Writing is Not Only an Action Along with the uprising of literati painting, when the relationship between writing of calligraphy and the drawing of painting was emphasized, the writing in painting became a more important issue gradually. Su Shi who promoted li terati painting has once said that poem and painting were essentially the same, both are works of the nature, fresh and clean, except for consideration in technique; there should also be concern for the expression of temperament as well as the artistic conception of poem and painting. Zhao Mengfu of Yuan Dynasty had made the former more clear and definite, he mentioned that stone and wood are just like writing strokes, and to depict bamboo, one should be familiar with the eight strokes skill in calligraphy. Then Zheng Banqiao in Qing Dynasty, and Zhao Zhiqian, Wu Changshuo, Qi Baishi of late Qing all practiced this view; their calligraphy style influenced their painting style to a large extent.
Writing and drawing tools are all brush, ink, paper and inkstone. Press the brush on the paper then calligraphy or paintings will show. At the very moment when the brush touch the paper, artists accomplishment as well as his personalities will be completely revealed in the traces left in this moment. We could even say that, it is just through the many years efforts made in the relationship between brushes and paper that calligrapher and artists constructed their own world of art. Therefore we could say that, writing is not only an action but also a kind of existence, especially a cultural posture.
Chinese painting artist Wang Huangsheng has always been showing his traditional Chinese painting, but his recent Motion/Imagination series has purified writing. He not only discarded specific physical appearances, but also the imagery. When his brush moves on paper, the brush strokes are elegant like ancient silk yarns, or powerful like traces of an awl on sand, or light and graceful like the flowing cloud and water. Lines are relieved from depicting material appearances; they are packed closely together or weaved together randomly. Or light ink is adopted while ink points are added to show the vigor. The picture thus gets a vivid and lively flavor. From then on, Wang Huangsheng took on a brand new painting style which made a feast for the eyes of viewers who would, be moved and touched, and cannot help pondering on the origin of this painting style and its value.
Wandering Ones Mind at the Very Beginning of Things: Wang Huangshengs Moving Visions Moving Visions series is his latest works. The viewers may feel lost where to begin telling though with thousands of words in mind, when facing those messy lines with unbroken ties of love. It reminds us of what Lao Zi (philosopher in the Spring and Autumn Period, founder of Taoism) had said, Who can the nature tell about Tao? Our sight it flies, our touch as well in this sense, nature in our sight and touch is the visualized embodiment of Tao. Corresponding to this series works, we can feel that at this moment, Wang Huangsheng have shaken off so many fetters that he can directly state his understanding of Tao.
The artist Zhu Derun of Yuan Dynasty had ever painted an Integral Whole Picture. On this picture, an old twining pine tree was painted on the left with its branches look like dragons paw. And there was vine twining the pine trunk with its cirrus spreading into the sky in the shape of a circle. The painting skill of vine, cirrus, circles is quite similar with the style of lines in Wang Huangshengs Motion/Imagination series works while the circles are quite coinciding with the circle in this series of works. Is this coincidence? Or necessity crossing time and space? The author of this article prefers to believe the necessity behind the seemingly fortuity. Upon chewing, there are two reasons: one is that the lines of Chinese traditional painting have independent aesthetic characteristics in themselves. Zhu Derun was not incapable, but just didnt do that. He was merely showing the independent aesthetic characteristics of lines occasionally through his Integral Whole Picture and this show together with the oddness which was out of that time, indeed aroused quite a lot of speculation in the later generations and speculation was even scripted on this picture; the second is the title of this series of works-Moving Visions, has precisely coincided with Integral Whole in Zhu Deruns title and the postscript: The integral whole is either round or square. Those exist before the heaven and earth were separated were shapeless but a shape do exist; while those exist after the heaven and earth were separated they have a shape but the shape do not exist. Between folding and unfolding, how can there be any rules to measure it! Zhu Derun specified the integral whole with circle, while Wang Huangsheng is wandering in imagination with a loose circle spreading out, which is also natural.
