AN Xiaotong

Taoism is a significant part of the Chinese philosophical tought, promoting harmony with nature, acceptance of change, and the pursuit of balance between opposites, such as Yin and Yang. 

Chinese philosophical thought emphasizes values such as loyalty, respect for elders, and personal ethics. Taoism is a significant part of this philosophy, promoting harmony with nature, acceptance of change, and the pursuit of balance between opposites, such as Yin and Yang. Taoism advocates a detached and spontaneous approach to life. Natural landscapes of mountains and rivers have always been central to Chinese painting, reflecting a deeply rooted sentiment in ancestral philosophical thought. Traditional Chinese landscape paintings can be seen as pictorial reflections of these philosophical foundations.
Chinese philosophical thought is not monolithic but rather a mosaic of evolving traditions. These philosophies have shaped how the Chinese understand life, nature, society, governance, and continue to exert a significant influence on contemporary Chinese culture. An Xiaotong boldly departs from traditional patterns and classical philosophy characterizing Chinese landscapes. Through the intrinsic purity of the motifs themselves, she presents to the public the aesthetic potential resulting from the dissociation between energy and semiotic reference. By employing traditional pictorial elements such as water, ink, and rice paper used analogously to photographic negatives, the artist offers a multifaceted representation of the landscape, evoking an idealized utopia, a subsequent ruin, or a declining illusion. 
In 谧 . Rivière, the essence of An Xiaotong’s landscapes breaks free from conventional appearance, manifesting tranquility and disinterest. They are imbued with an ordinary sense of yearning for nature and a desire for openness, accompanied by a form of self-kindness. The flowing rivers, dark and exposed river networks and beds, resembling a circulatory system, seem to carry a sense of hope. An Xiaotong’s artistic approach transcends realistic representation, creating an abstract landscape that invites personal and emotional interpretation, capturing the intangible essence of nature and the human soul. The artist forsakes the subject in favor of feeling, pure aesthetics.