Editor’s Word: A World in Bloom
Revel in the fragrance and beauty of the whimsical realm of flowers.
Among the myriad creations in nature, flowers are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful gifts bestowed on us by the Creator. Wherever we are, whatever the circumstance, the joy we feel in the presence of flowers is instant. Fresh blooms have the magic to enliven any indoor space with a touch of vitality, while the inadvertent sight of wild blooms on a long journey can lighten our tired footsteps.
Dwelling on the border between the seen and unseen, flowers have sparked the imaginations of artists from time immemorial. From the white lilies seen in paintings of the Virgin Mary to Confucius’ orchids emitting their subtle fragrances, the rich symbolism of flowers has been infused with personal and cultural significance that stretches deep into ancient history.
In this issue of Magnifissance, we invite you on an aromatic and transcendent journey to explore the whimsical realm of flowers through the eyes of talented artists.
Enter the vivid world of Taiwanese glue-colour artist Huang Hung-chi, whose flowers and birds have a radiance reminiscent of jewels. Huang impressed us not only with his exquisite paintings but also by the unusual way he was trained by his teacher, Taiwan’s founding father of glue-colour painting, Lin Chih-chu.
In the hands of Yoshita Minori, a third-generation master of the Kinzangama Kiln, gold transforms into lifelike flowers, birds, and butterflies with smooth flowing curves. Before Yoshita, yūri-kinsai, a gold leaf-application technique in Japanese pottery and porcelain, was limited to geometric patterns. His innovations in the art form have earned him the honour of becoming a Living National Treasure of Japan.
With their imagination and dexterity, talented artists can transform anything—whether it’s mineral pigments, silk threads, or precious gold—into birds and flowers. For Taiwanese jewellery artist Lin Shiao Tung, nothing captures the beauty of natural forms better than jade, a lustrous stone beloved throughout Chinese history for its genteel, elegant, and modest character.
Every flower in Belgian painter Pieter Wagemans’s paintings is immortalized at the peak of its ephemeral beauty. Delicate petals unfurl gently before the viewer, while a dew drop holds promises of a sweet fragrance.
In the same way that Wagemans captures the essence of his flowers, painter Chen Xiaoping has mastered the human form. As a two-time gold winner of the NTDTV International Figure Painting Competition, Chen has become a leading artist in the revival of realism and divine themes in art.
Returning to this year’s competition as a judge, she shares both her story and the criteria for winning the prestigious art competition.
French author Honoré de Balzac once said, “The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.” Flowers, these proud and magical beings, seem to be the epitome of the beauty that the Creator has instilled into the world. It’s as though they exist so that we, at a glance and without having to think, can recognize true beauty.
As spring returns and nature celebrates by donning a brocade of flowers, let us revel in the fragrance and brilliance of a world in bloom!