The Chinese art has been simplifying objects, to seek change in the meaning of objects, reluctant to jump the fence of image concept. Its like what Qi Baishi described as between similarity and non-similarity. He can even draw a fish with three strokes, with two black points as eyes and one light ink as body, but with the lotus leaves as context, we can still figure out thats fish in the water. Though Chinese painting and calligraphy put great emphasis on the changing beauty of lines, they still require the attachment of objects and words, and therefore not pure concept of form.
Certainly, the origin stated above is an association made by the author, rather than a fact that Wang Huangsheng had imitated Zhu Derun. When history can be represented in contemporary era, it is often the coincidence on high level, rather than following in the meaning of time, which is precisely the wonder in the cultural context. Except for this corresponding with art history found out by the author, what other relationships are there between Wang Huangshengs creation and his formal art?
As the gradual progress of lines, from the Ancient silk line of Gu Kaizhi to Orchid leave line of Wu Daozi, at least 50% attention to Chinese art form have been devoted to the pursuit of the beauty of lines. The pressing down and lifting up of the writing brush on paper, the hidden depth on the surface constructed by central brush, and the forthrightness of side brush, all became the exercise the Chinese painters keep practicing their whole life. In the modern times, the lines from Wu Changshuo are like golden pot, in Qi Baishis late years, the lines are like immortals, and Li Kerans plain and clumsy forms with linking dots to from lines, they all left the traces of pursuing the perfected use of lines. The predecessors creations left us inspirations as well as insurmountable high walls.
The Lines to Freedom: Ink Painting Series Moving Visions and Lines Visions The experimental works by Wang Huangsheng since recent years--the series of MovingVisions and LinesVisions, show his exploring and probing on point, line and plane such elements in the traditional Chinese ink painting, of which the repeated experiments and exploration on lines are especially noteworthy. Originated from a family with long tradition of Chinese painting and trained professionally in art academy, after completing a great amount of imposing and delicate ink paintings, the experienced artist begins to enjoy drawing circles that seemingly can be done by every child. What is he intended to do?
In Wang Huangshengs early series of works titled Heaven and Earth, especially when depicting the Earth, the round lines written down had appeared frequently. The free lines floating in the heaven are naturally integrated and although still looks harmonious with the whole picture, but has already shown independent possibility. In the Carefree series, Wang Huangshengs brush strokes have already foretold the recent series titled Moving Visions. Gazing at the Carefree artwork, although the represented things are pines and their twining branches, yet the brush and ink have already almost get rid of the depicted objects and the strokes are very powerful; the characteristics of writing itself is quite vivid. Therefore, the Moving Visions series of works were created subsequently by Wang Huangsheng is reasonable.
If the creations of line and even Chinese painting are still confined to Chinese art paper, writing brush and ink, will there be new possibilities? Can we benefit from our ancestors brush and ink experience as resources instead of burdens? Im afraid those are the questions that every engaged artist should consider about. Surely, we can properly desert them like Wu Guanzhong, and set forms and constructions originated from the west as our pursuing goals, which is actually a road. Its easy to do as one pleases, but its hard to conform to standards. Currently, as a result of so many people who do whatever they want and mix the genuine with the fictitious, there are so many works that are hard to judge. In particular, some explorations entered the abstract world adopting pure form as the only expression method, without constrain of image concept, you would find them disappointing. The way too large abstract space hindered the depth they can reach and often unendurable. All these problems made many artists works like a phantoscope, ever-changing at first, but you would find the central theme remains the same and get bored easily.
As a means of artistic expression, lines have an outstanding status in fine arts, not only in Chinese art, but also in the whole oriental world from India to Japan. To a certain extent the ancient Chinese art of painting and calligraphy could be regarded as the art of lines. By means of flowing and dynamic lines Chinese painters depicted the contours of figures and objects, thus lines as the main technique of moulding and expressing in Chinese painting have been continuing for more than two thousand years. Ink brushes used by the Chinese endow the lines with power of expression and liveliness incomparable with other painting tools, and the esteeming of lines has been almost the core content in traditional Chinese painting - to paint (the lines) as if they have bones claimed by Xie He (479-502) belongs to one of the most important principles. However, either lines or techniques of ink brushes still remain on the level of tools, even if they are highly evaluated. To paint (the lines) as if they have bones is to reach the goal of liveliness, or even to help people to accept the Confucian values.
