Shanghai Alleyway 上海小巷

Scotland_edited_edited.jpg

2016

30cms (W) x 40cms (H)

Oil on Canvas

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This was the first painting I did in Shanghai, and was a departure from my normal style and method. Normally I'd sit down and work something up in fairly high detail, trying to get a degree of realism over the course of several weeks or months.

This one was a little bit different. I'd just moved to Shanghai and my overriding impression was that the city was that there was a very stark clash/mixture of the modern and traditional. So walking around the city, your views can be dominated by super slick glass skyscrapers that dominate the sky, huge malls with multi-story high-fashion stores, enormous boulevards and giant man-made parks. Then you can turn a corner and find yourself in the cramped, grimy lanes, full of 1 room houses, people cooking and brushing their teeth in street, and drying their underwear in public (even in midwinter). I actually love the atmosphere that these less affluent parts generate, and if i'm bored I love to just wander around and take photos of people going about their daily business (hence some of my later paintings).

At the time, I just wanted to quickly capture the energetic, filthy claustrophobia of one of the alleyways I had walked down so I knocked this picture up pretty quickly, using only a limited colour pallet. I wanted to get some of the contrasting light and dark, as well as some of the brick texture. At this point, I couldn't read any Chinese characters at all (i think it was in the first week or so)  therefore the writing on the walls I just captured as illegible squiggles.

I'd be interested to get feedback on this from people. It's not a style I normally go for but some people I've shown this to do seem to like it. I have a nagging feeling it's a little generic, though every now and then I will do something like this. It only took around 4 hours to do.

这是我在上海创作的第一幅画,与我通常的风格和方法不一样。通常,我会坐下来,花数周甚至数个月的时间,处理很多细节,试图一定程度地还原现实。

这幅画有点不同。我刚搬到上海,最令人印象深刻的是,这座城市是现代与传统的鲜明碰撞与融合。因此,在市区闲逛,可以俯瞰天空的超级光滑玻璃摩天大楼,拥有多层高级时装店的大型购物中心,巨大的林荫大道和巨型人造公园,都尽收眼底。然后,一转弯,进入狭窄,有点脏的小巷里,到处都是单人间,人们在街边做饭,刷牙,在公共场所(甚至在冬季)晾晒内衣。其实我很喜欢这些不那么富裕的地方的氛围,闲的时候会到处逛逛,拍下人们日常的场景(因此我后来的一些画作都是关于这些)。记得有次走进一条小巷,为了快速捕捉那种满是烟火气,又有点狭窄脏脏的小巷的幽闭感;我只用有限的色板就把这幅画很快地敲定了下来。我想要一些鲜明的明暗对比,还有一些砖的纹理。当时,我还完全不认识汉字(可能是我来中国的第一周左右)。所以我就把墙上的文字变成了不太好辨认的潦草。希望有人可以给我点反馈。这幅画不是我的油画风格,但是看过的朋友似乎都挺喜欢。虽然会觉得它有点普通,以后应该偶尔还是会画类似风格的。只需大约4个小时就可以画一幅。