Le Songe Creux
Professor, Fine Arts Department
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
I have from the outset seen this project as a 'writing' endeavor since I draw these lines with a technical pen on a table. Both the tools of writing for the traditional Western writer, pen and table, have been a major stimulus. The assimilation with the image of the monk copying has also been a permanent comparison, but the most fruitful one might be found in the Chinese realm. Since the beginnings of Chinese painting theory in the fifth century A.D., the assimilation of painting with writing has been clear to the Chinese literati. Both activities require a mastery of the brush, a tool they have always seen as unique in its potency. It was then quite logical to see early painters use the term 'to write' (xie 寫) to describe the act of painting images. A little later, when it became more common to use the specific term 'to paint' (hua 畫) to describe the same activity, it was always related to the term used for 'calligraphy' (shu 書). Even though I do not, and will not, use the Chinese brush to make the lines of Le Songe Creux, the idea that the act of writing I undertake has similarities with the original notion of painting by the ancient Chinese justified on a technical plan the theoretical considerations borrowed from Chinese philosophy I made in the early stage of this project.