The Trace of Time

March 12th, 2007

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


March 12th, 2007







2006 年北京

作者Gulistan古丽斯坦 作品名称《记忆的性质》Essence of Memony  系列   年代:2003  材质:布面油画Oil on Canvas   尺寸:60x70cm

A Journey of Memory

March 12th, 2007

Yang Tiansun

Graceful and gentle, a girl of water with a faint smile, such is the impression that people have of Gulistan’s appearance. However, one can find tenacity and persistence in her eyes. Contradicting beauties harmoniously exist in her while opposing talents are appeased with her elegance. She is full of passion towards life and art, which is revealed in the artist’s elegance of bearing. Such passion even overshadows her figure. The vagueness with profound depth in her paintings can also be found in Gulistan. She possesses a mysterious air. All are transparent when draws close to her and removes the gauze over her soul. Still the enigma is always there. Gulistan is a noble fairy, dancing and walking through her memory and time.

It is stunning how Gulistan imagines space time, makes aftertastes of her dreams and pursues freedom for her mind. Paintings, music, dance and words are the purest expression for her thought. She devotes all her passion in her career. Every observation, quest, struggle and pursuit are all made with fierce emotion. Gulistan’s waving emotion is like a drop of holy moonlight, snow white and motionless, running through the darkness, pouring down and finally reaching the soul silently. Gulistan reveals her deep feeling through painting. As simple as the lines, a profound artistic conception is sketched. As light as the elegant colors, lost thought gains strength. Behind the emotionless expression hides the longing to embrace all that she loves and yearns for. We are unconsciously gripped, attracted and infected by her ravishing paintings. The carefully guarded inner world starts to open until all the old memories are recalled. Familiar figures, past episodes, feelings, all rush out without suppression. With appearances, voices and whispers recalled and strength, essence and soul awakened, we are intoxicated in the boundless temporal space. When the light spirit is ushered to the crossing point of recalling and longing, one feels warm and moved. Such is the passion, pleasure and wisdom that Gulistan brings to us. A magic is pervasive in the misty air, softly floating.

Appreciating Gulistan’s paintings and words is like a meaningful journey in which we move back to the past, re-experiencing the vicissitudes of life, traversing the earthly reality—a spiritual journey to clear away the dirt and lead us to light.

2006 in Shanghai

—Translated by Guo Jian

照片 2266


March 12th, 2007






Painting by Heart

March 12th, 2007

My Impression of Gulistan

He Yan

A hand, a violin, an open book, a dim head portrait, an archaic gown—traces of memories, put against light-yellow dappled grounding, gradually become objects for her meditation.

Symbols and episodes flash in Gulistan’s mind. What, therefore, does she want to express with them? The fact is that all arts are to deliver the artists’ emotion. As for painting, it is probably the way for the artist to grip and prolong the moment when she is inspired and passionate.

An oil painter and poet, Gulistan desires to vividly show her inner world to the public through her various arts.

Gulistan is passionate about music. She has fallen in love with many masters of classical music, such as Haydn and Bach. The unruliness in Jazz is also fascinating to her. All these accord with her nature. Her paintings are tinged with classical elegance and modesty. However, she achieves this with inspirations at will. Lightness and simplicity are sensed in all of Gulistan’s paintings—in The Essence of Memory this is especially the case, in which a dreamy air and exotic feelings permeate.

Born in Xinjiang, a beautiful place at the foot of Tianshan Mountain where dance and music flourish, Gulistan was imbued with a forthright and uninhibited nature. The innate intelligence and beauty within her makes one feel that she is like a well-nourished flower favored by the Creator.

The talents of such an artist are inborn. Gulistan herself is the masterpiece of nature. Sensitive to inner and outer beauty, she is commissioned to express and release such beauty.

In reading her poems, one can feel Gulistan’s cherished dreams, a free soul and persistent pursuit of beauty; while appreciating her paintings, one feels calm. All are so peaceful that the soundless music in the artist’s heart can be heard.

The pursuit of art is endless. The noblest character of artists is but their sincerity to art. Gulistan believes that good art requires a long time, wisdom and passion. I believe that she will devote her whole life to search for the beauty of art and soul. Since style is temporal, the artist will be happy forever with creation.

2006 in Shanghai

—Translated by Guo Jian


March 12th, 2007











Faerie Artist Gulistan

March 12th, 2007


A fairy roaming in colors, an enchantress able to cast her spell with a painting brush, an artist loyal to her own soul, she is Gulistan. The moment you open her album of paintings, you will be infected by the art, immediately feeling unable to resist the force which is sending you to a magic land.

Unlike so many money-driven artists, Gulistan paints with the most primitive passion, which floats throughout all her works. One can feel a deep spring of life from her paintings, in which no taint of the superficialness of the age is to be found.

