We are delighted to announce that Meng Liping's Spiritual Landscapes Numbers 3 & 4 have been collected by The British Museum.



Through the [Spiritual Landscape] series, I wanted to explore the possibilities for a coalesce of order and spirit. Just as the Shan Shui artist requires both of these in equal measure, for me the cross represents order, and moreover, a certain freedom through order. In one of this series, Spiritual Landscapes Number 3 [page 15], the crosses appear to grow organically out of the ground; I wanted to imply the possibility for order to also exist in nature’s ‘grand plan’.

The cross in my paintings is not just a symbol of the spirit, but also a symbol of reason. To the background of the winding landscapes the cross acts as a meter for me. I combine the Chinese literati painting sensibility to make the sacred element of the cross more approachable so to speak, so that it has an abstract (or semi-abstract) quality. Just as those who believe God created the world according to a divine plan, I praise this rationality, this beauty of reason.

- Meng Liping, Genesis, Faith and Indoctrination, Meng Liping Solo Exhibition, page 16

Further quotation from Meng Liping on Spiritual Landscapes:

Chinese landscape painting is of course not a live sketch, but, after the re-organization of the artist's mind, the ideal fusion of spirit and training of memory. More 'in the moment', we seem to have lost the original mood of the Shan Shui artist, but perhaps this is inevitable with the passage of time. In this series, I am trying to trace the footsteps of the Master, to re-enact that lost time. The central reason to pay tribute to the Masters in my eyes is because I believe they drew beauty in a through-time-and-space capacity. I am interested in this spirit over dogma, over confinement to physical factors.

Connected to this, we now live in a widely secularized world through advancements in science and technology, where belief systems can be seen as internal mechanisms rather than external decrees. Likewise, the human mind and spirit have the means to transcend material circumstances through training and discipline. The cross in my painting is a symbol of transcendence, but through rationality and reason.

Finally, there is a coalesce of cultures in this series. While the cross as it is widely known through Christianity is a symbol in the West, Shan Shui lies at the core of enduring Chinese culture. I wished to combine these two different regional-cultural symbols to express the possibility for an interlinked and united vision of mankind. While we face superficial appearances of cultural differences in terminology, no matter where we live, the human spirit is capable of the same.

- Meng Liping, Beijing, May 2012

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