Chinese contemporary artist Fu Wenjun is no stranger to CreativPaper. Graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, he creates through the medium of conceptual photography, installation, sculpture and oil painting. He has also put forward the concept of "Digital Pictorial Photography."
In our conversation with him, he talks about his participation in the upcoming edition of The Photography Show and what we can expect from him at the event.
Could you tell us a bit about your upcoming exhibition at the 39th edition of The Photography Show?
At the 39th edition of The Photography Show 2019 presented by AIPAD (International Association of Photography Art Dealers), BOCCARA ART, an International art dealer with a global network of galleries and exhibition spaces, presents a solo booth project showcasing my Digital Pictorial Photography works. Most of the pieces are the last two years’ creation that continue my rethink on contemporary photography art. It is the time when photography should change itself by getting away from conventions and ideas conceived commonly, and embracing new possibilities on photographic approaches, process or practice. I think I have found a way of working with the medium to express the philosophical reflection on the issues concerned clearly.
What can we expect to see from you at the show?
AIPAD as the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, thought-provoking ideas, new trends and unique processes involved in the medium of photography are welcome. I appreciate having the chance to communicate with my photographic style and works. This time I bring pieces from four series: “Misplacement”, “Ask Tea”, “F1”, “Human Nature for Food”.
“Misplacement” I bring the aesthetic nature of ink art into photography, presenting abstract images with philosophical thinking towards our changing world in this critical moment.
“Ask Tea”, inspired by the colours and geometric composition used by Impressionists and Abstract Art; I tell the viewers an old-style teahouse still existing in my hometown. Drinking tea, talking about the world is always a way of life in the corner of the ever-changing city. The world is changing so fast, but maybe not for everything, for everyone, for everywhere.
“F1”, another exciting and fun piece of music written by reality and illusion, success and disappointment, expectation and surprise, which people will never get tired of.
“Human Nature for Food”, under the familiar surface, it is full of often overlooked details, intriguing and shocking, so is the food, people as well.
Could you tell us a bit more about what Digital Pictorial Photography means to you as an artist?
Every artist is searching for his/her way of artistic expression, even for a lifetime. Digital Pictorial Photography is the one I found until now. I take pictures with my camera; at the same time my eyes are also "shooting". From time to time on quiet nights, the shot scenes emerge in the mind. Different times, different places and different people are intermingled with each other. This disorder makes me feel harmonious and peaceful, which seems to be an essential and deep “beauty”. From my own and others, I have seen too many complexities and contradictions in human nature. There is no straight road in our world. People always come and go with hope and bend around. The so-called correctness is only a relative statement at a certain time and in a certain situation. "Misplacement" is a normal state. The reaction made is only the human brain’s momentary decision. "Wrong" could be "right", “right” could also be "wrong". In front of conflicts and crises, pessimists are desperate, and optimists have hope. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do photography; tradition is defined and could be redefined in the new age.
How do you find a balance between aesthetics and narrative in your work?
The "beauty" is an artwork’s indispensable part; it is the key to unlock the message delivered by the artist.
Do you think it is hard to stay motivated as an artist? How do you tackle this common obstacle?
It’s not easy to be an artist. To create a work of art from zero, the artist must be innately courageous and persistent. No matter how old am I, I insist on excavating the beauty of life, connecting with people by art, touching the mind. Having an obstacle is common. When I cannot work as good as I expect myself, no matter how hard I try, I know I have to leave, walking for a while, talking with others or even having a journey to see a strange place.
Could you tell us about your upcoming projects?
In the first three months of 2019, The University of Hong Kong and Chongqing Art Museum presented two solo shows of my works. After getting back from New York in April, I need time to think and create, perhaps on the relation between nature, human and society. I believe nature can speak, just not in the language designed by humans. I like to listen to the sounds of nature, as the ancient Chinese literati who explored the meaning of life among the vast landscapes. Water is invisible, but it can be transformed into many forms; the water is weak, but its accumulation could be powerful; the water reflects reality and illusion too.
What elements of exhibiting your work excite you the most?
I like to listen to different opinions on my exhibited works, especially negative ones. They push me to reflect on the choices I have made while creating and on what to do next times.