Daniel PULMAN is a British artist currently living in Taiwan, with a studio based in a small rural township on the outskirts of Taichung. His work explores the role of memory, seeing and perception through travel, photography and painting. Drawing upon the European tradition of figurative and landscape painting, particularly French artists such as Courbet and Cezanne, which he studied when in Paris as a young painter.
More recently visits to museums in China and Taiwan led to the tomb frescos of the Northern Dynasties and Buddhist art informing his recent paintings. Following an extended trip to Japan, South Korea and having spent the winter journeying across North East China, the artist returned to Taiwan in January 2020, on the eve of the pandemic. He began a series of paintings related to his experiences in China, but after several months, painting urban winter subjects in the heat of summer, the artist sought a new subject while exploring the mountains around Taichung and Nantou with his wife the Taiwanese abstract painter Suling Wang, who he had met while studying at the Royal College of Art in the late 1990s.
On one such excursion, whilst returning from a hike, they came across a group of men swimming, fishing and resting on the Dajia River. This experience formed the subject for an extended series of paintings: The Bathers of Guguan. In these paintings, figures are seen grouped and solitary, on the rocks before the river or at the base of a crumbling cliff face.
The natural topography and rock formations feature strongly and are emphasized through heavily textured, built up areas of paint, sometimes several inches thick, which is contrasted with more fluid areas of spontaneous mark-making. Themes relating to the human presence in the landscape are developed through distortion, colour and repetition.