Artist Voice | Sublime of the non-figurative

Independent & Image Art Space
Apr 30, 2020 4:28AM

About my recent works, Fu Wenjun, 2015

Should it be abstract, semi-abstract or purely abstract? This is a question that I recently think about.

Until today, I haven't decided yet. But I don’t like the realistic and concrete style any more. I gave them up very early. When I was studying in Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, I was keen on the abstract expressionism. Actually, my early figurative works were not really figurative. Just at that time, I didn’t do well enough on the representation.

About the recent works, I try my best to avoid symbolic commercial operations and straightforward Chinese symbols. I want to reach a non-figurative state that I always long for. As this state is more suitable for my art creation, chaotic but powerful.

I have shown some recent works to friends as critics in private. They mentioned something that are line with my own thinking.

1. Sublime of the non-figurative

After the ’85 New Wave Movement, sublime was avoided by the younger generation of artists, and the macro-narrative was also criticized. But for our generation, the complex of macro-narrative is actually difficult to dispel. But this macro is different from the grandeur of the figurative form displayed by the previous collectivism. Now this spirit of sublime is more about an internal reflection on history and cultures. After dissolving the specific images, when today has diversified ideas, this macro complex still exists, and is embodied in the subline of the non-figurative.

Food Is the God of People, Fu Wenjun, 2014-2015

Among the Clouds, Fu Wenjun, 2014-2015

2. Brilliant colors

Color is a consciousness that I have maintained since I started to create photography. Because I like oil painting. Beside of conceptual photography, painting is the biggest part. And I do not put painting and photography in a hostile state where they cannot communicate with each other forever. I love colors, and I just want to preserve them. In recent works, this idea has suddenly been completely released. I think there is a good combination and I feel happy about it. Some friends as critics visited my studio. They said that I played well with colors and it was something many conceptual photography artists do not have. For me, this is also an affirmation and an encouragement.

Expectation, Fu Wenjun, 2014-2015

3. “Hypertext” narrative

Before, I always wanted to do continuous creations, that is, to tell a story through several works in a series. For example, with the two series "Twelve Chinese Zodiac Signs" and "Story of Expo Garden", I have talked about the history of more than 150 years. But for recent works, I don’t go on that way. In recent years, I spent many time on exhibitions and international exchanges, which has allowed me to focus on crossover and comparison of the cultures. Therefore, the recent works are not narrated in a self-contained "text", but cross over more complex cultural backgrounds: ancient, today, Chinese, Western, etc., It can be said to be a "hypertext" narrative, and even is dispelling the "narrative". Because it is not about history, but about the current times. The contemporary era is not over, so the narrative should continue in an open way.

Under the Dome, Fu Wenjun, 2014-2015

Independent & Image Art Space