Thursday Salute to Originals: Landskating
For most, rollerblading is an aerobic product of the 1990’s and a beloved sidewalk pastime. For the fewer brave souls, rollerblading is more than a hobby and provides thrillseekers the adrenaline they desire at skateparks and roller derbies. For just one, rollerblading has proven to be an expressive way to put a unique spin on creating traditional Chinese calligraphy landscapes.
Chinese artist Haisu Tian creates massive landscapes – some towering more than 40 feet high – in the traditional style of Chinese calligraphy, except she uses rollerblades instead of a pen. She has always been passionate about creating landscapes in ink, as she says such a simple art form evokes very rich emotions. Tian fittingly calls her one-of-a-kind artwork “landskating.”
Tian’s distinctive way of creating art is rooted in her love for her favorite sport: ice skating. Her rollerblades are specially adapted to hold a pot of black ink that releases while she twists and spins around her canvas (Xuan paper). Tian notes that this technique makes her feel “at one with her art” as her whole body becomes involved in producing the various ink landscapes. She is able to produce different textures and patterns through strategic movements: pauses, jumps, toe-taps, and skating back and forth.
In the video below, we can view the tedious process in which Tian creates her landskates, line by line and stroke by stroke.
This Thursday we salute Haisu Tian for putting a modern and refreshing twist on the ancient practice of calligraphy. Thank you for modernizing this art form with an unexpected medium and making us want to dig out our pair of old skates!