gooood team interviews creative individuals under 35 years old from all over the world, some are pioneering founders, some are ordinary practitioners. gooood is trying to record the authentic living and working states of this era. Your recommendations and suggestions are appreciated!
gooood Under 35 NO.9 introduces Mobai
▼ 视频 Video （全文深度采访见下方文字。视频为3分钟精华版，建议选择蓝光1080p观看。）
gooood x Mobai 墨白
Painting, as a destiny
“If I create something that I am content with, I will take that as the best thing regardless how anyone else’s opinion is. Perhaps that will be the only thing that would last to the end of my life.”
I was born in Fuzhou, and graduated from China Academy of Art. I have been working in Beijing since I graduated. My father is an artist who also graduated from China Academy of art. Thus I have been his student to learn calligraphy since very young. When I was eighteen I went to college, I felt like that the traditional Chinese painting was so familiar to me since I have been practicing calligraphy for eight years. When I started to paint, I was much faster than other students because of knowing the brush very well. It is kind of natural that I chose painting as my career.
▼创作中的墨白，Mobai with her creations
It always comes a day when all the former goals you set for yourself become something you do not really want or something that would have better alternatives. The only thing will remain unchanged to me might be my attitude toward painting. If I create something that I am content with, I will take that as the best thing regardless how anyone else’s opinion is. Perhaps that will be the only thing that would last to the end of my life.
I am still finding my style. China Academy of Art follows a kind of traditional art education, and when I went to society, I gradually broke away from the academic criterion. You will preserve in the things you do only when you think it is the thing you truly love. People may give you suggestions that you dislike, and then I become to know what I really want. For painting, I am quite sure where my goal is. It is still in the formation stage of my style and I do not even know if it could be settled someday. What I am sure with is what I am doing right now.
▼最新作品《山海》，latest work <Mountain & Sea>
▼最新作品《蒸发》，latest work <Evaporation>
Being out of the system will make you more flexible in creations. However, if you follow the tradition, you could start from a higher point. It will give you a higher standard in mind for what you are going to do, avoiding you from making something average. There are limitations in traditional Chinese paintings. When you are drawing on silk, you have to wait until it gets dry to add a new layer. It is quite different from oil painting in which you can keep putting colors until it is finished. I enjoy traveling and I used to hang out with my paint tools, which gives me the responsibility of creating something and makes me feel not wasting my time. Painting on site could be very vivid though you have to take it back to the studio to finish. Large paintings would take quite long time to create that it is hard to finish outside. For me, painting outside is for collecting materials and I will finish my works in the studio.
▼作品《暗处的浮线》，works <Floating Lines in Secret>
Immerse in the nature of Izu
“Everything there is pure and simple and I could totally devote myself into painting.”
We have a home in Japan, which is in a place for vacations and relaxing. It will not cost much even if I stay there for long. The house is in a city called Izu, where nothing about fashion but natural scenery exists. As we are living there, we enjoy seeing the change of cloud, the color of the sky. We are close to the mountain and trees. Since we live on the slope of a mountain, the relationship between Nature and us is much more intimate than in Beijing. When I look up through the window, the changes of the nature would inspire me sometimes. However, the best thing we have there is that there is no internet and social. Everything there is pure and simple and I could totally devote myself into painting.
▼在伊豆的创作生活，life in Izu
▼伊豆的云，cloud of Izu
My work efficiency is quite high in Japan. The theme of my paintings this year is about cloud and water. I could create more works in Japan in just one month than that I do in Beijing for three or four months. What I do everyday there is painting and wandering around. I worked on a long volume which was called the cloud of Izu. It was in January that we went to a zoo which parking lot is at the top of a mountain. It was a wide place providing 270 degree panoramic view of Izu peninsula. It was dust when I saw the breathtaking view of the clouds which could not be described by any words. I was amazed by the incredible scenery and couldn’t stop taking photos. When I was back home, I could not forget the clouds and decide to take it as my painting theme.
▼作品《伊豆的云》，works <Cloud of Izu>
Color and Blue
“When drawing ocean, merely adding more blue will not express the depth of the sea. If a little green is added, the color of the sea can be much more expressive. Normally, people would only think it is beautiful or colorful when they see a scenery. However, when you come to painting, you have to contemplate carefully about the elements in your work and there are much more things you could develop in color.”
