Experimental Chinese Painting
The Decent of Man
Mixed Media on Paper
84 x 59 cm
'The Descent of Man' is an experimental Chinese painting that explores the boundaries of traditional Chinese Art. It questions the nature of Chinese painting and asked what makes a painting Chinese; is it the materials, the nationality of the Artist, the location it was painted or its parallelism to traditional Chinese aesthetics? Does it cast doubt on whether ‘The Decent of Man’ itself is a Chinese painting?
Named after the book by the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, ‘The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex’, the painting explores the themes of Modernity, Religion, and Science. Darwin presents a view of humanity with stark similarity to the ‘lower’ animals. Humans are special in that they have climbed to the top of the evolutionary tree through a journey of suffering and evil, triumphs over other species, killing, fighting and eating one and other. The problem of evil was presented as stronger than ever before. This climb is represented here, by a single grabbing arm.