Our Art must have individual personality

three images of the Chinese Terracotta Warriers

three images of the Chinese Terracotta Warriers

I was reading my newest edition of Robert Genn’s newsletters this morning.  Today’s was very interesting about the Chinese “Terracotta Warriors”.  Many times Robert causes me to pause and consider.  Today’s letter was one of those days.  So, I thought I would share a portion of it.  You can read the full note on his website: http://clicks.robertgenn.com/immortal-art.php

A portion of today’s note:

“In Chinese history, almost all emperors paid attention to two things. One was to try all means of gaining immortality and, failing this, to at least build a grand mausoleum.” (Wu Xiaocong, Archaeologist)

What can we learn from Qin’s vision? (1) We artists need to make our art as permanent as possible. (2) Even though we may be part of a great crowd, we need our art to have individual personality. (3) If what we make turns out to be half decent, people will eventually show up to take a look. (4) Someone will always be around to make cheap imitations.

When Qin died at age fifty, he’d consolidated China into one large state. He also standardized the currency, modernized the language, unified weights and measures and got a good start on the Great Wall. He was also a mean one. “Everything will be dictated,” he announced at the beginning of his rule. Minor offences were to receive various ghastly versions of the death penalty. Delivered finally to his underground mausoleum, even his spare concubines were buried with him–alive. On the other hand, he was, as they say, a great supporter of the arts.

I am participating in a group show this fall.  Each morning, I have been taking a few minutes to sketch ideas.  I am hoping that by taking the time to consider the work before making it, when I start the actual process of hands in clay, the work will be more cohesive.  I will let you know how successful I am.  Have a good day.  C.