I always feel that it is far from enough to just stay at the surface of Gulistan’s paintings. These paintings are endowed with a drop of light, which leads you to the road to the wonderland of soul. But to reach the serene land, you must feel with your soul. Serenity is a feature of her paintings; so is animation. It seems that in her two series Haydn’s Piano and Guli’s Chair and About Time lives a powerful and unconstrained imp, who will take you past the boundary of time and space. With her, you gallop in space time, soaring in the realm of brilliant art, meanwhile feeling the air of freedom on the canvases.

Appreciating her paintings is like attending a rare banquet of life. Indulging in the purity, the elegance, the poetic land and dreamy air, you are in a surging mood, as is the artist. With her works, you can get a chance to talk with anyone and get to know the world from a new perspective.

The one that impressed me most deeply is her painting The Essence of Nature. After regarding the painting, I asked myself: What on earth is the essence of nature? Is it the sculpted time, or those sad or happy symbols in a solitary corner, or the fragmented coming and going of life? Right at this moment, looking at her paintings, I am picking up pieces of interweaving memories. The vestige of life is thus printed. Countless rivers of memories stream past the paintings. It is so moving that I feel myself embraced by an unspoken beauty, filled with marvelous hopes.

Finally, I want to say that such is Gulistan, an elegant but delicate, plain but brilliant artist.

2005 in Beijing

—Translated by Guo Jian


March 12th, 2007









The Encounter of Classical Music and Jazz

March 12th, 2007

Gulistan on Music

Besides painting, music is another important part of my life. I indulge myself in many types of music, with Jazz and classical music being my favorites. The latter is the “core” of my inner world. Bach has always been in my favor. Later on, Jacques Loussier played an indispensable role in my career.

Jacques Loussier is a French Jazz pianist. Born in 1934, he received formal education in classical music. In contemporary times, he was the first who played the works of Bach and Debussy in a Jazz style, which makes the “encounter” of classical music and Jazz music possible. Jacques Loussier’s trio playing Bach live from St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig is my favorite. To Jacques Loussier, who is free in playing classical music and Jazz, there is no difference between the two types of music. It is a coincidence that Jacques Loussier played Bach’s music in a Jazz style in St. Thomas’s Church, where Bach had been the chief inspector of music hundreds of years earlier. It can be viewed as the encounter between Bach, the father of music, and Jacques Loussier, the modern Jazz master. It is said that Jacques Loussier sets free Bach’s notes. As for me, I live with Jacques Loussier’s fast-rhythmic notes. With the notes I sleep, I feel, I compose music. All these bring me to ecstasy. It seems that I was dancing with the eidolons in the universe, sunlight dazzling, music so pure. Such a feeling gives me inspiration for my painting.

Playing Jazz on impulse makes the music perfect. Jazz music is influenced by various types of music, such as classical music, march music, Gospel songs, labor songs, Ragtime, Blues and pop music. Bach’s music has been the source for many Jazz players in each period of Jazz’s development, among whom Jacques Loussier made the best use of it. I hope that Jacques Loussier will take me higher and higher. Being guided by the soul of the pure music, I find a serene nook in the crowded world, where I see more beauty and light. I am absorbed by his fast-rhythmic and powerful notes.

I was told once that listening to Jazz is like feeling an old sofa to recall the old days. I think it is not nostalgia but the judging of one’s whole life. “Long is history, there is no gap between you and it. You can even feel it with your heart, remove the shadow over it. The music played in the old days is reheard…”

Jazz plays a very important role in America. It is an art created collectively. Art is targeted to present something unseen. It enables us to know ourselves in an easy way, for with it, artists express their own emotion, make themselves heard. In addition, art requires more besides individual feelings. It is in constant change, twirling and moving in time and space, seeking light and the meaning behind “plot”. Some “true meaning” and “the world of life” are searched for. Different people have different feelings while listening to Jazz. To me, what I feel most in it is “freedom”. I love freedom and the air over fresh earth.

Listening to Jazz enables us to know individual experiences, from which we see ourselves. When you learn stories about Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington and Billy Holiday, you will believe that Jazz music is a form of celebrating life, human life, and the process of life. It is about sadness and happiness, white and black, man and woman, Old Africa and Old Europe. With freedom as its theme, Jazz is a way to release human feelings. It is a process of creation itself. Creation is a pleasure. With its nature and its mysterious soul, we are solaced. Though man is fettered by time and space, the soul can take off, striving for “time over time”.

Ralph Arison holds that we cannot truly understand Jazz unless we pay attention to the things that run through our life.

