calligraphy by Huang Xiang
painting by William Rock
(Translation of Huang Xiang's poetry, written in Chinese calligraphy on painting)
The painting holds high like torchesSunflowers turning high-heaven's blazing
To burn up the magnificent painting spirit stopped by a bulletTo burn down the temple of golden yellow
Opaque color -dabs like clots of
Gush fiery tears
Struggling lines feverishly erupt, twitching like raw nerves
The back view of a giant
An audience interprets visual art by incorporating the artistic components of color, form, line and texture. Each of these elements could be an iconic representation in that a community establishes a specific association with the artistic component. Over time, this component represents an aspect of the culture, which established the association. When the artist places this specific element in a realistic setting to convey another cultural issue, the use of iconic realism enables the viewing audience to interpret a new cultural dilemma (Lakatos 59).
An example of using a visual image to enhance meaning through the collective memory of a community exists within Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. He centrally places an iconic, celestial figure: moon, sun, stars, as a focal point, disproportionate to the small village With wide, brush strokes, he creates movement and thus, a memory that transcends the primary source of his painting, that of the cosmic link between structure of a silent society and chaos. He paints contrasts of light and dark, structure and non-structure, illuminating his audience of the need to consider the bleak constraints of organized spirituality. He paints a magnificent challenge for the members to consider enlightenment as an action that illumines the darkness of the soul. In this painting, Van Gogh illustrates his personal connection with nature and spirituality.