Zi Peng - The Future of Chinese Contemporary Art
Source:Artintern Date: 2008-10-16 Size:
Through the blend of culture, history, fantasy, power, and sexuality, the "Flower of the Motherland" series of the Shenyang-based artist Zi Peng speaks boldly about the curiosity, dreams and growing-up of the youth in China today.

 

Through the blend of culture, history, fantasy, power, and sexuality, the "Flower of the Motherland" series of the Shenyang-based artist Zi Peng speaks boldly about the curiosity, dreams and growing-up of the youth in China today. This astonishing series demonstrate both the beauty of China and its influence on the new generation.

The boy depicted in the painting is in fact the artist himself at adolescence. With different expression, the boy in the canvas is painted extremely realistic and entirely in grayscale except for a red scarf around his neck, hoping to blossom and grow to become a "colourful flower". The background, in contrary, is painted in an absurd and flamboyant manner, not governed by rules of proportion or depth, and is of an overall reminiscent style. Objects linger weightlessly in mid-air, overlapping each other in a glorious lurid mix. Colours are bright and eye-catching, from shades of red and gold in Gong Xi Fa Cai, to shades of blue and white in Qinghua, to subtle green and grey in Chadao. The overall effect is overwhelming. In fact, the painting looks rather absurd and entirely incongruous in its elements when view together. It is gaudy, and yet, strangely beautiful when blend together by artist brilliant imagination.

In this collection, the artist desires to showcase the beauty of the adolescent innocence, the happiness and the excitement derived from a simplistic and candid view towards complex issues such as sex, expectation and power. The items in the background of each painting relate to female sexuality, and the dream-like world that the boy expects of the adult "Funworld". The use of various motifs symbolizes the beautification of sex in the eyes of the boy, which becomes a sort of hero-worshipping process. In a marvelous way, the purity and ignorance displayed by a youth figure has wonderfully harmonized the other-wise decadent sexuality depicted in the background.

 

[Editor] Mark Lee

    Artintern