Chinese Painting, Spiritual Encounter and Creative Identities
by Benoit Vermander
Chinese painting has traditionally been seen as a spiritual way, a practice that aims at modifying the thought and soul of the one that seriously undertakes it. Asis the case with other Chinese forms of art, ink painting integrates the aesthetic, the moral and the meditative dimensions into a whole. By representing the macrocosm into which we live, grow and die it also rectifies and nurtures the microcosm of our inner world. At least, such is the theory. Inthe real world, things can be vastly different. The practice of Chinesepainting sometimes becomes away of stressing one’s cultural and social ethos, an evasion outside the worries and duties of this world, an ethnic or even nationalistic endeavor that celebrates the uniqueness and excellence of Chinese tradition compared with Western forms of art. Chinese painting is a nexus of meanings and practices that speak about one’s identity, self-understanding, aspirations and sensitivity.
I will not attempt here to distinguish among these different levels of reality and analysis. My ambition is much more limited in scope. What follows is a mere narrative account of my own practice as an amateur who started regular practice of calligraphy around fifteen years ago and of ink painting more than ten years ago. This is, hopefully, a reflexive account: how did the practice of painting and calligraphy mix with my understanding of what spiritual life is about and my attempts at a lived experience of this inner reality? Why and how does Chinese painting matter for me, did it change me in any way? Once more, I will not try to come with a systematic answer to these questions and will only bringin glimpses of experience and convictions that have gradually taken shape.
In a conclusive part, I will enlarge the debate:how might this account of “Chinese painting as a cultural encounter” help us to formalize the way our identities are challenged and re-shaped in today’s intercultural context? In other words, I will try to make sense of the debate going on “the essence of Chinese painting” in the broader context of cultural interactions in a time of globalization.
A few words on Chinese painting
However,before actually starting, a few words on what is meant here by “Chinese painting” might be required. Chinese painting is a special and pervasive feature of China's social and cultural theater. There is no event which is not celebrated with exhibitions of calligraphy and Chinese painting. In this respect, Chinese painting often functions as an assertion of national pride and uniqueness, which results in endlessly repetitive motifs. This should not overshadow the remarkable achievements in Chinese painting in the last decades.Actually, when all is said and done, future generations might recognize the20th century as one of the most creative periods in the history of the venerable artistic tradition called "Chinese painting." Names such as Huang Binhong (1865-1955), Qi Baishi (1863-1957), Li Keran (1907-1989), Shi Lu(1919-1982), Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) already stand among the best artists of our time, not only in China but worldwide.
But what is "Chinese painting" (guohua)anyway? One must first note that guohua can also be translated as "national painting" if one does not simply consider it as an abbreviation of zhongguohua,i.e., "Chinese painting" stricto sensu. The distinction is important for the intent it conveys. “Guohua and zhongguohua commonly refer to works painted with traditional Chinese pigments on a ground of traditional paper or silk. The terms thus describe the medium and ground of the painting rather than the style." During the last years, several critics and historians have entered a plea for abroader understanding of what Chinese painting is about. Art historian Lin Mu(born 1949) writes:
“Ink work, rice paper and free-hand techniques came into being only during the last few centuries. Painting styles in China also include folk painting, various fresco styles, silk paintings, stone intaglios, from which much is to be learned. As for the traditional ink and wash painting, which takes the Chan school as its spiritual kernel, this simple, elegant and leisurely style may have difficulty surviving in our changing world, where the closed and stagnant agricultural society from which the tradition emerged isbeing rapidly swept into the past.... Modern society has good reason to demandof Chinese painting a totally new look.”
Lin Musuch argues that Chinese tradition is much more diverse and heterogeneous than often acknowledged, and that different schools, materials, techniques and religious faiths generated various styles of painting. It is only in contradistinction to Western art that the literati school came to bear the label of "Chinese painting" and was set into a canon. The limitations in technique and materials proper to this school have long been recognized, by such prominent Chinese artists as Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) and Zhang Daqian(1899-1983). To do "Chinese painting" today is to retrieve the diversity of China's artistic traditions, with special attention to religious art and the traditions of ethnic minorities. Lin Mu celebrates the "vagueness" (mohuxing) of contemporary Chinese painting—a vagueness he finds far preferable to the insistence upon any one standard or dominant tradition.
