In Landscape 17, Su uses his fine gongbi brushlines to limn the outlines of his young male subject. Is this a self portrait? Su doesn't say as much but states instead that a youth in his or her teens or early twenties represents a person at that most formative stage of development, emerging into his or her own identity as an adult individual. It is something all people can identify with and thus represents not just him. The traditional gongbi mode of figurative painting inherited from the Song uses ink outline (rendered with a stiff, fine brush) followed by color, wash infill. Here, Su deploys both traditional approaches—ink line followed by color fill—with tremendous technical dexterity but instead of combining the two to form a coherent visual illusion, he spatially separates or offsets the two to create a dissociated visual image. He recalls happening upon this visual effect when visiting a classmate who was working on a woodblock printing project. In traditional Chinese and Japanese woodblock print, the Song gongbi technique is reproduced using multiple printing blocks: one carved woodblock impresses the ink outline of the painted forms and subsequent woodblocks impress the color fill (one carved block per color). Proper registration or alignment of the multiple woodblock impressions is necessary to achieve a coherent, illusionistic result. Alignment errors, however, are not uncommon and on this day, Su stumbled upon a discarded, mis-aligned print. Through its “failure,” the discarded print struck a dissonant chord with Su’s own gongbi painting practice drawing explicit attention to the painter’s long-accepted, never-questioned traditionalist formulation of brush outline and color-wash fill. At the same time, Su felt a deep, psychological resonance with this same image—a sense of double vision, of personal dissociation, of seeing oneself from the outside or of a separation between one's inner self and one's social self. This productive nexus between visual experience, historical artistic practice, psychological phenomena and personal identity is the engine that drives Su’s artistic practice.