I used to start with the part I like or familiar with. For example, as I like blue color, I would feel it is comfortable to put it into my works. Though I did not plan for this, I suddenly realized that I had done so many paintings in blue when I was preparing for my exhibition. Then I made blue a theme of those paintings. I like using orange and brown in my recent creations. It seems that people have a fixed impression of my work though I do have other creating directions.
▼对蓝色之外的其他尝试：作品《半山伏线》/ 作品《绿空》，work of colors: <Lying Lines>/ <Green Sky>
The color palette of Chinese Painting was quite abundant in ancient. During the period of Literati Ink Painting, people started to develop a mindset that preferred monochromes over polychrome. They thought works with many colors were too craftsman-like. However, I, later on, find that I am more a fan of colors, because they have more variety. Monochrome painting is a bit dull to me. Now I am having fun on playful use of colors. I believe that my blue can be even more robust. When drawing ocean, merely adding more blue will not express the depth of the sea. If a little green is added, the color of the sea can be much more expressive. Normally, people would only think it is beautiful or colorful when they see a scenery. However, when you come to painting, you have to contemplate carefully about the elements in your work and there are much more things you could develop in color.
▼作品《起浪》/ 作品《流雪》，work <Wave>/ work <Flowing Snow>
▼作品《雪山》/ 作品《海岸》，work <Snow Mountain >/ work <Coast>
Detail, Texture, Sensitivity, Rlaxation
“I will make sure the details are sufficiently expressed, which is what I like in my creation… It was very interesting and you have to look carefully to get the materials you need for your creation… I become more sensitive to the changes of cloud, mountain and water. It was natural for me to realize the details, such as color and structure of the mountain… A better work of art is normally accomplished in a relaxing status.”
My paintings are not limited in landscapes. I am also working on portraits and birds and flowers though I didn’t publish them because they haven’t been in series. There is no limitation in creation. One cannot work on so many details in panorama paintings. So I prefer to drawing in smaller scales which could magnify the colors and textures. Chinese Landscape Drawing is a major genre in Art Institutes, but I prefer something that is not about composition of a picture or large sceneries. I am much more into the texture of things in detail. For instance, if I am drawing a mountain, I might only take a corner of it to depict. Instead I will make sure the details are sufficiently expressed, which is what I like in my creation. It is the direction that I am developing.
▼作品《山或是海》/ 作品《雪迹》，work<Mountain or Sea>/ work<Snow Trace>
Since I started painting, I have been used to observe things in a research way. For example, when I was taking a cable for skiing, I would look into the colors of the snow on the mountain. I tried to discover how the snow would change its color in shadows or facing the sun. The color also changed on different sides of the mountain. It was very interesting and you have to look carefully to get the materials you need for your creation. As an effect, I become more sensitive to the changes of cloud, mountain and water. It was natural for me to realize the details, such as color and structure of the mountain, rather than just appreciating its beauty.
▼作品《赭峰》，work <Ocher Peak>
I always want to pronounce the texture of objects. There is something quite masculine in my vein that I like things with rough quality. When I started to focus on texture, I was not sure how I can achieve that degree of fineness. Although I have been trying different possibilities out, it was not until this year that I began to understood how to reach my goal by changing certain pigments and brushes. I have been struggling desperately to what I want to approach. A better work of art is normally accomplished in a relaxing status. I used to push too hard on getting the effects I want and I was rather cautious on what I was painting, which made my works seemed to be restraint. These years I have seen some works and exhibitions that I liked. I found them much more relaxed than I was. Then I decided to be bolder in painting and keep on trying.
▼作品《希腊神话》/ 作品《悬浮的云》，work <Greek Mythology>/ work <Floating Cloud>
There are many white spaces in traditional Chinese paintings, while it is just the opposite in my works. We draw little background in traditional Chinese paintings. However, when I am drawing, I would like to put colors in the background, blue or orange, just as I see in the sky. Sometimes I would fill up the backdrop, leaving the mountains blank. In traditional Chinese paintings such as portraits of emperor, artist would depict every detail of the main character, leaving the background blank or only with single object. What I am doing is kinds of switching this manner. It might be more impressive when you leave the beautiful things white. I have to say that I am still fascinated in form.
▼作品《日落》/ 作品《云起》，work <Sun Set>/ work <Rising Cloud>
▼作品《半山》/ 作品《天湖》，work<Half Mountain>/ work<Lake Haven>
When doing my creations
“The interesting thing of painting is that you cannot control what you could get. God might give you a surprise that no man could decide.”
