Silk Street artist pays tribute to his rural roots with stark, black and white finger paintings. By Kyle Mullin for The Beijing Review Online, Nov. 11 2010
At first it looks like he’s painting a Rorschach inkblot – carefully dabbing dark lines and splotches to represent your very psyche. But it doesn’t take long for you to realize he’s not painting your mind’s current state, but something it has yet to ponder – a corner of China with lush leaves, swaying branches and perfectly chiseled rock faces. All of this rendered with just his fingers, a painter dabbing each dark drop with his nails instead of a brush.
“A brush can’t help you paint pictures like this,” said Cheng Geng of the stark black and white finger paintings he creates before the eyes of patrons of the Xiu Shui Art Tea Shop at the top of the stairway that leads to Silk Street’s fourth floor.
As if to prove his point, Cheng dunks his right pinky and ring fingers into a porcelain bowl filled with ink as black as sackcloth.
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