Zhang Xiaogang:Lost Zhang Jun & Loyal Hei Zi
Source:Artintern.net Author:Zhang Xiaogang Date: 2014-01-03 Size:
With popularity of digital cameras, people are all becoming photographers, shooting pictures everywhere about everything. Software can help produce photos stunning to experts. Is this the golden age that everyone can become an artist? Can we free sensibility without fear for technology?

  With popularity of digital cameras, people are all becoming photographers, shooting pictures everywhere about everything. Software can help produce photos stunning to experts. Is this the golden age that everyone can become an artist? Can we free sensibility without fear for technology? Can we master expression techniques without paying any efforts and accumulating art experiences? This may be actually an era of erasing photography, an era when digital software replaces thinking and experiences!

  One cannot help but ask why there are still photographers believe that their works will be unique in any way. At the same time, when I see my old friend Zhang Jun keeps shooting pictures, I am greatly moved, but at the same time wonder what his motivation is. Is it the obsession to mechanical control and equipment or the addiction to image art? Or maybe for him, it is the best dialog moment between art and living, which explains he corrects those pictures night after night. Probably, Zhang Jun just refuses to let go of time in front of him. We may forget time by alcohol or retain it in camera, even though it might be ugly or it just signifies another movement of 1/120 second of the setting sun towards the grey wall!

  I have known Zhang Jun for about 20 years, who has been carrying a camera from the beginning. He was focusing on beauties at that time, when it was popular to shoot photos of mysterious and introverted ladies on the horizon. The poetic an profound style of Victoria trend influences a lot of people, including him. He brought fresh inputs into Sichuan, deconstructing the painting layout in mainstream by his oil painting and photographs. However, deconstruction seems like throwing the baby together with dirty water or maybe just the baby was thrown and water was left. For a long time, Sichuan is in a certain blank state in aesthetics, or a disorderly state in art. When the glory fades away, it cannot be reproduced. Once prosperous art circle is dimming away….

  It is a bit off course but it is the true background where a lot of artists got lost. What kind of trees can grow in this land?

  Back to Zhang Jun. We had a close relation when he studied in Sichuan Fine Art Institute from 1990 to 1992. He rented a small room in Huangjueping. Every night after class, I would go out with him for a drink and talk. When I left Chongqing for Germany in 1992, he bid farewell to me in the station. This moment was lost without camera available at that time. Zhang Jun was greatly addicted to painting as he is to photography now. He also feels the impact of times change towards his aesthetic values. I believe it was a period when he simply studied, wondered and thought.

  I once said that Zhang Jun’s life can be made into a thought-provoking movie. His long-time obsession and drunkenness, love for weak lives, loyalty to friends, questioning towards life, expectation, persistence to dream and firmness, are buried inside his body, waiting for an incentive to spread and explode….

  His upgrade in mind can be apparently noticed when he participated in charity activities in 5 Colours Foundation. When he had weibo, he named it Heizi—the name of a dog he used to have. It’s now also his name. He is an old friend, and also a new person. In this year, we took a tour together in Europe. Whether in Toledo, Arles or Avignon, he always devoted his time to photos and had few time for food. I gradually understood him, or at least solved some puzzles about him, when I saw him climb the tall wall in Toledo for morning glow, when he experienced the drama and yet insanity in crowd, when he made disorderly life poetic or meaningful through color and texture, when he tried to understand and express the familiar faces through Heizi’s perspective…..

  Back to the age with excessive cameras and photos. Maybe the meaning for time and pleasure from technology can coexist. Maybe the truth of life will not be in our pictures. When we treat photos as life and treat life as photo debris, we will naturally take photos. When light is dimming and wind stops blowing, I find it hard to sleep. When faced with the free-spirited life of Zhang Jun and his serene photos, I cannot but help feeling greatly moved, together with understanding and belief in living existence!

  Thank you, Zhang Jun!

  Congratulations, Heizi!

  3:50 am, 2013/12/01


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