Fu Wenjun’s photographic works are full of paradoxes. It seems that he is not a photographer but an artist who only uses photography for his artistic works. In his works, the concept dominates over the form and creates it. When watching Fu Wenjun’s works, you can see multi-level dependencies that are not easy to figure out. The strong side of his works is the element of surprise and the images are not what they seemed at first glance. His works derive directly from the contemporary culture viewed through the prism of an artist from the Far East.
At the very beginning of April, Fu Wenjun will show his works at 2019 AIPAD The Photography Show in New York. These works are the result of work and experience from the past years. This is the term ‘experience’ that is probably the most suitable term for the presented works of art. The artist shows us the effect obtained from a creative experiment combined with great sensitivity, giving the viewer a visual experience between the digital world and the real world.
Opposing notions and artistic values, in Fu Wenjun’s works complement each other and create a visually rich image. This image is a part of explorations in modern digital art. Every time I look at these works, I rediscover their visual potential.
The works of the Chinese artist relate to various artistic concepts. He himself calls his works Digital Pictorial Photography, treating photography only as a starting point for further artistic explorations. The artist himself does not want to fall into the rigid definition of two-dimensional photography. He is looking for new forms and ways of presentation to find new means of expression and uses such fields as installation, sculpture and painting. In New York, the artist wants to show several works from the Digital Pictorial Photography series to make it possible for the viewers to see how the boundaries in the perception of photographic art will be pushed.
Let’s start with the first work entitled Misplacement. Here, the harmony and aesthetics are not a value itself. By referring to the traditional Chinese art, the artist uses spilled ink. He liberates the space of a work of art in a philosophical way – the all-encompassing space of the image disturbed by geometrical forms. He guides the viewer’s eyes towards sensual appearances that reflect the split in the image of the contemporary changing world. The next work is Ask Tea, a slightly sentimental image demonstrating the turn of the 19th and 20th century and a tribute to impressionism and abstraction. It is also another look at the roots and family sides and a sentimental look to the old-style indigenous teahouse. The artist himself says that the world is changing very fast but maybe not everywhere and not for everyone. In Fu Wenjun ‘s works, the truth and illusion are on equal terms and the existence of one is strictly dependent on the other. Paradoxically, the most exciting event can be precisely composed by him. This is how it looks in the case of the work entitled F1. He analyzes the concept of contradiction and shows something between extreme concepts: expectation and surprise, excitement and disappointment. However, in the work entitled Human Nature of Food you will discover a similar contrast-based experience. It presents an issue of food or wider consumption. You discover values that are easily overlooked and which the artist draws your attention to. How close do we have to get to look at and perceive food in a new way? What will you notice will be beauty or ugliness? Will it attract or reject us?
The cycle of Digital Pictorial Photography is not only a reflection of contemporary culture, but also its determinant. In Fu Wenjun’s experiments you can see pictorailism and abstraction and a number of new forms of sensitivity and perception of the world. The merits of these works show the world of photography full of new values, combining the material and spiritual worlds. This view goes from one reality to the next one and exposes what was invisible at the beginning.
Fu Wenjun, Chinese contemporary artist, was graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. He creates principally through the art media of conceptual photography, installation, sculpture and oil painting, and has put forward the concept of “Digital Pictorial Photography”.
With his Digital Pictorial Photography, Fu Wenjun intends to explore to place photography art in dialogue with other art media, like Chinese painting, oil painting, sculpture etc, as a result to extend the border of photography art in the current digital age.
His works embody his thinking and reflection on many issues related to the Eastern and Western history, culture and humanity, including the relationship between different cultures in the age of globalization, the heritage of traditional Chinese culture in a rapidly changing society, industrialization and urbanization in Chinese cities.