Wandering in Beitou- Ink Painting of LIN Yu-Pei

The two vast scrolls exhibited “Walking in Beitou Without My Corporeal Body” and “Virtual Beitou 2: Post Landing” are the artworks of LIN Yu-Pei in 2015 and 2016 respectively, inspired by “Pihai Travelogue” of YU Yong-He , an official of Qing Dynasty. Due to a fire of the arsenal in Fuzhou, Fujian during the reign of Kangxi Emperor, YU Yong-He came to Taiwan on a mission to mine sulfur for weaponry. He started off from Fuzhou, landed at Luermen, Tainan, and eventually arrived at Beitou. YU documented his sulfur-mining mission about 6 months in the Travelogue, in which the customs as well as the culture of Taiwan in the 17th century was recorded and is deemed as the earliest Chinese travelogue of Taiwan. The artist unfolds the travelogue rich in the sense of space and time via the texture of paper scrolls in an attempt to fuse the reading experience of texts with elements of modernity and bridge the two different space-time in the hi-tech 21st century that allows people to travel around the world via the Internet.
Scroll is often employed in ink paintings to depict a narrative content. The sense of time flow is demonstrated via the content revealed as one unfolds a scroll, which compensates the shortcoming of 2-D paintings. Besides, the bodily movement in the appreciation of a long scroll also echoes with the displacement depicted within the art piece. LIN Yu-Pei captures the fragmented space and time via broken montage to play with the meaning of painting in the sense of image communication while allowing viewers to reflect on the position as they are in the face of a fictional text. The artworks derived the abstract style from the philosophy of ink wash painting – to capture the spirit and imagination, but break free from the conventional techniques and content, which exquisitely manifest the modernity of ink wash painting to the fullest.