Notwithstanding,if one still identifies Chinese painting with ink and wash painting, the present situation is well summarized by Pi Daojian: “(One can see) the great accomplishments made by ink and wash art through self-transformation and development. The foremost of these accomplishments has been the formation of a pluralistic structure in ink and wash. Within this structure, three distinctive styles have emerged:
1) traditional ink brush paintings that strive to carry on the pure tradition of ink and wash painting;
2) academic ink and wash art that looks to the languages employed by Western realistic and modernist art for inspiration;
3) experimental ink and wash that freely appropriates from Western modern art and post-modern experience.”
We shall not find a direct expression of these concerns in the relation of my own journey. However, they do constitute the background of my experience, for this one takes place within a context, as I meet with painters who ask themselves asimilar set of questions to the ones just sketched out at the very time where I start my own pilgrimage. This introduction might thus help us to situate what follows into a context.
My first trip in China took place in February 1987. During that time I was struck in ashop by a calligraphic work composed of four characters that were subsequently explained to me: feng, lin, huo, shan…Wind, forest, fire and mountains. This was a famous excerpt from the work of Sunzi, explaining what the good general should be like: swift as the wind when moving his troops, enveloping as the forest when deploying them, implacable asthe fire when attacking, and stable as the forest when waiting for the enemy. A sentence often quoted by the practitioners of martial arts. In a glimpse, theworld of Chinese characters, and of calligraphy as well, was opened up to me: a full universe of meanings expressed in a few strokes, reinforced and brought to life by the brush that had traced them… What went then in my mind was something like this: “I too am a calligrapher!” Which was a bold statement indeed… In anycase, after returning from China I took up the study of Chinese and calligraphy and have continued it up to the present day. The Sunzi calligraphy is still with me.
Actually,what brought up this sudden wave of enthusiasm at the time might sound pretty trivial: the calligraphic work was maculated with blots of ink that the brush of the calligrapher had spilled on the paper. Now, it happens that my eyes are pretty bad. When I was in primary school, blots of ink were messing up my compositions, and I was receiving extremely bad grades for writing skills… This might have created a love/hate relationship with ink. Love (for I was obscurely loving the deep mystery hidden in the depths of ink) was originating from the vision of ink drawings by Victor Hugo depicting dark, impressive, nightly German castles. I have had a try in drawing in the same style, but Western instruments had not that wonderful ductility that I was later on to discover in Chinese brushes. Here, in China, I had the proof that ink could be beautiful,that it could flow freely, that the blots were also a language telling the one looking at the work how the heart of the calligrapher had directed his hand,where the inner source of the ink strokes was flowing from. The ugly blots of my childhood were suddenly sublimated and justified…
A few years later, this experience was enriched by another one: for a year or so, I was treated by a Qi gong master who partly revived my ear and vision and led me in learning basic postures and movements. I must confess that I did not follow the practice of Qi gong with the same regularity that I followed in my calligraphy practice – far from it. However, the Qi gong experience helped me to reconcile myself with my body as an organic whole, as a microcosm inhabited by the same forces that the ones blowing throughout the macrocosm. There were an inner rigidity, some defense mechanisms, physical and mental barriers to trespass through respiratory practices, and the new-gained ductility was a definite plus for writing and painting better. In the cosmos, in the body, on the paper, the forces of life had to blow freely, perpetually regenerating themselves through their interplay. This was much less a theoretical axiom thana physical experience, confirming and deepening what the Sunzi calligraphy hadoperated within me.
From calligraphy to painting
While I was drawing much pleasure from the practice of calligraphy I was attracted more and more by Chinese painting as well. However, it seemed to be much more difficult to find a creative and broad-minded teacher in that field than it was in calligraphy, as the qualities that are required are somehow different. Tastein painting is appreciated from widely different perspectives, and Chinese painting can be often unbearably pale, wishy-washy, demonetized. However, luckor Providence led me in 1994 to Sichuan Normal University, where I studied for several months under Professor Li Jinyuan who soon become of my closest friends and with whom cooperation and research has never ceased since. There are so many things I learned from Li Jinyuan that I cannot describe adequately what happened during this semester at Sichuan Normal University. However, let me try to summarize some of the intuitions that then materialized for me:
- The first one has been the secret of what I would call “inner observation.” Somehow my practice of calligraphy had made me draw a line between the heart and theeye. I was mistakenly assuming that if the strokes were coming from the heart,then the exercise of the eye, the study of natural lines and objects were somehow secondary. What Li Jinyuan taught me in practice was a kind of circularity between the eye and the heart. Attentive observation of natural phenomena was not akin to close down the eye of my heart but rather to focus it till the object itself was subsumed in an inner vision that was truly originating from the depths of reality. Likewise, the exercise of the inner heart that was directing the hand on the paper was helping the external eye to catch better the life flowing around me and to represent its very essence.
