From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Are the worlds of Minecraft and traditional Chinese scroll painting so remote? One—developed in 2009—is the best selling computer game of all time; the other—dating from 200 BC—is one of the oldest continuing artistic traditions in the world. It seems precocious to compare the two but both forms generate landscapes and narratives of exceptional length and potential. For the reader of the scroll and the player of the game a lack of perspective means there is little that is finite, giving rise to extraordinary fictions.
The paintings, 3D printed sculpture and video animation that comprise The Mountain Without The Words are interrelated and stem from an individual painting the artist Peter Nelson made while on residency in China. Each is an iteration of the mountainous abstraction depicted in the original painting, made first into a printed sculpture that imitates the jade luster of Chinese ceramics and then into an animated video in which the artist’s own figure walks endlessly through a constructed landscape. The series subtly reinterprets the physicality of reading a Chinese scroll, as it is unrolled section by section, as if the reader himself were able to travel through the imaginary landscape. Are the gamer and the calligrapher so far apart?
Until September 21st
Gallery 9, Darlinghurst
Pic credit: Peter Nelson, Ink Mountain (The Lost Man) #1, 2014, ink and graphite on paper, 54 x 38 cm. Courtesy of Gallery 9