Mo Bao—A Chinese Ink Artist Cannot be a Great Artist Without Dreaming to Become a Rock Star

TEXT:Sue Wang    DATE: 2019.1.11

Albert Camus once said that, no artist can live without reality. Art can question reality, but art cannot escape from reality. Compared with most mature artworks, the living conditions and life stories behind the art production seem to be more intriguing. Taking from the first-person perspective, CAFA ART INFO is now presenting you with our latest micro video program, “Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”. With a focus on individual artists’ life stories, we will take you on a tour to explore how an artist actually works and lives in real-life situations. This series will be filmed at a part of the artists’ studios at some art districts in Beijing. Each artist’s unique character will be revealed to our audience in a more realistic and tangible way.

“Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”

Episode 6: Mo Bao

(Time:03' 21'')

Mo Bao was born in 1981 in Guangxi province. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree on Traditional Chinese Painting from Guangxi Arts Institute, and a Master’s degree from China Central Academy of Fine Arts with a focus on the traditional Chinese landscape painting in freehand style. Meanwhile, he also serves as the vocal in his rock band “The Groundless”. In the past ten years, Mo Bao has immersed himself in his own world of art utopia, in a state of half art and half music. He lives between making art in serenity and roaring out in excitement. Mo Bao describes himself more like a person with schizophrenia, who switches freely between these two personalities.

A Music Show of Mo Bao and The Groundless, 2018

Mo Bao was interviewed by the Chinese music magazine “The Popular Music” in 2005

At the beginning, Mo Bao was interested in painting scenes of rock concerts with ink and wash. He has also been interviewed by the Chinese music magazine “The Popular Music”. Mo Bao’s style has always been evolving, and varying with the the changes in his living environment and creation state.

Mo Bao, Meeting in the Landscape No.1, ink and wash, 2018

Mo Bao, Meeting in the Landscape No.2, ink and wash, 2018

Mo Bao’s current painting style is more like traditional or even classical. Freehand landscape painting is one of the oldest Chinese forms of painting, which has been popular in the past thousands of years among scholars and artists. Mo Bao attempts to integrate rock music with traditional Chinese ink art. The way he creates is combining two things that seem entirely different. Mo Bao keeps exploring the boundaries in between and how to seamlessly mix the two different medias. A new art media that was born out of the integration of the other two, is what makes Mo Bao’s art unique.

Covers of Mo Bao’s Pure Music Album “Floating Clouds and Flowing Water”, 2016

Covers of Mo Bao’s Pure Music Album “Floating Clouds and Flowing Water”, 2016

Photo of Mo Bao’s Mother

Mo Bao’s mother loves to sing folk songs when she was young. And her husband has great interest in calligraphy. Mo Bao’s parents often visit their son from Guangxi province. Maybe, Mo Bao’s utopian way to pursue art has put some burden on them. Realistically speaking, his parents are hoping that their son could get married soon and have his own family. As for the artists, eventually you will have to make a choice between pursuing art persistently and living a normal and stable life.

Interior of Mo Bao’s Studio

Interior of Mo Bao’s Studio

Exterior of Mo Bao’s Studio

Mo Bao

Courtesy of CAFA ART INFO