"Psycho Research" Zhang Seng Solo Exhibition
City: Dalian
Curator: Xu Xiaolou
Academic Presider: Wu Hong
Duration: 2017-07-04 ~ 2017-09-03
Opening: 2017.7.4(Feb)14:30
Venue: Junmei Art Commune
Address: No.448 Hutan Road Dalian
Participating Artist(s): Zhang Seng

Academic Guests:Chen Jiaying、Sun Zhouxing

The Hidden Heterodoxy

Wu Hong

Those installation works by Zhang Sen are considered as the key to her paintings.

The work named "Confession Box" consists of two parts. The "Dark" is an opaque box, in which audiences can put their hands inside and invisibly write down, or maybe not, those confessions, resentment, dissatisfaction or even curses. It's quite a ritual way for people to legally express out the heterodoxy which used to be hidden deep inside. But finally, we could see that the handwritings are always overlapping and unrecognizable, for the reason that people were writing causally. Meanwhile, audiences can also write the same context in the transparent box "Bright", but with a white pencil on the white paper, which means no trace would be left at all. Nevertheless, few audiences would come to box "Bright". It might be hard for people that their sub-consciousness can guide their consciousness. "Confession Box" has told a truth that those deviant, irrational or ridiculous heterodoxy is hard to live in the so-called "normal" or "reasonable" world. They can only stay in the shadow of sub-consciousness and even become a taboo never to be talked about. Even a sudden awareness of them would bring out a sense of guilt of sin.

However, the "Confession Box" is as the "Abyss Bridge" in Chinese folk ghost stories, standing across consciousness and sub-consciousness, rational and irrational, overt and covert, legality and illegality.

Meanwhile, the other installation named "Secrets" is a supplement. The black felt on bed means dream, sub-consciousness or the illegal thoughts. The unmarked clock and drugs would lead a way to the secret area which hides behind our "reasonable" world.

Let's think about the relationship between the discussion about Zhang Sen's installations and her paintings. We could take "Pope Using Confession Implement" as an example, which is a fictional scene created by Zhang Sen. The Pope, as the representative of the Christ, can convey the believers' repent. If the Pope himself uses repentant, it would be a paradox: acceptance both his divine and humanity at the same time? The paradox of logics pries open a crack within the holy nature, comprehensiveness and rigorousness of logic itself, thus, the hidden heresy just appears.

First, we will see the "Sinner" series, which contain absurd reasons against the normal logics. The sinners are rule breakers, and they abandon the opportunity to complain of their wrongs. Besides, there are also transvestite, masochism, double-head person and people riding pigs, which are all hidden in the "dark box" of our mind and tabooed by this "reasonable" world. They are taboo figures and also area outside the law. We seem like to find another following person in the series consist of heterodoxy and alien, who is a freelance painter.

For maintaining the integrity, accuracy and logic of the rational world, painting languages and elements have been strictly restricted. At the moment, Zhang Sen needs to bury the hidden heterodoxy in every link, and shake the logic chain tenderly. In this way, the tight weaving rope seems to release a lot of gaps quietly.

At the point, painting language can be free!

We could understand why Zhang Sen insists in painting only in this way. From the free painting perspective, we could also find out the inherent tension in her painting language. The tension, which carries crispation and spasm after stretching, just releases from the burden of integrity,accuracy and logic; it also has pleasure and splurge after breaking away from the "dark box".

Finally looking back the figures that Zhang Sen created, we will profoundly understand the complexity and depth of humanity.

13th,June,2017 In Tongzhou,Beijing

( Wu Hong, Editor-in-Chief of ‘International Art’ / Visiting Professor of Jilin College of the Arts / Executive Director of Beijing Song Zhuang Contemporary Art Museum )


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