I always listen to music when painting. Music actually provides me a much larger space than the physical one I occupy.

我把客厅的一半改成工作室,就在书架旁边,面积不大,但对我来说够用了.  我经常画画时听音乐,对比实际的物理空间,音乐实际上为我提供了更大的可感受的空间. 

What does your mum think about your art?

She loves my art now, although at the beginning she hoped that I could make some traditional Chinese paintings like flowers for her so she could hang them in her living room. 

比起之前,她现在是比较喜欢的. 之前她一直希望我能创作一些中国传统画比如花草等,这样她可以挂在她的客厅.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

<Bruce Nauman: OK OK OK> presented by M WOODS art museum, Beijing, an interesting exhibition showing some of Nauman’s performance art works.

最近北京木木美术馆一个关于 Bruce Nauman 的展 <OK OK OK>,里面有他一些表演艺术作品很有趣. 

Which are your plans for the near future?

I have a full time job which is not related to art. My plan is to better arrange my time so I can do more painting. I also want to meet more people who are creating art. 

我现在有一个非艺术相关的全职工作,我的计划是更好的安排我的时间,做更多作品. 我也希望能结识更多做创作的朋友.

Additional Paintings

Jinglu Li, Identity, Acrylic, mixed medium, 100 X 80cm, 2021
Jinglu Li, Constellation, Acrylic on paper, 80 X 112 cm, 2020
Jinglu Li, Woods, Acrylic on paper, 86 X 120cm, 2021
Jinglu Li, Celebration, Acrylic on paper, 86 X 120 cm, 2021
Jinglu Li, Verification, Acrylic on paper, 86 X 120 cm, 2021


All images courtesy of the artist

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