I believe that, when I start to paint, there's a force that guides the canvas in a certain direction. During this process, I can look past any concerns regarding reality and the passage of time, and allow the work itself to become reality and the passage of time." - He Sen 2014
From May 10 to June 30, Shanghai Longmen Art Projects will hold the exhibition of “Return at Dusk, Enlightenment at Dawn, He Sen 2014” focusing on He Sen’s most recent 18 oil painting works executed after the “Conversing with the Moon” series, which was presented the Beijing Today Art Museum in February, 2012.
As a member of the “New Age” painter of the 1990s, He Sen and his fellow artists were neither as deeply involved in politics as their predecessor, nor enthusiastic about associating art with politics. As a matter of fact, they didn’t want to have anything do with the system at all. While the society they lived in was heading for a tremendous change, they chose to exile themselves. During this period, He Sen finished his highly acclaimed “Decadent Girls” series and became a classical figure of contemporary Chinese art. In the years after 2002, He Sen visited nearly every renowned museum in Europe and America and browsed through masterpieces of Western art. When admiring the essence of Western art, he found himself questioning the idea of using Western art as the benchmark and destination of contemporary Chinese art. He realized that, to survive, contemporary Chinese art has to be true to its own core values. From the end of 2004 to 2005, He Sen’s art creation entered into a new experimental age when he started to imbibe materials from his own cultural background.
It was at that time He Sen became aware of the uniqueness of Chinese traditional paintings. He cast his eyesight on the headstream of Chinese history, believing that the eternally immutable quality of ancient Chinese art would be able to act as a counterweight to the cultural impact of Western art. Real individuality and distinctiveness became the goal of his art experience. It was a new age of his art career that was just beginning.
During the two years after his solo show “Conversing with the Moon”, He Sen tried to make his art experiment more persuasive and underline his subjective perception in the paintings. He wanted to imbue his paintings with distinctive language and rhythm as well as boundless possibilities. His painting process became more spontaneous in styles and colors, which is the reason we can see so much unexpected and contradictory color combinations in his latest works. “I believe that, when I start to paint, there's a force that guides the canvas in a certain direction. During this process, I can look past any concerns regarding reality and the passage of time,
and allow the work itself to become reality and the passage of time. Life is full of uncertainties, and so is art. Extraordinary life transcends daily trivia, so does extraordinary art”, said He Sen.