Hao Shiming’s works expertly combine their own particular semantic “threads” by destroying and reconstructing symbols taken from Chinese historic literature, to become the foundation of an artistic method derived from calligraphy. On one hand, this inspires a search for the pursuit of the spirit inherent to traditional culture. On the other hand, this aesthetics attempts to reach an expression identical to calligraphy by experimenting further the possibilities of materials and space. In his production of recent years, no matter whether it developed from the earliest themes of the “chairs” series, to the “birds” series or to the “birds and flowers” series, or whether it progressed from the “mountain and water” series to the calligraphy series, or whether the choice of materials evolved, from silk scroll to paper to stone, Hao Shiming became ever more proficient with each type of artistic possibility through his own practice and his growing acquaintance with the traditional Chinese artistic system.
The present works painted on stones is Hao Shiming’s latest creative innovation. Stones as works of art in themselves possess a kind of abstract beauty. In traditional Chinese culture and in the eyes of many ancient literati their beauty surpasses that of many figurative images; it is also the utmost expression of the strength of life. Throughout history, the appreciation of stones brought together Chinese people meditating on life, observing nature and the distinctive aspect of all creations; they also contain the important concept of Chinese aesthetics. The appearance of stones in literati paintings also usually indicates the interest of ancient scholars towards them. As Hao Shiming alone combines the painting and light carving of his own calligraphy characters, he preserves the original attribute of the stone, combining his own artistic language with the emergence of the stone’s materiality. Through this aesthetics he manages to establish a dialogue with traditional Chinese painting. Similarly, in the present works of the “Da Guan” series, he takes his inspiration from the “Da Guan Inscriptions”, which were collected into books of inscriptions from official stone carvings. Through deconstructing and reconstructing the copied inscriptions from this source using ink and paper he tries to recreate the spirit and knowledge of these scriptures. Through the use of both mediums he thus effects a deft fusion of traditional culture with contemporary aesthetics.
Born in 1977 in Heze, Shandong province, Hao Shiming graduated from the Chinese painting department of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2000 before completing a master’s degree at Beijing Normal University in 2014. He currently works at Hubei Provincial Academy of Fine Arts and divides his life between Wuhan and Beijing. Hao Shimng’s works combine tradition and modernity, trying to create a new kind of identity. His works have been exhibited at the National Museum of China, the Shanghai Museum, Today Art Museum, Hubei Museum, Shanghai Duolun Museum and Wuhan Museum amongst many others.