Monday, October 16, 2006

Chinese Contemporary: Artist Zhao Nengzhi

Chinese Contemporary: Artist:
Zhao Nengzhi lives in Chengdu, near the Yangze river in Sichuan province. He is one of a community of artists who gathered around the famous painter Zhang Xiaogang.

Zhao Nengzhi’s work is typical of many of the Sichuan artists, that is, they are lyrical and subtle. He is investigating the individual, the personality, the development and expression of the self in the new liberalizing China. He insists that his paintings are not portraits. Zhao Nengzhi is interested in finding the temperament behind the face, transferring moods and emotions to canvas. He uses photos to capture himself and his friends at various instants as these may provide an insight into facets of their personality. These photos then serve as inspiration for his oil works. The finished paintings are blurry and have but one figure. The indistinct image often focuses on one part of the face, the part key to the expression captured.

The concept of face (ie one’s honor) in China is all important and it is significant that an artist tries to delve behind this facade of his countrymen. The face of China was all that was allowed in the propaganda posters and official paintings of earlier eras. Now, however, young artists such as Zhao Nengzhi can search, investigate and express what they find behind the Chinese face."

tags: Chinese Artist, Zhao Nengzhi

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