Something About the Colors and the Life of Stevens Vaughn
After Nothing is an experimental research of a visual narrative in Arts.
Equipped with simple and basic tools, an Italian visual researcher, Gianfranco Valleriani, flies to China to meet an American artist, Stevens Vaughn. They spend two months together, around the cities and islands of Fujian.
The video is divided into five chapters, just as the Feng-shui philosophy and as the number of the Asian colors used by the artist.
The Red chapter, called "Broken Land", tells about city boundaries where Chinese ceramics factories developed long time ago, defying profound marks on the land and on the people's life. Broken is an important concept, it is the beginning of something new. Around the suburbs, submerged by broken cups, Vaughn spent years of his life and learned many secrets of his art. The scrolls, traditionally made along rivers and mountains, are now made by Vaughn inside the factories.
The White chapter, called “Blending Mind”, shows the relation with water, considered the color and origin of the expressive process. Art is not simply drawing; it is an experience inside the water and the colors, which Vaughn every time undertakes. The process of blending colors starts to be a state of mind. Everything happens inside a ritual, where nudity is an important part of this irrational experience.
The Blue chapter, called “Big as a Grain", is a trip to an abandoned island, the Crocodile Island. Starting from a "residual" village of fishermen, and sailing through dozens of earthmovers emerging from the ocean, the wild rubbish-filled beach becomes a magical space of creation. Grains of sand become dynamic part of colorful and natural drawings, while a painted sculpture is burned on the shoreline.
The Black chapter, called “Nothing Really Happened", let us enter into the use of the five colors made by Vaughn, and the experiential theory matured during the years. Vaughn talks with the water, before than us, and he focuses on the main meanings of his experience in art. With Vaughn, Xiamen attracted many important Fluxus artists coming from North Europe, and Gulangyu became an attractive pole of living art, decades ago.
The Yellow chapter, called “At the Center of Something", shows Vaughn during an art ceremony, a strict ritual where the five colors are launched over dozens of fans, carefully arranged in different directions as in accordance with the Feng-shui philosophy. Yellow is the center, as the old Chinese tradition states; it is the center from where you can see the past and the future, it is an "here" evolving relentless, like the composite skyline of the multitude of islands of Fujian, shown by the shooting of a drone.