Janeric Johansson

The Seven Elements

2008 Acrylic on canvas and acrylic and sand on metal, 11 pieces 330 x 230 cm Simao University Art Museum, China

This painting is combining the old thinking about the Elements in Western and Chinese traditions. In the West we have heard about the ancient science about the 4 elements, Water, Earth, Air and Fire. Aristotle was one of the most famous ones dealing with this thinking, to try to describe what life was about. He said that the four elements was moving in a circle, every one had a counterpart which could overlap or taken out each other. But he also said that there must be something more, maybe a fifth element, which is moving in the circle, but don’t have any counterpart, which always have been there and never can be taken away, a heavenly element. And he called it ”Eter”. Maybe this was a searching for God, even if he didn’t understand it so, in the same way as the Greeks in Athens was building a Temple to the Unknown God. In China there is a similar thinking, but with 5 elements, the same ones without Air, but with Wood and Gold instead. So mixing the Western and Chinese traditions it will be Six Elements. I decided to make a big painting out of four canvases in different dimensions, and put them together in a way that they form a circle but with an empty space in the centre. This painting was made for a Solo Exhibition in Simao University Art Museum in south China 2008. Through these four canvases I made several parts of circles and out from the sides the 6 elements made on metal were placed. And in the empty space in the middle I put ”Eter”. Months after I made the painting I realised that Eter made a 7th Element, the perfect number, which also become the title of the artwork.


Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5 Image 6 Image 7