The Trace of Time

Sun Xin

作者Gulistan古丽斯坦 作品名称《跨越》Crossing  年代:2006 材质 布面油画Oil on Canvas  尺寸:107x140cm

The first time I entered Gulistan’s studio, I was deeply moved by the paintings of all sizes on the wall. The paintings are simple, elegant, but full of vigor. Outside the window grows green vines, through which the sunlight slants into the room. The tranquility makes me feel that I am leaving the trivial world. One can feel an exquisite tinge from each painting, which is so bewitching that old memories are called on and I feel it hard for me to get out from under it. Gulistan, confident and mature, is standing steadfast. She is the queen of her art realm.

Neither tied to traditional oil painting skills, nor confined to popular themes, Gulistan seems to draw out of her own will without pursuing visual language symbols. A variety of images are created in her paintings, such as the sediment of ancient history, the piano with which melodic music is still played, the little bird winging over the trees, the stars and the moon shining in the sky, the scenery lapsing outside the window, the spacious room of a building and the vase and flower and wooden chair in a dark corner, and even a page thumbed occasionally. She decorates and refines them with her sentiment. With her sharp feelings, she draws her reflections on life into her works. These images are both concrete and intangible, presenting the moments of her life and leaving the trace of her great thought as well. While painting, she creates images to her satisfaction through insistent modification. They are the embodiment of her mind, pouring out her hopes and longings.

Gulistan’s insight into life can be found in her paintings. With herself being an element of the painting, her will crosses time, embodied by the subtle change in lines and colors. The change finally makes a space for an image. In the boundless space, she recalls her memory, piece by piece, attentively polishing them. These memories are silently whispering while she listens with all ears, echoing the sound in her soul. Thus she makes time a trace of memory, treasuring it up in her paintings. As fragile as it is, the trace is unyielding, sensitive and rich in meaning. Isn’t it fine and real?

She talks with the images in her memory, with the countless transient waves of rising and sediment, and with the mottled lines in her paintings. She is absorbed in them, led into a surreal world and walking into the painting, meanwhile into her own inner world, where time and space are interwoven—blank and vague, immense and delicate. They are not only the moment eternally occupying the space of a canvas but a nook for the changing universe. With them, Gulistan’s sentiment is sublimed. They are like pictures occasionally snapped, integral in meaning, for they make recordings of the vicissitudes of one’s life as well as emotional waves. In the two-dimensional world, matter and soul melt into one. The painting itself tells the process of the drawing, which is endless in return. The audience feel themselves following the ups and downs moving with the old days coming back to life.

Gulistan’s light-palette paintings are not large-sized, different from those with overwhelming visual effect. Her paintings, as if alive, are quietly lying in the studio and awaiting me to find them. However, the floating images would withdraw into the depth of the painting when I make an attempt to reach them. They waken some moments in my memory. Lasting and overlapping, these images present a full picture of life right at the present moment. I am listening to each painting, which is pouring out vivid stories and waiting for my response.

2006 in Beijing

—Translated by Guo Jian

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