At the beginning of the Twenties, Chicago was the center of Jazz music. Louis Armstrong revised the style of Jazz after he joined the Large Jazz Ensemble. Bandsmen gained opportunity to perform individually to show their talents. From the Thirties to Forties, Jazz was in its mature period, which boasted a number of great Jazz musicians, such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Count Basie.

In the Thirties, swing bands functioned mainly as public dance bands. Jazz was dancing music for most of its history. Swing Jazz might be the most popular type of Jazz music. Accompanying it were a few outstanding bands, such as those led by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson.

Louis Armstrong, born on August 4th, 1901 in New Orleans, is an important figure in the history of Jazz music. He is the most preeminent trumpet player, being the first important solo player. He is regarded as God’s gift for the world. Energetic as ever, he made it clear that in the future, Jazz would be improvised music played with rich imagination and passion. “He is Bach and Dante in American music. He combined all in the past to show the road for the development of Jazz,” said Gary Giddins, a famous Jazz critic. His “shouting” in improvised performance was followed, even by Ella Fitzgerald. Another figure worth mentioning is Duke Ellington, the most important composer and conductor in the history of Jazz music. A prolific musician, Ellington also composed for film and musical opera.

Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, the queens of Jazz, are my beloveds. “Their voices possess a magic power, able to make my soul fly… The voices form a series of notes, hovering around me. The feelings are unspeakable with paintings and words. You have to feel their voices, searching for the melody of your soul together with them.” The melody of their songs helps me feel the “breathing of my soul”. One can feel the heartbeat in their voices.

I am traveling in the world of painting and music. Tranquil is classical music while free is Jazz. I wish my liberated soul can be freer and freer. Inspiration is aroused by the warmth that I feel while listening to music.

Music is a form of life. All artists strive to pursue the state that is achieved in music. Compared with painting, music is much more intangible. The ardor in me about dancing permeates through my life. Painting is vestige through precipitation. Music, making me thrilled, can only be discussed in music terms. It is only with music that a soul can reach heaven in a second on some special occasion. My inspiration comes from Jazz, such as Bach’s music, my spiritual guide, and Ravel’s piano solos which polish my inspiration. Such feelings help me find the true reason to paint and thus finish the painting smoothly. In the process, fluid feelings are embodied by visible paintings while transient time turns into eternity. Driving by feelings in life, I immerse myself in painting.

(Translated by Guo Jian)


March 12th, 2007

音乐是除了绘画在我生命中很重要的一部分,我喜欢的音乐类型有很多,一直以来,音乐滋养着我的心,其中爵士乐和古典音乐是我的最爱,古典音乐是我内心的“元音”,因为我忠爱Bach,后来我找到了Jacques Loussier,

Jacques Loussier 是法国爵士钢琴家1934年出生于法国,接受过正统的古典音乐洗礼,他是当代以爵士乐来弹奏 Bach作品的创始人,他以爵士风格弹奏Bach,德彪西等人的名曲,是当代一位专注于古典爵士的钢琴家, 他使得古典音乐的灵魂在爵士乐的脉搏中获得生命力的音乐家, 我最喜欢他在2004年“爵士Bach2004年莱比锡托马斯大教堂现场三重奏,Jacques Loussier Trio Play Bach Live from St. Thomas’s Church, Leipzig. Jacques Loussier 能在古典和爵士之间自由驰骋,对他来说音乐的界限已不复存在。Bach曾经作过莱比锡托马斯大教堂的音乐总监,几百年后的今天在同一个地点有 Jacques Loussier 用另外一种风格去演奏他的音乐。可以说音乐之父Bach遇到了现代爵士Jacques Loussier, 有人说他解放了Bach的音符,我在他急促跳跃的音符中入睡,感觉,构思,喜悦。好像天地间大气的精灵与我共舞飞翔,阳光变的那么的眩目,音乐是那么的纯粹,我的绘画找到了被照亮的线索。

爵士乐是非常强调即兴演奏的音乐,爵士乐受到古典音乐,进行曲,福音歌曲,劳动号子,Ragtime, 布鲁斯及流行音乐的影响,在爵士乐的发展史上,可以发现各时期都有爵士演奏家以Bach音乐为素材来发挥,而Jacques Loussier 达到了顶峰, 一个自由的灵魂所释放出来的气息,与心灵共舞之后的“自由状态”在感动,感性后沉淀下出现的“自由状态”我希望我心灵的自由随着Jacques Loussier 能走的更远, 音乐圣洁的灵魂指引着我的心,让我在喧哗的世界中找到了“安静。”看到了更多的“美丽” 更多的“明亮”把我带进他的音乐,他那急促有力的音符熔化着我的内心。

