Yang Jinnan & Zeng Wenjin – Preface

Curiosity about the east ans love of China’s age-old culture brought Sebastian Heiner from Berlin to China across half of the world in 2004. Soon, the Great Wall, Beihai Park and the Forbidden City and so on made him fell in love with Beijing, a city that is at once ancient and modern.

In the summer of 2005, by chance, I was introduced to Sebastian Heiner by Ling Jian, a Chinese artist living in Germany. Heiner extended a warm invitation fo my wife and me to visit his studio in Suojiacun. When entering his studio, we were stunned by the sight of a large pile of used paint tubes, tissue paper, fly swatters, mops and comps, things that are onmipresent in a farm produce market. We had visited many studios before, but none was in such a mess. The foremost impression on me was “madness”.

Perhaps because he was German, Heiner was always restless at heart. The collision between his restlessness and inspiration would prompt him to give expression to his talent. His hand, elbow, brushes, broom, fly swatter, comb, cloth and anything else at hand would become his painting tools. His swinging arms and intent eyes often made me feel that he had turned the very production process into an art that was amazing, electrifying and moving.

Though passionate at work, at rest Heiner was so quiet as to be shy sometimes like a boy living next door, with the charme of an artist and scholar that seemed so removed from the Heiner absorbed in creation.
Watching his works, with their impressive texture of colors, is like listenings to a beautiful piece of music. A closer look will reveal that there are images that can be made out through the passionate colors. That is what is special about Heiner¡äs paintings: he is able to draw an image in a painting that is a heap of paints, an image that shows itself through chaos for an instant before beeing veiled again in serenity.

It is hard to judge his paintings in terms of “techniques” or “beauty”. For him, intuition and instinct replace all traditional techniques. What matters is not beauty, bur the expression of innermost feelings.

I hope that more people will appreciate Sebastian Heiner¡äs passion and love for creation and be interested in his ardent feelings. This exhibition, organized by this gallery and named “The Realm of Painting”, features his latest works in 2007, which show that he has changed by incorporating more elements of Chines culture. It is believed that these works will leave some shared impressions ¨C the vitality of colors, the power of the paintings, and the artist¡äs surge of feelings.

Yang Jinnan & Zeng Wenjin
October, 2007, Beijing