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"Feng Feng and Li Jin: New Works"
2004-04-22 until 2004-05-08
Art Scene China
This exhibition combines the works of Feng Feng and Li Jin, two artists who share a studio, but whose works otherwise appear to differ widely, using completely different techniques and content. However, these two artists are linked in that they use traditional Chinese concepts and/or media combined with their own sense of understanding of the modern world. Li Jin and Feng Feng have been working in the same studio at the same time, consciously producing artwork to be exhibited together at Art Scene China.
Li Jin, an internationally exhibited artist whose work has been featured in some globally important art shows, uses the traditional medium of Chinese ink and colour on paper. This more traditional medium causes his work to appear to be the more conventional of the two artists. But a closer look at his work reveals a quiet, lightly ironical humor, discernible in his choice of subjects and matched by his soft colored washes as well as the free, spontaneous brushwork and compositions. His paintings show people going after their daily occupations and their relationships with friends and family, giving humorous insights in Chinese society as well as human nature at large. Li Jin also includes writing and captions with his artwork, as many traditional Chinese artists did. For example, in a painting of a woman doing the splits and holding a gun in one hand, the caption reads, "Women never forget wrongs that have been done to them."
Feng Feng, who has already built up a strong reputation in Shanghai and who has also shown internationally, on the other hand, produces works that are semi-abstract. His multi-layered paintings in mixed media with overlying abstract compositions of vibrant colours are combined with traditional Chinese characters or images. At the same time as being modern and abstract, his paintings evoke images of ancient Chinas culture and religion, mirroring Feng Feng's interest in Chinese history, poetry and art. The artist, himself a poet (much like China's traditional artists - who were poets and painters combined), likes to see his works not on only as paintings but emphasizes their relationship to poetry and music, even though it is difficult to combine other art forms with painting. Accordingly, his work offers the viewer more than just one dimension to be discovered.
By simultaneously exhibiting these two different artists‚ paintings, who both strive to create modern, contemporary Chinese art without denying China‚s historical roots, this exhibition brings together two of China's most exciting, critically acclaimed and well-received Chinese artists. Displaying the paintings side by side will bring out the contrasts and similarities between the artworks.