Lin Xia Jiang (b. 1962), Wrapped House II, 1991; oil on canvas, 66 x 72 inches (Frame: 66 x 72 inches); The M&T Bank Collection at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1999
Wrapped House II epitomizes Lin Xia Jiang’s philosophical concerns, that “the real nature of existence can only be suggested through pictorial metaphors…Reality is conceived as a continuous process of interaction between the known and the unknown….” The painting calls to mind one of the art world’s most recognized works, Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth, yet the house is wrapped like a Christo project, obscuring all details that lie below.
Regarding the series of paintings that includes Wrapped House II, Lin Xia Jiang wrote:
These paintings address the psychological, spiritual and social aspects of human experience—universal problems of human existence…details from life are observed and noted, then articulated within a setting composed for the purpose of making evident a sensation of fact….
In my world-view which is strongly influenced by traditional oriental Taoist philosophy and western Plato-Hume-Kant agnosticism, the real nature of existence can only be suggested through pictorial metaphors; as Lao Tze once said…the Tao that can be told is not the real Tao. Reality is conceived as a continuous process of interaction between the known and the unknown; between the insubstantial, deceivable nature of perception and the hieratic, unostensible systems needed to regulate it. The power of thought to synthesize perception, emotion, unconscious, intuitive and aesthetic sensibility in visual images embodying a meditative philosophy of existence is at the center of what I try to achieve.