- The sense of circularity between the internal and the external that Li Jinyuan was trying to develop in me was also helping me to grasp the circulation linking the tree to the seed, the roots, the bird, the clouds, the water and the sky… Cosmic circularity and unity of the heart were starting to appear to me as two dimensions of the same reality,giving a new meaning to the biblical imperative of unifying one’s heart. The division within our heart is akin to blindness, making us unable to discern the flux and growth of the Spirit throughout the world of natural and supra-natural phenomena.
- The third discovery I progressively made, and that deepened in the following years, is that Chinese painting is not only about harmony, that it is also a struggle, a struggle between light and darkness, though such struggle is also a play, adrama. Somehow, every painting is a trade-off between darkness and light, but this might be especially true for Chinese painting, where the ink and the paper seem to be always in the process of negotiating the proportion of space that black and white will finally occupy, water mediating between the two protagonists. One could almost say that Chinese paintings divide into two genres: black paintings and light paintings. The dark paintings testify to the difficulty that the light encounters in appearing and subsiding. Light seems for us a matter of fact, and we forget that it is obscurity that at first prevails in the universe and in our world as in our heart. In these works, the heaviness of darkness permeates the paper. The majesty of mountains becomes oppressive. The colors that are used make the black ink even darker. It is not that there is no light. It is that the light is fragile and in danger of being extinguished forever. In contrast, other paintings celebrate the irruption of light at the moment where the miracle just happens. It is a miracle indeed, for which nobody can account. Birds sing softly, the fog becomes almost fluorescent, the snow tells us that the heart in its original state is a neverlasting morning. What remains of ink, shade and black seems always on the point to annihilate itself and to enter into the full glory of the light. Forsure, many paintings of the Masters stand somewhere between those two extremes-and these paintings might represent the best of a tradition. Dark paintings run the risk of being a bit melodramatic. Light paintings might sometimes lack invigor and focus. Those paintings that stand just between the triumph of darkness and the sudden victory of light are the ones that testify best to the Chinese quest for a state of harmony in which everything finds its true nature and its whole dimension. Then, the painting is as suspended between chaos and harmony, the two becoming one when light permeates the fibers of darkness while the darkness gives to the light the shadow under which the song of creation is to be heard.
Union of the heart and the eye, circulation between all the elements of the cosmos,tension between light and darkness... Taken together, these discoveries helped me to better grasp the multi-dimensionality of Chinese painting. Quality paintings (starting from the ones of my friend Li) can be read at the same time as an aesthetic manifesto, an allegory of Chinese history, a commentary on the painter’s own spiritual development, an exercise in cross-cultural fertilization. It is the spiritual deepening that such works illustrate that is most striking to me. They speak of a struggle towards meekness and self-dispossession, a struggle that makes the artist more and more vulnerable to the forces that shape the world, a struggle that places him always more at the epicenter of the confrontation between ugliness and beauty, meekness and hatred, darkness and light. The paintings as well as the painter’s soul become the space in which new heaven and new earth are taking shape through the suffering of childbearing.
