The World of Gods
The World of Gods, 2019
Oil on linen
800mm x 1700mm

Helun Liang

MA Painting
Camberwell College of Arts

As an artist and a member of the Tungus ethnicity, I express the indigenous stories of Tungus tribes through combining perceptions and experiences of the nomadic culture. My practice interrogates cultural marginalization in China using the native style that originates from the minority ethnicity. With historical references from cliff paintings and folktales, I attempt to translate these ancient documents into the relatively contemporary language of oil painting, print media, installation and video.Ultimately, I want to create a permanent ‘heterotopia’ of Tungus culture to prevent the vanishing of its art, language, and so on. It is our unusual space configuration and time experience that documents the myth and the history of the native residents of Northern China, with whom I worked.The inspiration for this painting is Shamanism, which is the core religion of Manchu culture. In Siberia, where Shamanism originated, people traditionally believed that the world was divided into three layers. Human beings lived in the middle layer, but the upper world, in the sky, could be reached by a small hole. This picture is about the upper level, where the gods live. I recreate the figures from cliff paintings in Northern China and connect them with the maps, which are made by white lines and dots.