BACKThe Perfect Moment and the Double Soul |  Eleonora Battiston

He Sen decides to accompany it with the inscription of splendid calligraphy. From a work by Li Shan
derives also a painting with an orchid. A little bird lays on the flower that seem sprouting from a rock,
which emerges from the canvas and shows the early appearance of this new technique: thicker colors
applied with a spatula. In the first part, the inscription seems to be copied from the original; while
in the second half the artist probably wrote it by himself because the linguistic code appears more
modern both in content and graphic.

 The flowers inspired by Xu Wei, talented painter and writer from the Ming dynasty, have instead blue
and rose shades. The subjects are pending in the emptiness, detached from the world and surrounded
by a suffused aura. The atmosphere is uncertain, almost as if it was suspended. It appears as if He Sen
wants to hand down Xu Wei’s destructive emotions that for a few times drove him to attempt suicide,
his impatient and unapproachable spirit that through his works often shocked people, the rebellion
externalized detaching from the tradition and introducing with verve a new style made of wild
cursive and broken up brushes.

 He Sen makes this creative force and this energy as his own. These components reach then the
highest levels in the four canvases representing Ma Yuan’s works. In these paintings he portrays the
deep and storming sea. He Sen reproduces the sharp-edged style characteristic of this painter: Ma
Yuan used in fact the axe-cut technique through thick, angular and abbreviated brushes and with a
reduced composition. The poetic verses written out underline once more the impetuous sentiment
and the perturbation in action: “The Yellow River goes countercurrent”, “Waves and clouds wrap up”,
“Imaginary waves fluctuate”, “The vastness of the Yangtze”. It’s another rebellion, once more “Sturm
und Drang”, an typical passion for the East.

 He Sen stresses this urge of explosion with a unique technique: he divides the canvas in two or three
alternating sections: one part is flat, realized using the brush, with a taut color and a very light and
thin consistency that inspires a feeling of tranquility and impermanence. The other part is ferocious,
made of material, realized with the spatula; it’s alive and violent, it seems to be screaming, feeding 
the waves while winding up the sea with anger. In some points the brush is tired, just like after
a hurricane, or a thunderstorm. The traits wrap around themselves creating circular strokes that
dissolve, disappear in white portions, as the painting seem not been ultimate.

 These paintings seem to be created by Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde, from a man with multiple
personalities that, while painting, transforms and becomes quiet and docile and suddenly scary
and fierce, to end being deadbeat exhausted and drained. Every moment is neatly separated and
characterized by a precise style, a precise emotion and by a correlated feeling.

 On the other canvases, the waves become elegant zigzags, decorative motifs almost seemingly
frivolous, as he underwent an umpteenth transformation, a change towards an apparently simpler
and more naive style. He seems to be evoking a life style full of pleasures, made of evanescent delights
and poetic beauty, just like the importance of aesthetic at the Song court. Nature is still protagonist:
sometimes like a harmonious system, a live dialectic of the opposites in which every miniscule object,
flower, bird or insect assume a value that cannot be estimated. Other times it becomes threatening
and cruel, keen to tread and destroy like an impetuous wave.

We need only few words to describe these works that fill the space and magnetize the gazes. It’s
enough to look at them.