Painting and Primordial Experience
In 1995,I went for the first time to the autonomous Yi prefecture of Liangshan in the southwest of Sichuan province. I had become acquainted with an ethnic minority,the Nuosu (the Yis of Sichuan province). Since that time, I have been to Liangshan maybe fifteen time and have become involved in a number of projects,the most endearing one being the running of a model primary school. Somehow, Liangshan has become a part of my soul. Everything there finds an echo deep within me. The contrast between darkness and color, so pervading in the landscape, is also a feature of Nuosu life. They love the inhospitable earth they inhabit and they endlessly struggle with it. They struggle with everything actually, with the mountain, with the Chinese, with the past and for the future, with the living and – much more so – with the ghosts. After death, one is always in danger of becoming a ghost, especially if one has died before one’s time, by sickness, accident or murder, or if there are no children for performing the proper ceremonies. There are ghosts everywhere, in each corner of the house, in each stream, in each sick body, plenty of them, ghosts that you have to feed and to evict, to threaten and to cajole. Poor Liangshan is a ghost country. I have painted Liangshan’s landscapes and people more than any other place in the world. The first time, I went there in order to find painting motives. And I found some living motives. I became fascinated by the ritual books, by the priests – the bimos – going on with these rituals, by this feeling of struggle – with the supernatural world as well as with the natural one – which pervades everything in Liangshan. I had met a universe to struggle in, to struggle with, as Jacob did, in the darkness, out of fear and desire at the same time, a struggle that, for reasons unknown to me, I want to continue, to search also for some kind of blessing that I want to snatch out of the heart of darkness.
I have made friends in Liangshan. I made the acquaintance of a young Nuosu who had spent two years in Beijing, having made his way through the most hostile educational environment you can imagine. With him I visited families, attended religious rituals, interviewed bimosand sunis (shamans.) There is the young bimo who knew very little Chinese but had learnt by heart endless invocations from attending his grandfather. I have a special liking for him: he is at the same time the depository of a secular tradition and a kind of a marginal, with just enough to eat and no permanent job. And there are all these families that I visited, some happier than others, but tragedy waiting always at the corner. I remember the man who has had ten children, five of them having died at a very early age, and who thinks that his ancestors must be telling him in this way that their afterlife is not a very happy one, and that he has to perform the special rite allowing them to go at last into the ancestors homeland – but the ritual is very expensive, with the whole neighborhood to feed and entertain. So he spoke,but I felt utterly incapable to ask any questions of his wife.
Liangshan transformed my way of doing Chinese painting. I first started to draw a number of very dark paintings all called “Liangshan by night.” I could bear even less than before a style of Chinese painting that has lost its soul and inner energy. I was looking for some kind of primordial vitality within this highly civilized form of art, looking for a line and a style devoid of any kind of“cuteness.” Progressively, thanks maybe to the comfort that the success of the primary school project brought back to me, I was able to overcome this excess of violence, of despair, of darkness that my painting was expressing, to retrieve the peace and the sense of dispossession that is inseparable from the ethics of Chinese painting.
Behind and beyond Enlightenment
Let metry here to summarize a few discoveries I made along the way, though thesediscoveries are always provisional, fragmentary, clouded in perplexity…
Art isabout enlightenment. Enlightenment transforms perception. In the twinkling ofan eye, the Promised Land is at hand. Light shines in the heart of darkness.The world is an ongoing process of giving birth. Art reveals how the desire for light and the outpouring of light occur simultaneously. Each day, the Wordmakes Light shine brightly. A work of art is contagious as well, communicates the freedom of and heart that has joined the heart of what it paints. A work of art is just one of the ways a free man speaks. A work of art is a passage, a transition, a passover, it expresses the continuous passover from inner slaveryt o contagious freedom. The artist is not free, he becomes free, and he has to experience this becoming all over again in each of his work.
There are many ways to live this passover. My own way is to create artworks oscillating between two cultures. It is not Western culture that represents slavery or Chinese culture freedom or the reverse. It is going from one mode to another that constitutes a liberating experience. More exactly it is the integration of both cultures and modes of expression within the same artwork that expresses a deepening of inner unity. I never ask myself whether what I paint is more Chinese or more Western. I just choose what is the best for me in the same moment I create. I give birth to a new self in the same movement through which I paint.
