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Wu Mingzhong: Fake Authenticity

Wu Mingzhong: Fake Authenticity


Curator: Huang Du


 
  Wu Mingzhong is one of most important and influential artist in recent years. From his fragile emotional experience, He has stumbled upon the glass as a medium to reflect the psychological connection of man, with the conversion of concept he has transformed it into a new artistic language - the fragility and transparency. The language became the aesthetic core of Wu Mingzhong’s painting, it not only reflects the analysis of people’s fragile psychology, but also presents the implication of transparent sociology. If we say that the former evokes more personalized feeling on visual perception, then the latter is more emphasis on the analysis of social system.

 

 

  If we had a closer look at Wu Mingzhong’s paintings, it’s not difficult to find the shifting tendency, that is the mutation of commonness to socialization. Recently, he has also tended to quest the significance of transparency, because the artist has considered the transparency as the requirement in the progress of modern civilization (democratic and public community). In addition to describing the physical characters and psychological experience of the glass objects, Subjectively and intrepidly he has extended the direct or indirect implication of glass transparency, which has associated with the democracy, freedom, supervision, openness, commonality and affiliation, the reasonable efficiency of transparency became a surgery to the community– public opinions, supervision and mandatory rules, had disclosed and eliminated the villainous root that  comprises the dictatorship, manipulation, conspiracy, crime, concealment and corruption. By such an epistemological basis, Wu Mingzhong has expanded the transparency to the contrast of toughness and fragility, falsity and authenticity, penetrating into the utensil and consumption, entertainment and emotion, as well as the issues of politics and religions, he has clearly delivered the contrast – hardness and crispness, toughness and fragility, freedom and dictatorship, justice and conspiracy, kindness and evil. Whether the exposure of extravagance and desire from daily "glass artifacts", or the "characters and events" from political issues that alluding to the tangled and complicated international relations, and the reflection of belief crisis from "religious image", these are attributed to his ingenious and dynamic management of artistic concept and language.

 

  Besides the analysis of daily life, the artist has straight switched the regard of daily utensil to the analysis of politics, entertainment and sports. He is particularly interested in tangled international politics, such a global vision not only goes beyond the issue of China, but also brings China into the global relations to understand and analyze. His painting "the Six-party Talks" for example, is to probe into the North Korea's "nuclear" program, this regional political relations include China, North Korea, United States, Japan, South Korea and Russian. Just like a journalist, he collects and filtrates the news every day, and then filtrates and interprets the information, which is a sort of "pre-concept" process by artist. When the information implemented onto the canvas, the artist starts creating and constructing the process of "post-concept". As the work "six-party talks" is one of this kind, alluding to the tough and fragile international ties, the fact seems to be confirmed “the Six-party Talks" ends up with the absence of North Korea. It can be said that the previous efforts to "the Six-party Talks" were all in vain.

 

  In contemporary art, the subject matter is not a fundamental problem, in fact, any depicted object could be an effective part of subjects. The core of the new painting depends on the methodology (concept, language and form), whether it has new suggestion. In this sense, the "new" means that it is difficult to define its attributes of style, Wu Mingzhong is one of this kind. In fact, the language and concept in painting of Wu Mingzhong are manifesting the mood of China's new painting in new century, and the commonness of the mood is unlike    China’s art scene in 1990s,  which posed iconic images of a tangible collective unconscious, instead of breaking and deconstructing that sort of elite’s grand narrative, the quest for the analysis of life and politics is based on personal concept, language and style, this kind of artists include: Wang Luyan, Yang Qian, Chen Wenbo, Li Qing  and "They" and so on. Therefore, like other artists, the paintings of Wu Mingzhong have clear characters of integration or hybridity. It is obvious that his painting is neither realistic style, nor the pop language, neither the “Cynical Realism” style, nor the “Gaudy Art”. However, we can see that It is worth noting that the language of his paintings reveals a very strong intuition,  painting’s strokes are bold and not in detail, but a glimpse from the distance, the painting has integrality and details, simple but rich. Even the playful daily life, and the politics become a segment of game, the segment is not the former grand narrative. It’s really hard to tell what the style is, this perhaps is an important feature and an essence of Wu Mingzhong’ painting! In fact, the concept and language in Wu Mingzhong's painting represent a changing character of this period, a mood of new century painting after the "Political Pop" and "Cynical Realism". The painting has significant difference to the others with a further study, it is low profile and unassuming, relatively restrained and relaxed, it does not pursue the kind of grand narrative, but stresses the intuitive sense of design and daily experience. In other words, if we say that the "Political Pop", "Cynical Realism" and "Gaudy Art" expressed the consciousness of political criticism and moral satire by China's elites, while Wu Mingzhong’s painting has a conceptual language to illustrate the psychological vulnerability of people, to convey his suspicion on the historical value of social events from the contrast of fake and authenticity.

 

  Wu Mingzhong’s painting is indeed a special case, his art language is  unique, that is to say that we can hardly find the similar language or style with him, because his painting was created with a reverse thinking, that is why his artistic language, style and concept cannot be stated clearly. This is a very interesting story. If you look at the genealogy of Chinese contemporary art, we want to know what new painting is after the "Political Pop" and "Cynical Realism". If the "New" of painting does exist, what is it? What is the "New"? What is the connection of the new and the old? Wu Mingzhong seems to represent the mood of the new painting, he has structured a very identical conceptual relationship between the resolution of paradox in reality and the uncertainty, fragility and vulnerability arising from glass. Therefore, new paintings of Wu Mingzhong deliver something more than the image itself, the charm of painting that brings people’s ideas. The charm not only refers to the visual pleasure, but also includes meditation, this is just the higher state of painting.


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