It is always good if paintings have meanings. I feel every single piece of work ought have a reason or story behind. But for me, they should also be visually pleasing. I've observed, especially in the local art scene, that many over-emphasized or prioritized the messages that they want to convey and as a result compromised the visual aspect of a painting. How I admire those who are able to convey a strong message beautifully. I feel, 'beauty' should still be apparent in an 'intelligent' painting.
The first virtue of a painting is that it be a feast for the eyes. (Eugene Delacroix)