JIANG SHAN CHUN’S NEW ABSTRACT POLYPTYCH UNVEILED AT THE CHEVRON HEADQUARTERS, BEIJING

Jiang Shan Chun's almost 7 meter triptych, a public commission from Chevron Corporation, is unveiled at the lobby of their Beijing headquarters. Through his abstract paintings, Jiang gives pictorial voice to the Taoist concept of Taiji through a series of large-scale abstract tempera on canvas polyptychs, The Supreme Ultimate (Taiji). Taoism’s Taiji, “the supreme ultimate’ is the highest conceivable principle from which all existence flows, creating Yin and Yang from places of stillness and movement respectively. This all-pervasive concept underpins traditional Chinese energy systems of cosmology, the elements (Qi) which give rise to the seasons and indeed our own human life cycle. In his abstract works, Jiang uses swathes of intertwined light and shade in mineral hues are chromatically textured to enact the infinite spatial temporal directions of the Universe. He achieves inclines to peaks and declivities to voids through technically impressive work (most remarkably he employs only oils on canvas in some cases), as if sculpting three-dimensional planes in painting while subtlety of gradation again implies innumerable possibilities spatially and temporally. It is a self-perpetuating, eternal cycle of dualities and that reversal is the movement of the Tao. The "supreme ultimate" creates yang and yin: movement generates yang; when its activity reaches its limit, it becomes tranquil. Through tranquility the supreme ultimate generates yin. When tranquility has reached its limit, there is a return to movement. Movement and tranquility, in alternation, become each the source of the other...” A fitting metaphor for the ebbs and flows of daily life in the PRC.

Tai Ji