Comparing with Li Huasheng, another Chinese traditional painter, we could found out more features belong to Wang Huangsheng in his creation. Both of them entered abstract art creation from traditional Chinese painting creation and both abstracted and purified the writing in traditional Chinese painting. However, Li Huasheng is more formalize and ritualized in writing, with grids composed by horizontal and vertical lines on the picture as his feature. While Wang Huangsheng has made writing more like an action and life, with lines in his paintings vivid, wild, lively and vibrant.
The Moving Visions series was created in his 50s, when he knows the will of heaven and does as he pleases without going beyond the law and its a controllable passion experiment. As a painter, scholar in art history, critics and art manager, with his learning, cultivation and rich experience, he knows well about art history and the risks, difficult points and key points in creation. He is no longer a green hand youth, for him, reform is just the gradual change after refinement, but revolution, requires the resolution. The clarification of tradition and modeling in the Moving Visions series are the results of being resolute. However, this kind of resolution is more surprising when shown in pictures. With little difference in width and shade of lines, he gave up the rhythmic beauty that can relatively easy get with opening, developing, changing and concluding (the four steps of Chinese regulated classic writing); with little change in the light and shade of different groups of lines, he gave up the effects of chrominance comparison; using only black and white, he gave up the splendid colors. What is he seeking after giving up so much? Such works may even generate dread after being liberalized, and plenty doubts about the any possible possibility.
In Europe the important meaning of lines as the instrument of expression has not been recognized until the period of Romanticism. But since the import of oriental art (especially Ukyo-e) into Europe in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of modernism, the attitude of the western artists towards the lines has been changed drastically. In Point and Line to Plane Kandinsky has tried to connect the lines and colours with the feelings of human beings, and thus enhanced the potentials of lines in the modern art to a significant means of expression in the abstract art. According to Kandinsky, Point - rest. Line - inwardly animated tension created by movement. The two elements - their intermingling and their combinations develop their own language which cannot be attained with words. The exclusion of trimmings, which hush and obscure the inner sound of this message, lends the greatest brevity and precision to pictorial expressions. The pure form places itself at the disposal of the living content.On that basis and drawn additional nutrition from the art of calligraphy in China or Japan, the American Abstract Expressionist like Jason Pollock integrated colour, action and lines, and thus opened a new perspective of modern art. In contemporary period time the artist Cy Twombly (1928-2011), who used lines inspired by graffiti, differentiated his works from the dynamics and wildness of Pollock, and developed his sensitive and calligraphically strokes resembling the way of writing the paintings in a Chinese manner. However, the series of Moving Visions is different essentially from the works by the Abstract Expressionists, whose lines, either in a cool geographical manner or as a result of passionate action, deviate fundamentally from the meditational characteristics in the oriental culture, nor could their conveyed spirits be comparable with the Chinese temperament of having landscape with ones mind. Wangs lines originate on one hand from his deep consideration on the strokes of brushes in the traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy, as stated above that they are rooted in their own long and deep tradition; on the other hand those roaming lines are unfettered from his own blossom-bird paintings that he has mastered and brought forth in an impressive manner. As Yin Shuangxi has pointed out, the clue of the lines can be traced back to the branches and twigs painted during 2008 to 2009, in which the speed and movement in an abstract expressionistic manner has been experimented. 
Entering the new century, the trend of being ritualized and formalized in abstract art creation has been shown(there was a concentrated reflection in the two exhibitions of Maximalism and Beads and Brush Strokes ). In such a context, the value of Wang Huangshengs recent works can not be neglected. Because the dimension of these works are large, and the specialty of the action way of lines, Wang Huangshengs writing has involved the body into creation to a much larger (than in the earlier works) extent, and took on the value of action meaning. Thus has made him explore the denotation and add the connotation of writing. If we associate the stated above that writing is in itself a kind of survival condition and cultural posture, we could well understand why Wang Huangsheng could be an artist as well as an outstanding art museum director as well as international curator with high reputation.