It would take me several days to think of the conception. When the weather is good, I would start my work. I seldom make any drafts. Sometimes everything goes smooth and I enjoy every layer I paint, though the outcome might be bad and I have to through it away. Sometimes the painting process would be very painstaking. But I don’t give up and keep on working, and the result might be turned out to be a master piece. The interesting thing of painting is that you cannot control what you could get. God might give you a surprise that no man could decide. The color would be different from the original in cloudy days or under artificial lights. Thus I will choose a good weather to paint under natural light. It would take me more than three months to finish a large-scale painting and the time would be three days for small-scaled ones if everything is smooth.
Things would like to try
“He was bold in using colors such as orange and pink. This give me confidence to try new colors. There is no pretty or ugly colors, it is the way you use them that matters. He showed me more possibilities in painting.”
I have seen illumination works by James Turrell and I felt it interesting. He takes the whole space as his drawing paper. It is what I always want to do and I admire the artist for he could discover this magic that early and wonderful. I cannot tell whether paper drawing would disappear or not. However, if I have chance, I would very like to do some creative works in the whole space. Painters would always like to draw on large scales. Though paper has its limitation, space does not. If one could draw in a large space that allows people to go into it and feel, the result would be amazing. I have watched VR video, in which people could walk into the picture and enjoy. Maybe it is the future and exhibition that visitors could be part of the works and feel the texture as if it is real. For now, you have to be very close to the painting if you want to experience it, but VR could make this process natural. It is truly a very interesting tendency.
I like Edgar Hilaire Germain de Gas and have read his books and creations expressly. I found he also accepted traditional painting education. After standard training on art he formed his own style. The lines and human structures in his paintings are like on-site works. However, it is actually collected and recombined in his studio. The outcome was fine designed and precisely arranged. It is what I want to do in my creations. I was so happy that I have the same working method with the artist I like. We both record the objects on-site and adjust them to create our own works.
▼实践中学习，learning and painting
He was bold in using colors such as orange and pink. This give me confidence to try new colors. There is no pretty or ugly colors, it is the way you use them that matters. He showed me more possibilities in painting. I had never known that color and texture could be that rich. Sometimes he would step on his works and rub to create the texture he want. It is not so important to him that how hard he had worked on the canvas. The only thing he cared is to visualize the texture in his mind. I became more agree with him after reading his books.
▼作品《地平线》/ 作品《海的切面》，work<Horizon>/work <Sea Plane>/
▼作品《留空》/ 作品《攀》，work <Blank>/ work<Climbing>
Happiness and responsibility
“I always remember what I want at the beginning… I’m going to dedicate my life to using my name and popularity to helping charities, helping people, uniting people… I hope that one day I could become the person to do something and tell the words to others.”
It was the first time I felt a car beautiful when I saw mini cooper. Thus I bought one and will not consider other brand of cars anymore. I always remember what I want at the beginning and am quite sure that it is also my pursuit in the end. I believe that I have already grasped the happiness in the life. I have always been imagining what kind of life I want to live since graduation. I want to travel around and take pictures. I want to do things I like and have pretty objects around me. It is what I define as happiness. Now it seems that I have already had everything I wanted, though I still feel not satisfied, as there will be more things for me to do. Being able to paint as I wish is the happiest thing for me in this process of life. My plan is to keep painting and paint in large scales. I am looking forward to my new studio next year and I hope that I could paint something new there.
▼画室生活，painting life in studio
There was a live show in Germany and at the end of this show they put a monologue of Muhammad Ali, he said: “God is watching me. God don’t praise me because I beat Joe Frazier. God don’t give nothing about Joe Frazier. God don’t care nothing about England or America as far as wealth. It’s all his. He wants to know how do we treat each other, how do we help each other. I’m going to dedicate my life to using my name and popularity to helping charities, helping people, uniting people. We need somebody in the world to help us all make peace. So when I die, if there’s a heaven, I want to see it.” Each time I saw this I got touched. Sometimes I would see bad news online that makes me really angry. It feels bad that I could do nothing to help except for retransmit the message. I hope that one day I could become the person to do something and tell the words to others.
▼墨白的个人画展完美落幕，perfect ending of self-exhibition