Heart is always being begotten. Freedom, Unity and Birth say different aspect of the same spiritual experience. You cannot be begotten when something is blocked in you. Your style, your reputation, your mother culture, market, technique can block you. I am begotten each time I create a work of art that goes beyond what was blocking me
The psalmist says: The night is becoming light around me. Beyond the sheer realities of “light” and “night” we have to pay attention to the ‘becoming” and to the “around”. Awakening takes place within a process and within a context - and Chinese painting is all about process and context. Spontaneously, even if the logical connection is not obvious, I always quote together this verse of the psalmist and the well-known sentence by Silesius. Die Rose is ohne warum. The rose is without a Why. This speaks about attentiveness, which makes us discover that mystery is without a Why, and this dispossesses me of my own work even before the work is born. I have to let the breathing that is within me create a road that I do not know. I have to let a light which has no Why becoming light around me. This is the journey I strive to pursue each time I take a sheet of rice paper and let my brush spill out a few blots of ink…
Four stages for a “meaningful”encounter
Let me now leave the realm of Chinese painting as such for recapturing my personal experience in the context of cultural interactions shaped by the globalization era. It seems to me that the debate going on around“Chinese painting’ has much to do with the fuzziness of the way we usually define ”identity”, and what follows aims at presenting “identity” as a dynamic,ever-evolving process. The rather simple framework I now wish to develop has gradually taken shape in the course of more than twelve years of uninterrupted dialogue and exchange with Chinese social scientists, philosophers, artists, teachers or students, but also with cadres, entrepreneurs and villagers, through the process of reflecting upon the form and content of the relations we were developing, the fruits or obstacles that were gradually arising. How and to what extent was the encounter becoming “meaningful” to the people involved in it, starting from myself? To speak of a “meaningful” relationship among people from different cultural backgrounds is to spontaneously refer to an array of feelings and perceptions: first, there is some kind of a taste developing throughout the exchange, the pleasure that arises from conversation,mixing of languages, exoticism, discovery, friendship perhaps; second, there is the mutual acknowledgment that reciprocal displacements are taking place in the process - broadening of views, change in opinions and prejudices, and, to a certain extent, sharing of emotions and memories, be they collective or personal. A ”meaningful” relationship transforms, creates and carries forward meanings, seen as bits of perception,evaluation and interpretation of facts, people, places, texts or events.Eventually, a “meaningful” relationship develops from or evolves into shared projects and practical cooperation in order to fulfill common objectives,whatever the size of these objectives.
Thus,reflecting upon the process that was making the evolving relationship truly“meaningful”, I was gradually led to formalize it into four stages. Furthermore it soon appeared to me that this framework could help to describe and assess not only private, small-scale exchanges but also formalized, multilateral and long-term inter-cultural endeavors.
The first glimpse of “meaning’ that appears in a trans-cultural exchange, it seemed to me, has to do with the discovery of some commonality.However, ordinarily such commonality is not of a positive nature but rather of a negative one: it is about the sharing of crises and challenges. This might be true of a metaphysical or religious exchange (the sharing of the fact that we are all mortal beings…), but this is also true of cultural and social dialogue as framed and nurtured by the logic proper to the globalization era. Globalization is first and foremost the globalization of crises and challenges. This might mean to discover, not only through words but through shared experience, that deforestation, waste of natural resources, spread of AIDS and drugs, sustainability are indeed challenges for all, not only for one region of the world. This might be the realization that the growing gap between the (rational) language of social/cultural elites and the (symbolic, emotive) language of the marginalized sectors of society is a global phenomenon that makes most of our assumption about communication irrelevant. The feeling of commonality might also arise from a sharing about the collapse of traditional ways to understand one’s world, identity and culture. This might also have to do with the practical and moral challenges arising from the technologies of life. Or it might come from a reflection upon the spreading of a culture of violence at school or in society at large, a reflection upon the difficulty to implement mechanisms of harmony and reconciliation. What we share first is a feeling of urgency and disarray.
The second stage of the process is to realize anew the variety of the cultural resources we mobilize or could mobilize for answering such challenges. If we do confront common problems and crises, itis true also that there remain tremendous differences among world-views rooted into Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or among the core values found in Confucian, African or European societies. On life itself, on authority structures, on relationships with Nature or with the Other, on processes of discussion and evaluation, our ground intuitions, logical approaches, canonical texts and ingrained norms of behavior are as varied, divergent or contradictory as one can possibly imagine. Furthermore, our cultural traditions are embedded into historical memories that conflagrate one with another. Discovering the wide array of our differences might be, at the same time, exhilarating and extremely puzzling. Here, ”meaning” springs from the crux of the “Difference”,as we perceive and ponder upon what grounds us and separates us.
