The painting carries a seal that reads “The eighties”, which was very much like a milestone marking Wu’s stride towards a new horizon. The artist had these loving words for his native land, which was also his source of inspiration: “White walls under black tiled roof. Small bridges over gurgling brooks. Lakes by the side of ponds. This water-logged land, white and shimmering. Black, white and grey constitute the main colour scheme of the Jiangnan area. Silvery grey was also what I started with when I began my path of art. Silvery grey tones are often seen on overcast days. I simply love the overcast spring days of Jiangnan. I basically shun sunlight and shadows in my paintings. Even if it is a sunny day, it is the fleeting moment with the sun behind clouds that I want to express. On and off, I have been painting the Jiangnan area all my life. Of all my works on Jiangnan – or the entire corpus of my works for that matter, Twin Swallows is the most outstanding and most representative.”
Twin Swallows also inspired Wu to explore how best to blend the East and the West in art in the 1980s. In the end, he succeeded by projecting his essentially Eastern spirit and his affection for his native land through geometric simplicity and minimalism that are typical of Mondrian. These had been the perspectives for Wu in his art-making ever since.
The frame is for illustration only. The painting is mounted with silk cloth, but comes without the frame.