“Before Image, Only Movement”
Su Tung-p’o (東坡),the great painter and poet of the Song dynasty, stated that “To judge a picture by its resemblance is to have the critical faculty of a child.”
He, like all of the ancients, painted not directly from nature but from the remembered images in his mind. Yes, the mountains and the leaves, the blossoms and the bamboo, of course had particular significance, a spirit, li, that they sought to convey. And this far transcended any resemblance to the ostensible subject as such.
But there are deeper layers in the mind, more basic, more vital, than any object that can be depicted. And this is the style of painting which is without image, without imagination. It is purely impulsive, arising from the free movement of the Universal Pulse deep within the painter. And This is always constrained, distorted, by any image.
It is before image, it is Movement. Only Movement – and always Free!