This is where a strategic choice is to be made. It seems to me that “meaning” continues to flow and to circulate when we decide to make this tremendous variety of cultural resources the tool box that enables us to interpret anew our own tradition and culture. Our cultures,world-views and creeds are being reformulated through the interpretative resources offered by the other cultures, world-views and creeds – and thisoperation happens simultaneously for all participants in the exchange. Suchinterpretative process can become a sophisticated intellectual endeavor when,for instance, it aims at re-interpreting Christian theological categoriesthrough the concepts and vocabulary of Mahayana Buddhism. However, theintuition that justifies the attempt to re-interpret one’s tradition throughthe resources offered by another cultural corpus can be prettystraight-forward. I remember a Chinese friend, expert in Daoist scriptures andhistory, to whom I was asking what his projects were now that he had at lastcompleted some major publication. He answered me that, for some time, his contacts with Christianity had convinced him that the success met by this particular religious form throughout the world had to do with its capacity to confront the challenges of modernity and to make its thought and vocabulary evolve and develop with the modernization process. He wanted, he told me,explore the ways through which Daoism could similarly become a truly“contemporary” religious form. Similar reflections and intellectual endeavor shave taken and are taking shape in innumerable minds and circles. What interests me there, is that, each time, the evolving relationship with the Other makes this very relationship the referent, the set of interpretative resources, through which I assess and reformulate my own cultural identity (the”I” being collective or personal.) This reformulation can be spontaneous or highly intellectualized, and it challenges to varying extents the very core of my identity, but, in all situations, the dynamics that shapes this ever-evolving identity is the cultural interchange itself that nurtures the web of interpretative resources that I have at my disposal.
In this perspective, all cultures, creeds and world-views are perpetually reshaped, and what defines them is never taken for granted but rather is being discovered and challenged throughout the process of exchange and interpretation. Thus, the core of our identity is never “behind”us, it is always “beyond”, it cannot be “essentialized”, it is rather “related to” the Other whose identity is similarly challenged and reshaped. At the sametime, this ever-evolving reshaping of one’s culture, creeds and world-views does not lead to a confusion or a mix, it does define and sometimes sharpen one’s sense of belonging and core values. Though identities are mobile and changeable, they are still discrete entities, and the solutions to our common challenges will remain localized and different insubstance. However, throughout the interpretative process these particular solutions will considerably vary from the ones suggested by the traditional understanding of one’s culture and identity, and the array of solutions devised form one’s culture or group to another will then be legitimately understood asa correlated set of attitudes, choices and decisions.
Let methen summarize the four stages of this programmatic model for cultural interaction:
-discovering and pondering a community of challenges, a commonality of crises and problems that the globalization era has made even more stringent;
- acknowledging the tremendous variety of cultural responses and resources that can be mobilized for answering these challenges, and the discrepancies among these resources;
-re-evaluating one’s cultural responses and core identity throughout the interpretative resources mobilized by the exchange process;
-recognizing the fact that these reciprocal re-interpretations andre-assessments do not amount to devising globalized answers to our common challenges; rather, they nurture an ever-evolving sharpening of one’s choices and decisions still rooted into a sense of belonging and identity.
Maybe,this development will appear to lead us far away from the field of Chinese painting. However, it seems to me that pursuing this line of reflection might help artists and critics to make sense of what happens in the creative process.It might help them to remain faithful to their roots while avoiding to“essentialize” their tradition and their practice. It might thus help them to liberate the space in which the miracle of inventiveness and creation might happen again, sometimes in the most unexpected places and at the most unexpected time. And this is only by being creative in a dynamic that links together inventiveness, interpretation and identity that Chinese painting will gain its place within the realm of contemporary art.
 Julia F. Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1979, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1994, p. 50.
 Lin Mu, "Fusion of Tradition and Modernity, on Feng Bin's Painting Art", in FengBin Walking Moment (in Chinese), catalog, private edition. See also Lin Mu,"On Feng Bin's Painting," Art,1997, No. 6, pp. 33-34, and "The Argument about 'Chinese Painting'," Art Observation, 1997, No. 4, pp. 4-6.
 Pi Daojin,”The History of Black of White: 50 Years of Evolution in Ink and Wash.” In John Clark, ed., Chinese Art at the End of the Millennium, Chinese-art.com, 1998-1999, Hong Kong, New ArtMedia, 2000, pp.92-93.
 I have attempted a more thorough account of this founding experience in a French/English book and painting catalog, Day Watcher/Veilleur de Jour, peintures de Li Jinyuan, texte et poèmes de Benoît Vermander, Toulouse, c.361, 1996,112 p.