“omega” beings

Mr. He Canbo’s ink paintings are inhabited by mysterious human shapes that call “omega” beings.

These creatures multiply without end, but yet they do not frighten us, neither do they repel us, even when a multitude of them fall from above like a dense and sticky tropical rain. Their uniform and orderly formations, and especially the translucent space inside their globular heads, endear them to us.  Impersonal, featureless, appearing almost identical, these human shapes are full of luminous space and the darker the background, the more crystal-like transparency can be seen in them. When the atmosphere becomes lighter, the interior of these beings changes into an illusory, mirror-like transparency of quicksilver (mercury) and we are puzzled by this phenomenon of a most opaque of substances, a coloured dust, a chalk (is there anything less transparent than the chalk?) transforming themselves into a light  substance. And even when most crowded, they do not lose their glass-like transparency.  

And as a form, although deprived of facial features and expressiveness with their gently inclined heads, they convey a certain thoughtfulness, even sadness. 

Their natural history, as we see from He Canbo’s most recent work, is to discharge their light substance into their surroundings and thus become an abstraction, a sign strangely reminiscent of the last letter of the Greek alphabet: omega. They have apparently reached the end of their road but yet contain in themselves the potential for a new beginning (“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end…” The Book of Revelation)   

The material universe these human shapes have to make sense of is composed of blotches of ink, irregular in shape, ill-defined and penetrating each other – a truly chaotic and formless primordial matter. In the subdued atmosphere within the shades of grey of these blotches, a dull red line, even a patch of ochre, becomes too intense. And a small patch of a pure white appears as a dangerous fissure threatening this grey universe by revealing a universe of light hidden behind. However, from this dense and formless matter emerge perfectly transparent and regular forms, just as the rock crystal emerges from the matrix of an amorphous rock. 

White outlines of cubic forms project over a black horizon creating the paradox of a completely dark transparency. What may appear as a kite, floating in the air – an old Chinese toy – is actually a pyramid filled with a luminous space. The central place among these crystalline forms occupies a mysterious prismatic shape – one would guess, a former cube, which has now become tilted, having entered an oblique space. Like an enormous optical prism, it absorbs these human shapes into its vitreous interior, projecting them into the oblique dimension. It is within this oblique space that “omega” beings find an escape from the oppressive world of the blotches of ink – their material universe.    

Thought desperately tries to penetrate this static and silent universe of “omega” beings, zigzagging in the form of a broken red line, and when unable to encompass this mysterious world, recoils into itself. 

Dr. Rasko Radovic

MRCPsych (London),
PhD Philosophy Sorbonne Paris1,
MA Classics UCL London.
Born in former Yugoslavia, Dr.Radovic moved to United Kingdom in 1977 where he practiced Psychiatry for many years having become a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1985. In 2008, he moved to China and is currently working as a part- time Consultant Psychiatrist for the Beijing United Hospital. In the 90’s, Dr.Radovic studied Philosophy and History of Science in France, under the aegis of the most prominent French epistemologist, Professor Jacques Bouveresse, a member of the Collège de France. He eventually obtained a PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University in 1999. The thesis was on the philosophical significance of expression of emotions. Dr.Radovic also studied Classics, Greek and Latin, in England under the foremost experts like Professors Hedwig Maehler and Robert Sharples, obtaining a MA in Classics from University College London in 2002. He continues his research in this field at the King’s College London. Dr.Radovic has published articles in French and Serbo-Croatian and a book on the symbolical significance of human form in Serbo-Croatian. He is currently preparing for publication a treatise on visual perception. Apart from his native Serbian, he speaks English, French and Italian and reads several other languages.