Psychological Scenery
by Fan Lin
Sylvie’s artworks combine everyday subject-matter with unique form. In the photograph, the intensity of the situation emerges through the colour and the brushwork whilst the brushstrokes concealments negate the photograph’s details. However, Sylvie’s artwork offers us in exchange another form, another vision, another experience of the traces of the brushstrokes, sufficient to transform even common and trivial things. Common scenes are imbued with a picturesque ambience. The importance of each moment, each scene of life, previously not to be found in an image, is awakened. Despite the individuality of each scene, they attain a universal quality which we can each identify with.

Clearly, the photograph itself does not merely provide the basis of the image. Firstly, it emphasizes the artist’s vision, the vision of an alternative life and scene. Sylvie is definitely a roaming artist who unceasingly highlights the weird and wonderful aspects of life. Due to this roaming, the artwork clearly emphasizes the altered angles of vision and slow transformation of the scenes. A lack of fascination with the status and traces of the ‘otherness’ of foreign places is also clearly revealed, the mood is not at all strong. The emergence of the paintbrush alters the specific scene, such that afterwards, we have no way of guessing the relationship between the image and the real scene. Therefore, Sylvie has temporarily dismissed what was once the photograph’s main function and goal; to record the reality of the scenery. On the contrary, she willingly puts down the inherent request in conformance with the picture, envisioning even more interesting psychological scenery.

There is no way of knowing the manufacturing brand of the car in Voiture. The final painting displays a mono-colour combination of round shapes. Whilst these shapes and the space around them form a whole, we are also invited to examine individual aspects closely. In the painting Trois Personnes, the loss of the exact detail of the three figures’ five sensory organs and the clarity of appearance through the brush-strokes in fact augments the sense of intimacy created through the sunlight shining down upon the bunches of flowers. Entitled Untitled, many of the urban places have been photographed by the artist in southern China. The vast majority of these ‘scenes of elsewhere’ have been covered in acrylic paint, however the vague traces of the photograph and the deliberate slight disorder of the blocks of colour give the picture a sense of alterity.

In the picture, the brushwork is usually applied with a strong sense of direction and vitality of movement. The colour drastically transforms the image. However, the colour is applied with the ingenuity and discrimination to leave behind traces of the original image creating a sense of tranquility. This is not only in order to mark the accuracy of the paintbrush’s direction, pointing out the creator’s duel status as both photographer and painter. The traces allow our eye to play the game of returning to the original. Recalling these roadside scenes, we feel as if we are experiencing the view from the window of a train, gently and swiftly passing by the different scenery of each place. In our memories, specific details are lost and Sylvie’s images often describe this blurring of memory. This method encourages the viewer to anticipate what the artist will invent next. Similarly, the viewer will become infatuated with each specific scene, as the picture evokes an abundance of feelings and emotions.

Translation: Nicola Kielty

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