Deng Chengwen, ‘Blind Walking #31’, 2008, Ode to Art

About Deng Chengwen

In vibrant, hyperrealistic oil paintings and watercolors, artist Deng Chengwen creates allegorical scenes that question the current state of contemporary Chinese youth. As an extension of the Cynical Realism movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s (championed by the seminal Beijing-based artists Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, and Liu Wei), Deng’s figurative canvases feature groups of people—eyes covered—leading each other through dense urban centers. A play on the adage “the blind leading the blind,” Deng reflects on the stagnant, stifled cultural position of China and its impact on the country’s younger denizens. In Deng’s words, “with limited choices, their life can hardly be changed and they will just follow the path that has been set by society.”

Chinese, b. 1981