Wang Huangsheng has his own concepts and tactics. First of all, its nature. The objects in the Moving Visions series first originated in a lump of electric wires in the real world before his eyes and the schema brought about are the variant of nature. Secondly, its tradition. The extending and winding lines are tribute paid to tradition. Therefore, Moving Visions series has its roots in the orient, and Wang Huangsheng hopes to create an internationalized vocabulary through it. In the visual aspect, he hopes to have a chop off with simple tradition, and return to the original point, which itself is an internationalization process. For instance, the pronunciation Ma of mother, requires no explanation within the whole world. This is what he is thinking about, how to make Chinese ink generate a more internationalized language, and directly to think questions in a more internationalized language or word order instead of just pushing forward or absorbing western language in the Chinese context. 
The works since recent two year show that Wang Huangshen is interested to explore new directions, i.e. he does not stick to the enjoyment of strokes of brushes and thus slow the brushes down. He uses his lines to indicate his inner purity and calmness, with which he tries to reach the goal of the emptiness of brush strokes. That means the lines of brush strokes become independent, and since then they do not strike for liveliness of figures or objects, nor have they to be proficient or elegant. In that sense, we can say, that Wang has made an attempt in his new series: to liberate the lines from Chinese paintings and calligraphies. The freedom of lines reflects that of the artist - floating as a boat without lasso into the infinite emptiness, also similar to the vision after the enlightenment - what one sees is only the purity and perfectness.
Therefore, Wang Huangshengs writing, is far more than an action.
During our conversation, Wang Huangsheng pointed out that he has been sticking to the ink and brush skill acquired since his childhood, injecting the lingering charm of brush to the rice paper through brush tip, which is a genetic and inheritable interest. He said jokingly: It is easy to get tired when drawing those kinds of paintings, for you have to keep a certain state. In fact, the pure and unchanging lines are the hardest to draw. The first item in the five strokes put forward by Huang Binhong is flat, drawing flat lines being the most difficult thing to do with soft Chinese writing brush. Therefore, to achieve the state of silk line, not only years of hard practice are required, but also particular concentration. It can only be completed with absolute concentration. However, the concentration mentioned doesnt mean rigidity. The pleasure and taste between something controllable and uncontrollable is stressed in Chinese painting art. The shade and width of the lines and how the lines go are also decided between immediate casualty and the control of trend. He also said that he completes works with them set level on the desk or earth no matter how large the dimension is. Drawing on level set paper or hanging paper maybe can be regarded as personal habits, but also revealed the drawers origin. The details told the origin of him as a Chinese painter.
The lines in the series of MovingVisions vary in terms of ink colour, fineness, direction, and they chase one after another in multiple layers, rhythm and musicality. Associating fine arts and music has been an interesting topic to the modern artists, for instance Kandinsky has given several works with musical terms as titles. In his Point and Line to Plane he wrote, What a musical line is, is well known. Most musical instruments are of a linear character. The pitch of the various instruments corresponds to the width of the line: a very fine line represents the sound produced by the violin, flute, piccolo; a somewhat thicker line represents the tone of the viola, clarinet; and the lines become more broad via the deep- toned instruments, finally culminating in the broadest line representing the deepest tones produced by the bass-viol or the tuba. ...... It can be asserted that in music the line supplies the greatest means of expression. It manifests itself here in time and space just as it does in painting. That passage adapt itself well to the musicality in the lines by Wangs new series. So, how would Wangs works sound like?
Liu Libin Lecturer of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Critic
Besides moving lines, in this series, the construction pattern is basically dark around the four sides with light center, as if the light comes from afar, or attracting the viewers to view the distant place. The comet-like smudged tailing in the background are probably the gathering of light and search of the unknown. The Moving Visions series No. 5 more fully presented this feeling, overlying lines mingled together with background, you cannot help but think of the opening sentences of Inquiry of Heaven written by Qu Yuan. To talk about the very beginning of the world, who passed on the Tao? Without any shape in heaven and earth, from who could we get things approved? In the dense darkness, who could gone to the end of it, as emptiness was the only thing in the universe, how could we know it? the day is bright and the night is dark, whats the reason? therefore, this series of works surely have the natural and unrestrained state of wandering ones mind at the very beginning of things like the Moving Visions series No. 25, in my perspective, however, they are more about the rational inquiry of many ultimate questions through greatest image of no shape, which in essence, is expression of the attention paid to and respect of Dao. Its like Dao can be achieved but not pursued proposed by Su Dongpo, and can be further understood as another state of the inquiry.
