The American painter and writer, Chen Hao (CH), gave the world two new words, Narrationism (narrative faction), and Postmodern-Narrationism, which is a fine art style (just like Impressionism or other art styles). The art applies postmodern methods to recount the story on a canvas or other types of artistic expressions. The narrative can range from unique events, fables, fictions, or just celebrating life. It is pertinent to mention that one of the earliest Postmodern-Narrationism artwork was Chen Hao’s Space — age Mona (Lisa) and was published in 1991 by the world’s largest photography magazine, Popular Photography.
According to the original piece, CH’s mind and line bending made Mona Lisa look like a 20th-century fox. The legendary artist took a double exposure with one shot of a building reflected off a chrome light post, while the other being the replica of Leonardo’s timeless masterpiece. The result was an image that looks as if it was created by George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic. The masterpiece was venerated with the 1st prize in an international photo contest in New York, USA. The artist’s other Postmodern-Narrationism representative work includes;
The oil painting Louvre • Gehu that is a part of CH’s book of “Mini-Novel Oil Paintings: If All The Ice Melted.” The book is devoted to the writer’s concern about global warming and his love for classical Chinese musical instruments.
Paris • Woman Holding a Fan in Haze — is an oil on canvas painting accompanied by a poem, quoted as below;
Her jasper blue eyes
Were charming and deep
Her rounded tip nose
Was straight with a cute shape
Her Alsatian French
Was perfectly soft
Gone with the haze
The artwork is a portion of CH’s painting book called the Montage Poem Oil Paintings: The Lips Of Forgetting Craziness. The contemporary artist’s other work includes Saving the Great Wall • New Lady Meng Jiang, Pulse, and After Hours. Moreover, his oil painting “Overture — Saving the Great Wall • New Lady Meng Jiang Op. 1 №10” is conserved in the National Museum of China, the Liu Haisu Art Museum, in Shanghai.
In addition to the above, CH’s artwork is highlighted in the art book, Art and Art Market — Masters of the 21st Century, published in 2017 by the Modern Art Museum (MAMAG) in Austria. Furthermore, the artist’s work is already a part of Marquis Who’s Who — world’s most authoritative biographical information publishing enterprise — in the U.S. The company included CH’s achievements in “Who’s Who in America” (69th and 70th edition), as well as “Who’s Who in the World” (31st, 32nd, and 33rd edition).
The Postmodern-Narrationism strives to place things and elements that correspond to one another on the same springboard and space in the works. Such as Past and Present; East and West; Old and Young; Quiet and Noisy; Soft and Strong; Dark and Bright; Slow and Fast; and Obsolete and Fashion. On the painting front, Postmodern-Narrationism is hardcore realism but does not rigidly adhere to stroke skills. It is because if the emphasis is placed only on the painting skills, that are as realistic as the digital images or photography, it loses originality, and lacks the sense of times of the 21st-Century contemporary painting.
The reason is that, if a work has got no consciousness, it is merely a vegetative painting, since Postmodern-Narrationism’s focal point is the ideological content and depth of the artworks. If a work, a painting or any other form of expression, is devoid of ideology, it equates to not having a mind, and without a mind, there is no life. Also, without life, the art piece lacks strong value. Therefore, from ancient times to the modern ones, all the classic fine arts masterpieces are full of consciousness.
Artistic Point of Views
The literary aspects of ideological connotations and emotional energy make the Postmodern-Narrationism artwork rich. Therefore, it is often compared with literature or termed postmodern novel painting, allegorical sculpture, and fiction photography.
The fundamental elements are;
- Symbolizing the Subject
- Displaying the Comparison
- Imagining the Implication
- Expressing the Mentality
- Granting the Dynamic
- Delighting the Senses
- Clearing the Character
- Encouraging the Thinking
- Transporting the Tense
- Multiplexing the Lines
Postmodern-Narrationism believes in the notion that art comes from real life, but also neatly distinguishes itself from the 19th-Century realism style that faithfully recorded everyday things. Also, Postmodern-Narrationism vouches that art is not merely from natural life, but is greater than the physical life after an artist creates an art piece. Although, from the transverse contrast of painting techniques, Postmodern-Narrationism and Expressionism (Abstract Art) are almost similar in accenting the inherent spirit of works. However, Concrete Realism is the stark difference between Abstract Art and Postmodern-Narrationism.
Nonetheless, Postmodern-Narrationism does not recklessly pursue infinite stroke techniques. For example, Hyperrealism was immensely popular in the late 1960s, and early 1970s in the west, but cannot be expected to revolutionize today’s digital photography and the visual arts. Lastly, from the Paleolithic prehistoric art to 2017’s iPad Finger Art, we can easily see that one of the vivacities of artwork is its connotation and emotion, and should also be a natural unity of ideological contents, visual joys, and artistic skills.
In the lateral equivalence of narrative, there is specific comparability difficulty between Postmodern-Narrationism of fine art category and Postmodern Narrative theory of literature field. It is because some of the Narrationism artwork even contain texts like;
CH’s Fiction Oil Painting Series — Nude & GW & TCM.
Mini-Novel Oil Paintings — If All The Ice Melted.
Nonetheless, since both belong to different areas of the fields, we can only presume that the fine art of Postmodern-Narrationism is very much like literature. Postmodern-Narrationism art involves palette, paintbrush (es), pigment(s), graver(s) or camera(s) and other tools to recount the story on the art materials. Therefore, the creative processes of Postmodern Narrative and Postmodern-Narrationism are totally different.
To conclude, although Postmodern-Narrationism and Postmodern Narrative theory both have “cooperation” or “marriage,” but in essence, they belong to two separate individuals in two different genres.