The Southern Cross-Cen Long, His World of Art
by Metra Lin
Thomas Mann, the renown German writer of the twentieth century, once remarked that Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Wagner were of greatest influence to his intellectual view of the world, that they were his three navigational stars. Nietzsche and Schopenhauer were prestigious philosophers that placed important stress on the value of music, and Wagner’s compositions were thought of as having philosophic depth. Their art and philosophy held a certain significance over the formation of Mann’s artistic identity. These philosophic, musical, and artistic dimensions exhibited by his written works provided numerous intellectual paths for the viewers of his work.
In Cen Long’s creations, the western culture of literature, philosophy, and music, as well as the spirituality and abilities of past western artists, can all be identified as the stars which guided and influenced his own artistic path. I have often marveled at his mastery of the essence of various schools of western philosophy, and his thorough knowledge of music. Yet it is his command of these ideas and how he combines them with his artistic aspirations that truly amazes me. These intellectual understandings have become part of his nature: just as a plant relies on its roots to flourish, Cen Long’s strong attachment to his scholarship inspires the depth of his work and the subsequent distinction his pieces carry. When drawing even familiar subjects such as farming men and women, his works embody a more demanding and perhaps intense character. His artistic inclinations and tendencies can be explained by the fact that his love for the works of great artists and writers has merged with his blood and soul and now flows as part of him. Such is why every brush stroke of his, every painting of his, is reminiscent of humanistic values and undulates soft harmonies of music.
The most remarkable characteristic of Cen Long’s art is his accentuation of the spiritual; he uses average people and animals to stage his ideal world. And what is this world? To him, it is a world of simple, truthful, and eternal love; such a world is the utopia he seeks. We used to say that Cen Long’s artwork seems to have the capability to purify and elevate the soul and return its viewers to an earlier, more fundamental state of mind. It has been ten years, and Cen Long’s artwork remains just as powerful, but the objective of his expressionism and his techniques have undergone an evolution.
I divided his work into three different categories: “Rivers”, pieces that focus on the documentation and recreation of his past experiences, “The Lost Lamb”, pieces that portray and project his personal beliefs, and finally, “The Southern Cross”, pieces that communicate an uplifting spiritual experience. Of course, Cen Long’s artwork may sometimes have all of the three attributes, but to delve in depth to analyze his works, I have thought of classification as a necessary strategy.
The present world is a world presented with a variety of artistic styles, and as the fashionable becomes the main stream, it is especially commendable for an artist to focus on and review the spiritual meaning of humanity. I believe artwork that equates the importance of artistic expression and spiritual profundity is the only type that truly qualifies for a timeless, indestructible existence.
Cen Long was born in 1957, graduated with a master’s degree from Xi An Academy of Fine Arts in 1980. Member of the Chinese Artists Association and an active participant in China’s Eighty-Five Art movement. A former oil painting professor at the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts. He is now a professional painter.
Having been deeply touched by Cen Long’s Art, Metra Lin has devoted much of her efforts to studying Cen Long’s Art and the development of his person. Hann Art Agency was established in 2009 and had exclusively represented Cen Long since. The first publication by Metra on Cen Long’s works dates to 2010, The Singer of the Top of Clouds; which was followed by Cen Long and His Silver Age(2014), The Southern Cross – Cen Long, His World of Art(2017), and most recently, Cen Long-The Follower of Light(2019). She is convinced by the spirituality conveyed by Cen’s Art, which is capable of reaching to the depth of the modern soul, the promotion of which is a goal worthy of a lifetime.
Published works: The Southern Cross-Cen Long, His World of Art(2021), Cen Long-The Follower of Light(2019), Roman Nogin(2018), Volodymyr Nosan(2017), The Southern Cross-Cen Long, His World of Art(2017), Moon and the Tree, You and I: Yasuko Hayashi(2016), Cen Long and His Silver Age(2014), Dreamlike Journey-Safina Ksenia(2013), A Breeze Blowing through the Birch Forest(2012), The Singer on the Top of Clouds-A Story of An Artist(2012), The Secret Place-Yasuko Hayashi(2010)
Publisher : Breeze Publishing Ltd.; First Editing in September, 2017
Language : English and Chinese
ISBN : 978-986-94713-3-6
Paperback : 112 pages
Dimensions : 23 x 30 cm
Price : TWD 600
Out of print