With normally one single melody in centre, the mainstream of Chinese music is monophonic and thus also linear. But similar to the shading and fineness of the brush strokes, Chinese music has various techniques like decorations and heterophony to enrich the texture, colour and construction. In Europe since the late Middle Ages musician were not satisfied with one musical part any longer, and rather they noticed that simultaneous sounding of different notes or playing of independent melodies in parallel could be enriched and gracious without loosing their harmony, thus polyphonic music has been gradually developed. By means of counterpoint various independent melodies are integrated harmoniously. Until the 18th century the polyphonic music has been systematically replaced by tonal music, while as musical technique polyphony is still in use even today.
There is an unavoidable doubt when confronting these works featuring lines as the main body. Whats the difference between these lines and those of the Pollocks and Wu Guanzhongs? The so called abstract expressionism lines of Pollock put more stress on the sporadic feature in actions, and the entirety of works lie in the grasp of construction concepts. For Mr. Wu Guanzhong, thats exactly where his lines come from, grafted upon the oriental branches, and formed the vocabulary linking the west to east. Like what we have pointed out, the starting point for Wang Huangsheng is from the east. He emphasized the tradition born with the lines, the skill attained as a kid attached to him like genes. He knows well that I have fairly good skills and have pretty good sense about brush and ink, and these things cannot be chopped off, but if the inertia of mentality and expression can be chopped off, thats what Id like to do.  Whether inherit or change, they are all causes, the works are results, and the result can turn out to be another cause. Moving Visions series is just a new beginning for Wang Huangsheng.
If music melodies could be understood as the moving lines, the lines under the brushes of Wang Huangsheng would show the musical moving of lines on paper. Interestingly, many works in the new series can interpreted as various forms of polyphonic music: those with light-coloured ink under floating lines remind the early form of polyphony organum with basso continuo; those with clear multiple layers and bright background resemble a vocal mass from the Renaissance period; those with seemingly similar motives and various colours or strokes chasing on different layers mirror the fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach; and those which amalgamate ink lines, colour areas and gold foils appear in accordance with the contemporary works played by large orchestra as if one could hear the procession of numerous parts and pentatonic characteristics of the oriental music. The work No.26 in the series of Motion Visions finished in 2011 has a marvellous perspective and breath-taking rich texture. The dynamics of the lines are so lively like a tiger assaulting from a mountain slope, or formidable gigantic waves. If one come closer, one would feel the lines with various weight and speed, like the thick strings loudly thrummed like the pattering rain; the fine strings softly tinkled in murmuring strain. Here, each line is similar to an independently singing melody without knowing where it begins and ends, und the richness and multiple layers echo in my ears Bachs Die Kunst der Fuge.
Wu Hongliang Director of Art Museum of Beijing Fine Art Academy
We expect that Wang Huangsheng could create more lines to freedom, leading us into theKingdom of Freedom of Art.
Zhao Zhou PhD in art history of Heidelberg University, Researcher of Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Notes:   The Road of Freedom--the interview of Wang Huangsheng, published in China People Famous Calligraphers and Painters, 2012,1 p.14.
Heidelberg, Apr. 15, 2013
Notes:  Wassily Kandinsky, Point and Line to Plane, New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1947. p. 112.  Yin Shuanxi, Post Refined Joy: Traces of Hand and Heart, in Wang Huangsheng ed., Post Refined Joy: Wang Huangshengs World of Art, Shijiazhuang: Hebei jiaoyu chubanshe, 2012, p. 9-10.  Wassily Kandinsky, Point and Line to Plane, New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1947.p. 88-89.