Mr Qin Yuhai’s artistic path is aligned with Chinese philosophical traditions, its history and culture. In China, water has always been perceived as the ‘blood’ of the earth. Its ability to purify the soul was a significant part of the Chinese philosophies, Confucianism and Daoism. The focus on nature was characteristic of Daoism’s Zen school. Considering water as life’s ‘mater and matrix, mother and medium’, Zen teaches its followers to perceive themselves as being part of nature. It says ‘what we call the body and mind… is grass, trees, and wall rubble; it is wind, rain, water and fire’.
Zen is an inevitable part of Qin’s art based on his comprehension of water and his devoted understanding of and passion for Chinese culture and its philosophy. Qin has expressed his gratitude to water by showcasing its magnificence and charm through his ‘Ebb and Flow’ exhibition, bringing the water alive, making it dance and sing on the canvas.
The collection represents the Zen of the water moving back and forth, higher and lower, and symbolises the movement of nature and the ongoing progression and development of community and society. It also reflects the rhythm of life, how situations change and are constantly transitioning. Although fluidity is the essence of water, it is the light reflecting on the surface that is special to Qin’s interpretation.
Hiroji Kubota, multi-award winning Japanese contemporary photographer, says, “I dare say that only by possessing the keenest Zen can a person create art of this calibre. Qin’s works achieve an indescribable visual impact on the viewer. The glistening waves seen in his photographs and the light that dances across the water’s surface, lure the viewer into pondering the countless changes water assumes in volume, colour and shape.”