Time sensitivity is not what comes to mind when one views the ink drawings of Lin Xue. The viewer is too busy noting the intricacies of the lines and forms; immersing themselves in the segments of buildings and landscapes that meld into a chimerical natural world. But these drawings had to be done quickly and without being able to control the final composition of the piece. Xue’s drawing tool of choice is a sharpened shard of bamboo, and bamboo doesn’t retain ink so each mark must be made quickly and with precision. The choice of tool reflects both the artist’s closeness to nature (the drawings themselves are inspired by his regular mountain hikes), as well as explaining the intent to express nature itself. Xue has always been drawn to the “orchestral energy” he sensed within the world around him, the vibrations of what was living, and these drawings represent his attempts to place it on paper.
These drawings, despite being obviously inspired by Xue’s immersion within nature, have an element of the fantastic; they are isolated world clusters, floating islands that are a configuration between nature’s energies and the workings of the mind. The patterns of landscape and edifice are the artist’s way of rendering the network within nature that links everything together. The stitched together quality also fools the viewer as to whether or not what they are looking at is macro or micro. The size of the work itself forces the viewer to be intimate, looking closely to see all of the details, but the landscape cannot help but invoke the feeling that one is approaching a new world in its own right.