Leling Chen

Leling Chen

Born in China, 1957
Lives and works in Australia

Leling Chen
Vera, 2016
Oil on Canvas
91.4 x 121.8 cm

Presenting Life: My Views on Art

Life often sends me delightful little surprises. In our daily life, we can often find soul-stirring subjects and compositions for painting, enough for me to convey my art. While people exist differently from one another in society, every person’s daily life shares a common thread. I want to capture this, and validate my idea of beauty with the wonders of daily life. A momentary form or mood often appears like a flash of lightning. When inspiration strikes, I will capture the moment and paint it. Breathtaking beauty is not forgiving, but fleeting. It would be a shame not to preserve it.

A person can have a profound way of thinking, but one should always try to express things as simply as possible. I don’t believe art should be exclusive. I want them to recognise that art is nothing mystical or beyond their reach.

It is through life that we feel happiness, anger, grief and joy. Similarly it is through life that artists find inspiration. To be able to reconstruct life is a skill. As for how to convey it through art, everyone has their own creative means. Art to me is not greater than life, just as an abstruse narrative is not more complex than life. As more artwork becomes needlessly complex and convoluted, I would rather stay put and be a faithful realist. My art always focuses more on a person’s unique features and character, a face that tells a story. I want to convey these stories with my brush, and perhaps from that a nice painting can be created.

I have never sought to transcend life. Those who ungrudgingly allow life to steer them can enjoy the company of inspiration. I like to lead a life which is relaxed, simple, and unbridled. I am grateful for this kind of life, and all its little details. These seemingly unremarkable and tasteless details greatly influence myself and my art. It is from these influences that my artwork is created.

When I was a child I used to run free around the mountains and rivers, growing up surrounded by the aura of nature. Thus, I’ve always kept some distance from the fast-paced, ever-changing modern world. This gives me a good amount of peace and quiet, a good breeding ground for my art. I love, am faithful to, and relish in nature. Listening to the sounds of nature is effortless for me. I don’t believe my own subjective feelings or opinions are greater than the beauty of nature. As when I was young, packing my things and going out to paint in the open air is all too familiar.

My life is my art. My art is my life! It’s that simple.

Live in Art Gallery, Sydney