Ink Music by David Attali
Fan Yan was born in Beijing into an artistic and musical family. From a young age, she was drawn to painting as means of expression even though her first career was that of a classically trained violinist and viola player. It was this musical career that brought her to Hong Kong to study at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and later to play with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and various chamber music groups. After a successful musical career spanning 20 years, Fan Yan came to realise that she had to pursue her first love, that of painting.
Fan Yan developed her technical skill under the tutelage of renowned local artists Lam Tian Xin, Cecilia Ho, Ng Chung and Pak Yeung. It was during this period of intense study that Fan Yan started to develop her own unique style. While working with the media of traditional Chinese art, using Chinese ink, water colour and rice paper, Fan Yan also experiments with oil pastel, and finds inspiration in the works of Western artists such as Henri Matisse, César, Paul Klee and Marlene Dumas.
Elements of her work may seem reminiscent of Chinese art, but Fan Yan resists the constraints of traditional Chinese art in search of a freer expression of the rhythm, harmony and essence she sees in her subjects.
In her first series Variations on flowers, Fan Yan explored the energy and impermanence of nature’s fragile art form, the flower, using watercolour and Chinese ink to express what cannot be seen but surely exists.
Photo series aims at connecting old and new, by putting on the ancient and traditional medium of rice paper, subjects inspired by modern day-to-day life, such as friends’ photos on social networks.
Then with Music series, in a more abstract way, Fan Yan reconciles her visual sense with her musical mind by transforming her inner rhythms, melodies and harmonies into beautiful lines, shapes and colours.
In 2018, she developed the musical theme with an other angle: the Music score series.
More recently, Fan Yan has started a new series called Polyphonies, which explores yet another visual language to illustrate the polyphonic musical form.
范欣以宣紙的摺疊與浸染構成對重覆又多變的圖案，並藉由紙張與顏料互動所產生濃淡潤枯，呈現富音樂感的畫作。從《Music Series》的色彩音調、《Music Scores》的墨點節奏以至《Polyphonies》的圖案旋律，畫家將音樂種種元素演譯成視覺藝術的對比對照與對衡的秩序，從而想像世間萬象紛陳的聲音。