“Through Description” Zhan Chong Solo Exhibition
City: Beijing
Duration: 2014-12-13 ~ 2015-01-08
Opening: December 13,2014 16:00
Venue: Gallery Yang
Address: Originality Square, 798 Art District, No.2 Jiu Xianqiao Road, Chaoyang, Beijing, China
Participating Artist(s): Zhan Chong
Host(s): Gallery Yang

Working Method and Material

Zhan Chong

I'd like that my paintings look like descriptions at a distance. Yet a very short distance. I hope that the distance, as it were, is only 5 centimeters away from the reality, sometimes even ignorable. It must be intimately connected with my working method, becoming a kind of record and extension of my action status, a part of a series of actions. It is not only the picture itself that evokes imagination; the recorded actions also produce some imaginations, and might at last form some meaningful expressions.

Therefore, the selection and the set-up of the painting objects mean a lot to me. I am not inclined to combine (for example) a cup with an imagined spaceship, which is easy in painting, or to characterize a weird thing which seems nonexistent in the world. For now, more often than not, I find some things in the plain reality, and connect them with this cup in a certain real scene, or extract some elements out of them to formulate some logic, no matter this logic belongs to the reality or to the painting. The attraction is not that they don't exist in the reality; they present themselves through some potential connections, keeping a little bit distance from the normal life we experience. This distance is controllable because the selected things are ordinary.

I photograph them, then paint them from appropriate angles.

Photographing is simply recording. It helps me take record of my ideas on site as precisely as possible to be utilized later. In the process of painting, however, it is inevitable to take personal preferences in to transform these photographs into certain unifying scheme, and the objects into relatively broad concepts, which are less concrete now. To eliminate the concreteness is to intensify the distance from the reality, so that what I record is not only a purely objective reality, but a production of conception. The produced working itself is a processed object.

Indeed, this setting counter reacts on my way of action too, making me experience some thoughts in a limited range. Action determines painting, and conversely, the objects painted affect action, and in turn come back to painting again. I think, the point of this method is not simply painting something; it is a consequence brought by the coordination and compromise of thinking, selecting, acting, and recording.

The main reason I choose propylene is its convenience, its being devoid of the heaviness of oil. To be sure, much of the heaviness of oil painting could be ascribed to its history, a psychological thing. Not that it is unable to achieve what the propylene painting does. The customary oil painting techniques acquired through my painting training often make it hard for me to shake off an inertial painting mode, which aroused a feeling of languidness in me several years ago.

And the point of propylene as a material in advertisement is high-efficiency production. Quick dry is its foremost property. Quick dry has a negative impact on repetitive depiction of details, but it is apt to give pictures a lucid and lively effect. With less emphasis on details, the objects become simpler. I feel in this sort of picture a strange sense of "cheapness". It is like some propagation painting, as if everything in it is for promoting sales. Quick dry also forces the painter to speed up, and diminishes the interference from thinking. It conforms with my definition of recording.


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[Editor] 孙雯