in Tokyo / Japan
08.03.2023 - 08.04.2023 00:00
Du Kun - The 7 PO

Mizuma Art Gallery is pleased to announce “The 7 PO”, a solo exhibition by Chinese artist Du Kun.

Du Kun has started painting under his father’s influence since the age of four, and graduated from Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing under oil painting program. Today, he works in Beijing as a renowned artist, who is known for his creative and brilliant techniques.

This exhibition is a continuation of the previous series and show which entailed of scrolls of landscape paintings in the exhibition entitled “Scores of Landscapes” that took place in Mizuma Gallery, Singapore in 2021. It was a completely fresh turn from the direction of style he had been previously known for in the series he had worked since 2014, called “Revels of the Rock Gods”, which depicts highly detailed portraits of rock musicians, while integrated into the faces and surrounding sceneries are tall pagodas, Confucian mausolea, Buddhist temples and other traditional Chinese architectural structures. The artist also being a musician, has looked into a fusion of famous rock ‘n’ roll stars, traditional Chinese architectures, and religion as his creative process.

Du Kun made his professional debut as a rock musician while still attending art school, and as a musician and an artist, he has for a long time contemplated on how to bridge the two elements together. His previous portrait series brought visual motifs of music and famous musician into his painted world. But Du Kun’s passion for rock music and his aspiration to combine music with art continued until at long last, his current series of landscape scrolls brought real music as the main concept for his work.

At a quick glance, Du Kun’s new series of scroll paintings resemble ‘shan shui’; a style of traditional Chinese painting that depicts scenery or natural landscapes. However, the artist has painted the landscape such as mountains, buildings, and trees that appear on the works in a shape of an acoustic wave. With each painted pieces, there is a matching music that is composed by the artist himself, and these music corresponds with the acoustic waves that are illustrated onto the scrolls. Simply put, transcribed on each of these landscapes are original music that are unique to the scroll. Du Kun has found a way to translate his original music into a visual representation within the scroll in a form of a landscape painting. Du Kun experiments on adjusting the parameters of the synthesizer in the music software to manipulate the shape of the acoustic wave, and using different sources of sound to achieve the desired waveform reminiscent of mountains or clouds.

Musical scores that Du Kun has composed are in a modern style with heavy beat and electronic music that is compelling in contrast to the traditional style of Chinese painting which the artist employs. The show’s title “The 7 PO” is named from the seven sounds that come from an original musical instrument that Du Kun has designed and handcrafted just for this series. The instrument the artist calls the “Seven Souls” has seven different musical devices combined into one, such as Kalimba, mini Guzheng, and a Theremin. In this new landscape series, the “Seven Souls” is the original source of sound that Du Kun uses to convert its accoustic waves and musical elements to “paint” the waves of the sound onto the scrolls.

The new landscape series evoke ancient and raw power of nature that seems to have frozen the history of thousands of years, creating a unique atmosphere and an enchanting story-telling that pulls the viewers deeper into the world of his paintings. Historically, scrolls were meant to represent a flow of time as the screen was rolled right to left while viewing the image like a moving panorama. In this landscape series, the combination of music played alongside the scroll makes you further aware of the passing of time. The artist’s passion for music is felt as music and artwork is intertwined in one, bringing us a layered dimension which is deeply profound and poetic.

Gallery hours Tue–Sat 11.00 – 19.00
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and National Holidays

Exhibition Duration 08.03. – 08.04.2023


Mizuma Art Gallery
2F Kagura Bldg., 3-13 Ichigayatamachi, Shinjuku-ku
162-0843 Tokyo


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