FU WENJUN OIL PAINTING EXHIBITION
Independent & Image Art Space features “FU WENJUN OIL PAINTING EXHIBITION” from November 01 to December 31, 2021.
This exhibition presents two series of oil paintings created by the artist Fu Wenjun, “Pick at Random” and “Quiet Leisure”. These two series are cross-cultural practices that the artist has made for many years under a multicultural background, showing his understanding and interpretation of the connotation of traditional Chinese culture in the context of modern life.
Under the concept of “harmonizing Chinese and Western”, Fu Wenjun uses post-modern deconstruction, appropriation and juxtaposition to “reconcile” traditional Chinese ink art and western oil painting in many ways. Without changing the structure of pen and ink language, traditional culture is placed in the category of international art. He applies Chinese traditional freehand and Western classical realism as the basic techniques of artistic expression, giving the painting a visual effect between virtual and reality, and fully interprets his creative intentions with a transversal visual perception.
He believes that he should have a peaceful and introverted mentality and in-depth look at the connotation of traditional culture instead of living in the imagination of it. Slow down and grasp the connotation of tradition in mutual and repeated encounters. In Fu Wenjun’s view, “The essence of tradition is like the cloud in my paintings. It has undergone countless changes in form over time, but its essence has not changed. What has changed is only the viewer’s thoughts and understanding.”
This time my work is focused on the changes of Chinese cultural relics. In the picture, the women show high ideals through a simple living and a reserved posture; although they belong to the ancient times, when the lack of talent was seen as a virtue for women, even today well-educated people are not unlikely to be impetuous and realistic. The key reason is that the acquisitive society leads to the replacement of people’s attention and respect towards traditional culture with the material gain and the value of efficiency, making the present culture unavoidably fall into vulgarity.
Someone has defined this work as the “fusion” of Chinese and Western culture, but I prefer to say “they are in harmonious proportion”: a harmonious proportion of contrastive concepts, like Western oil painting pigments and the traditional brush and ink language, the oil painting mounting model and the Chinese traditional silk scroll painting materials. With the technique of the half-freehand brushwork, the oil painting pigments are filled with the spirit of the ink painting, and the silk scroll material is mounted with the oil painting frame. The above-mentioned crossover attempts have defined my attitude towards the tradition, that is neither to evaluate the present with the tradition, partially separated from the present context, nor to examine the tradition apart from its own context.
Pick at Radom
Pick at radom, as the word suggests, means to take at will. It comes from one poem by Su Shi. Just like the themes directly embodied in my works, I appropriate cultural symbols of Chinese culture and others, and uses the artistic language of different times and space to juxtapose seemingly unrelated cultures to generate new meanings.
《信手拈来之青花瓷盘》 布面油画 100x100cm 2012
Pick at Random – Blue and White Porcelain Plate, oil on canvas, 100x100cm, 2012
《信手拈来之翻江倒海》布面油画 150x150cm 2012
Pick at Random – Holding Back Rivers and Overturning Seas, oil on canvas, 150x150cm, 2012
《信手拈来之试水江湖》 布面油画 150x150cm 2012
Pick at Random – Test the World, oil on canvas, 150x150cm, 2012
《信手拈来之不知深浅》布面油画 150x150cm 2012
Pick at Random – Unknown Depth, oil on canvas, 150x150cm, 2012
I titled the series Pick at Radom, because my creation idea is to do a cross-cultural experiment in context of multicultural background. No matter either on the painting technique or on the expressive form, on the painting theme or on the expression idea, the series can be Eastern or not; can be others or “I”. The key of the problem lies in the appreciation subject how to understand them. In my opinion, there is no need to cover one cultural model with another, to replace on form with another. Multi-cultural integration, viewing from outside, is possibly contradictory; but from inside, is a dialectical statement. This statement will not lead to the loss or confusion of cultural meaning; instead, new interpretation and expression possibility will come into being.