有人曾经说过:“听爵士乐的感觉就像在抚摸一张老沙发。”我认为 这种心境不是简单的怀旧感,而是对生命历程的审视, 历史悠久,但你和它之间没有距离,你可以用你的内心触摸它,让它变的更加清晰,失去记忆的音乐会向你的心灵内移…

爵士乐在美国占有很重要的地位,爵士乐就是一群人一起来创造了一种艺术。艺术并不是呈现可见的东西,而是把不可见的东西呈现出来,它可以通过一种轻松的方式让我们来了解我们自己,它表达的就是个人的情感,给音乐家自由和力量让他们发出自己的声音,但是要求更多的个人以外的东西积累,它总是处于改变之中,他旋转着,移动着,在时间和空间中运动着,寻找着被照亮的的线索,寻找“情节”背后的蕴涵,在寻找和我们自己的生命息息相关的某种“真谛”“生命的世界”, 每个人听爵士的感受是不同的,我本人感受更多的是“自由”,我爱自由和新鲜土地上的空气。

在爵士乐中你会观察到“经历”你会从这些事情中看到自己,当你去了解到Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Billy Holiday 的生命故事,你就知道爵士乐庆祝着生命,人类的生命,生命的过程,悲伤和快乐之间,白人和黑人之间,男人和女人之间,老非洲人和老欧洲人之间,爵士乐是关于自由的,他是一种释放的方法,是创作过程的体现。 创作是一种愉悦,它喷发出来支撑着我们的心灵深处,展示着它的面容,它的内在本质,和它神秘的灵魂。人类逃不出时间和空间的限制,但是心灵可以放飞,去寻找“时间之外的时间”。


二十年代初芝加哥是爵士乐的中心,当Louis Armstrong加入了Fletcher Henderson 大爵士乐队时改变了爵士乐的表现方法,并开启了乐手独奏的大门,每一个乐手都在找自我表现的可能。三四十年代,爵士乐处于它的成熟期,涌现出一大批优秀的爵士乐中的重要人物: Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Count Basie 等等。

三十年代摇摆乐队的重要的功能就是为大众提供跳舞的音乐,爵士乐历史上大多数时候都可以用来伴舞的,在爵士乐中,摇摆乐Swing可能是最欢迎的一种风格,同时这个时期产生了几支非常出色的大乐队,Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson 领导的大乐队都是当时最为出色的一些摇摆乐队。

在爵士乐史上 Louis Armstrong是重要的人物,1901年8月4号 生于新奥尔良,是爵士史上最杰出的小号手,是第一个重要的独奏家,有人说他是上帝赐予我们的礼物,他带着情感和信息以及爵士乐,带着他那释放不尽的能量来到这个世界,是为爵士乐指出一个具有高度想象力和饱满热情的即兴演奏的未来的人物。著名评论家Gary Giddins说:“他是美国音乐界的 巴赫, 他是美国音乐界的 但丁, 他是美国音乐界的莎士比亚,他是集合着,他将以前发生的所有事结合起来,然后展示了未来的走向”。他还开创出在即兴演奏中“喊叫”唱法,这在以后成了包括Ella Fitzgerald效仿的对象。另外一个不的不提的人是Duke Ellington,是爵士乐史上最重要的作曲者及指挥,他的一生创作了大量的作品,他也为电影舞台音乐剧作曲。

Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday 和Sarah Vaughan是我忠爱的爵士歌手,被称为爵士乐坛三大天后,她们的声音像具有神奇魔力的磁铁,能让我的心灵放飞…并列在一起形成“音符系列。”环绕着我,我被包容其中,我想用绘画和言语都是无法能表达我的感受的,你需要把你自己放进她们的声音中,去寻找自己灵魂的旋律,跟随她们一起去旅行…在她们的音乐旋律中我能深切的感受到“心灵的呼吸”,在她们的声音中能感到“心跳”。


音乐的属性是生命 ,关于音乐,所有的艺术都在不断地向着音乐的境界努力,它比绘画更加的难以捉摸。舞蹈的激情是流畅的,这种激情在我的生命中流淌,绘画是留下来得物质,在洗涤和沉淀之后。音乐能震撼我的心灵,音乐只能用音乐的术语来讨论,音乐有它的独特效力,它在某种特定的环境下可以在极其短暂的时间把一个人的灵魂送上天堂。爵士乐是我即兴灵感的来源,巴赫音乐圣洁的灵魂是我的精神路线,拉威尔的钢琴独奏是我灵感的海波变得明亮,我把这些感受采集起来,来完成我的绘画作品,绘画找到了那被照亮的线索-绘画的美丽理由。流动变为凝滞,短暂变为永恒的同时,是一种时间的形态转化为空间的形态,记忆的体验和沉淀领我进入—进入—就形成了画面的氛围。