Tin Sum Village
Po Wan went out into the countryside of the New Territories every week to paint. He had a deep-rooted love of the countryside and its people. This can be seen in this painting where he depicted the people in harmony with the land. There is a peace and charm to this painting. The colours have a luminosity not seen before in his paintings.
In trying to incorporate what Po Wan had learned from Chinese painting, he started to employ the use of the void. In Chinese paintings, the void can depict water, mist or land. It can also emphasize the relationship between solid and empty space.
“Certainly the relationship of the two elements is that if there is no solid likewise there is no empty space and vice versa”
– He Weimen, The Mystery of Empty Space brochure from The Ashmolean, 2005
The unpainted space here acts as a place to rest the eye or perhaps the place where the eye starts its journey. In this painting, his free space is in the foreground as he has packed the rest of the painting with figures and buildings. So our eye begins our journey there and can take a rest in the space whenever we need to.