Defining Installation Painting: Approaches and Intellectual Contexts that Bridge Dimensions under Tian


  • Wen Xing Southwest Jiaotong University & Dartmouth College



Installation Painting, Dimension, Yin and Yang, Tian Xing, fractal


Ever since pre-historical period, artists have been breaking dimensional limitations. Such creative artistic efforts could be constructive or deconstructive. While scholars such as Ronald J. Comer try to explore the aesthetical, multicultural, and psychodynamic implications of relevant artistic activities, the definition, basic approaches, and categories of installation painting have never been systematically examined. Unlike previous dimensional innovations in art history, installation painting, as a new genre of art, successfully integrates two-dimensional painting and three-dimensional installations. From the perspectives of art-historical, cultural, and mathematical studies, the present project delineates how “installation painting” is not just a combination of “installations” and “painting.” As the first study of installation painting, this literature summarizes the basic categories of installation painting by analyzing representative works and the artistic approaches associated to them. It is argued that installation painting is more than a simple combination of installations and painting, and that the intellectual exchanges and interactions between variant dimensions as well as those between the reviewer and the artwork create and continue to recreate the concerned installation painting. Through a case study of Tian Xing’s recent works, this project not only defines installation painting but also illustrates its basic approaches and cosmological implications, thus facilitates and promotes both the theoretical study and the artistic creations of installation painting.


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