In January 2021, Chen Yingjie (Hua Tunan) was invited by the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum MOCA to work away from the usual creative space and go to Shanghai to create “Gravity XLI” landscape series.
The mural 自然重力 41 | GRAVITY XLI was painted on Nanchang Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai / （中国）上海市黄浦区南昌路292号. The road is lined with old sycamore trees.
The mural was painted at No.292 and the building hosted an impressive 90m wide by 100m high facade! The wall gracefully displays the shadows from the opposite sycamore tree in all its glory!
Hua used Acrylic and spray paint / 亚克力、喷漆 within his mural.
The creation of GRAVITY XLI combines Chinese landscape with Western street art. The artwork is integrated with the bare sycamore trees facing the street, conforming to the growth of the trees and perfectly showing the natural light and shadow changes they create as they dance across the building facade.
The natural greens and beige back drop compliment the sycamore tree, whilst the powerfully applied black, with intense blue and violet colours creates movement and vitality as it grows upwards to boundless heights.
Using an experimental method to explore the spanning language between tradition and the street spirit, Hua hopes that Chinese landscape painting will no longer be traditional, but another natural time and space with layers of penetration.
“I have always thought of a sentence in my creation, Think big, do small. If there is no accumulation of small streams, there is no way to become a river East and West/ 我创作一直想的一句话, Think big, do small. #街头水墨 #不积小流无以成江海 #东方西方” Hua Tunan
The work took five days to complete, and the “Natural Gravity” series also spans from easel painting to urban art. The “Natural Gravity” series draws inspiration from the immense beauty of nature.
Conveying the concept of inclusiveness of all things in Chinese culture, starting from the historic street of Nanchang Road, the mural reinterprets the contemporary humanities of the metropolis with the poetic touch of the landscape.
The before and after images capture how the artist, Hua Tunan, has embraced the tree and its ever-changing contours within his vision. The final picture welcomes new energy that celebrates the tree and nature, the tree and the artist’s vision are brought together, united perfectly.
The work can only be completed when the sycamore leaves are flourishing in spring.
Photo Credit Hua Tunan