group exhibition, Milan

Identity and independence                 

Chen Li 2019
Size: 18x18x18 cm each piece
box: 45x45x45  

Water, as in many ancient paintings, Giorgione, Mantegna, Tiziano Vecellio, is also for Leonardo a source of light. Painting the water was expensive, but water is vision dilation. The theater has a liquidity close to water. Leonardo is the first one who wrote and demonstrated the axiom science = art, art = science. We are still discussing on this. Water is an invasive and problematic presence in the art world. Disruptive binder and reason for life and death of the works. In the Cenacle water is a cause of death: humidity has created structural and molecular alterations. The debate proposed by Leonardo is an attitude, an artist profile outside the box. The presence of art in Water purification systems is a natural consequence. The connection between art and nature is somehow a legacy from Leonardo. The problem is for example the use of polluting materials in the places where the water cycle is regenerated, the purifiers. We must preserve the purity of water: "O wretched mortals open your eyes". What creates a contact between Leonardo and contemporary art: the presence of the craftsman in his work. But the presence of the craftsman is not only in the portraits, where there is certainly almost always Leonardo. We need to look for the author's presence with a new approach. For example, the rhythm of the Cenacle composition: the movement of the figures. Let's observe it: it is a movement that has the wave, it is inspired by water, the movement of circles in a pond when a stone is thrown. But one can also find the rhythm of the Dante’s triplets and the Gregorian chant. Some singing scholars have been able to find that the figures sang the Kyrie Eleison. 

(prof. Rolando Bellini - art historian, Milan) 

 When we think about water we cannot help but think about Leonardo, his vision, his inheritance. His resilience: Leonardo fails as a scientist, painter, engineer, but from his failures he rose and rose again with new ideas, new projects, new successes. 

(prof. Luca Caricato - art historian) 

Leonardo’s multidisciplinary approach is the true legacy of Leonardo: be curious, study, do not settle, it seems to say. 

(prof. Anna Scaramuzza - art historian) 

(notes by Chen Li from the Conference Day and presentation of the project "Leonardo and water" in the 500th anniversary of his death), 5° Festival dei Depuratori, Milan (5th Festival of Water purification system). 
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