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GOSSIP AND CHARADES


Youth Growing Up In Games In my experience, there are many art work, which subjected in youth. Start from 1980’s picture-story series Scar, Sichuan Genre Cheng Chonglin’s Snow in someday, Wang hai’s Spring, Wang chuan’s Farewell, Small Road. Till the art creations of Critical Realism, which include the Awakening Spring Wind and Youth by He Duoling, in which expressed the sentimental of the time. At 1990’s, Fang Lijun and Jiu Xiaodong played the image which full of senseless and cynical. For them, art in the fact has becoming the presentation of different human characters and the different time. In the above-mentioned artwork, the form and the condition of the living are the main purpose of all their art creations. Different from the past, nowadays so called young generation, it is rather say that their subculture is expansionism. During the process when they growing up, they didn’t face the difficult situations which lack of the basis living conditions such as food. This important fact has separated them from the materials of real life. Survive is no longer a matter for them. Their concern is the subject they choose and the way they choose, and even such a choice has already almost entirely spent their energy. In this case we can say that, treating all the subject and resources as the main choice of nowadays artist creation, even the love is not an exception; although they believe that love is the only thing they don’t want to analysis. In the late 80’s, Song Yonghong’s series art works, which subjected in the youth and campus life, has already attracted the attention of the society. In his Lover they style was the continue of the style which is senseless and satire. Under his work, the object of love is not the only thing, also not irreplaceable; the so called forever love, is rather say that love has never been and will never be lack of, won’t be like the case of lacking of trees ... a poetic description to the love itself. Feng Zhengjie, Yang Mian and Qi Zhilong, the standard of the youth and fashion has become a fancy expression like a bantering. The attractiveness of the bantering is the joint of classics and ordinary; is catches the mood and the character of this age. the popular of the bantering in all level of the society has been transferring such a message, that this is an age belongs to Post Childhood, there is an existing in whole society wishing to return to the simple and purity life. The adult game in Tang Zhigang’s work; the male and female under He Sen’s observation, who are nervous, frightened and wallowing in the toy games; Li Ji’s metaphor of the Beauty and the wild beast; Ren Xiaolin’s secret games playing in his paradise; Ma Liuming, Luan Xiaojie’s male who with confusing sexual; and Guo Wei’s image which full of dubious atmosphere between the father and the daughter ... From all the styles, which seem preposterous, we found the basic meaning through such kind of simplest and honest expressions. We are no longer looking for the truth through the obscure classical records; this age requires a fast food style life, so does the culture. What we want is the image that we can catch the meaning when the fight sight of it, and further on, we can ponder over. And all of these, banter had already given us. There is a process which the one try to looking for himself, and this process is actually the growing up and maturing, till the youth period which indicate the high tide of the process. Also in this period, the one confirms his own value and outlook on life. The female artist Yang Fan, symbolize the process of the recognition of the identity through the image that female in water; Chen Wenbo and Zhao Nengzhi broke the limit of the real life and the fictitious world through the computer style, in another word, they analysis this limit first, give the real life a meaning, higher boundary, and they are enjoy in it and linger on this new world which is created by themselves. In such a world, the concept such as meaning, reality and the holiness are all weaker than before. The examples about the banter imitation also appear in the recent artwork of Pan Dehai, Duan Yuhai and Liu Jianhua. Pan’s fat girls and boys remind the viewer back to the funny figures and the silent objects by Venezuela artist Potelo, the different is that Pan seems cooler and calmer to handle those subjects. While Duan Yuhai change beauty image of the Western classical painting to the traditional Chinese painting of beautiful woman. Liu Jianhua, combine the Jingdezhen porcelain and his personal memories, which combination seems without any relevant at all. The Post Modernism is good at imitation and plagiarize from the past great pieces. Anyhow, the bantering imitation is a difficult task to those artists. Plagiarize is a simple imitation, which means it is an activity only to copy those fancy elements. While bartering imitation, need the accurate feeling to touch the deep perhaps secret purpose of the original paintings. However, in my point, the main different between the two activities is the intention of art creation. The main purpose of post modernism is joy; thus, revealing a deep meaning is not its aim. In this case the way to create are always appeared like a combination, it is fond of combining the different elements and styles to one relationship, to express a complex sentimental experience. It is can’t avoid that there are much playful component within this method activities. Although there is a specific standpoint and attitude of the post modernism, which is the necessary skeptical and critical. But under the artist’s brush, the young generation had already throw away any introspection and probe; they are tired to asking why. Quote one of their pet phrases is: The most important thing is I like it, while it is unnecessary to ask why. The joy is the highest purpose; at least what they seek is relax, any element which may bring them pain and suffering will be throw away, anything which made them felt heavy and depress should be kicked out. This actually the main purposes for them to analysis everything. Of course they are clearly known that there are no way for them to bring the joy to everywhere. Aware of this fact they more and more believe the principle that joy is everything in art and culture. Their art works have obviously marks of playful and the sense of without care of anything. This indicates two attitudes which support each other. In one hand, they use such kind of banter to emphasis their ability to adapt the circumstance; in another hand, this banter also indicates they are profoundly realizing the dangerous process during recognizing their identity. They are trying to use such kind of banter to relax their inside nervous. I prefer to put this culture phenomenon as an expression of a specific age, it is the particular romantic and anxious of puberty, it is the product between dream and escape. Those artists are such devoted into this culture, because they don’t need to pay much more responsibility to others as well as to themselves. This culture belongs to the specific land and environment. However, this new generation will finally leave it and grow up, they will become another group of people. It is hard to predict how they will bring this culture to future. But, they will give the future a new vision, fully potentiality; this is what we can expect.

Ye Yongqing 13 May 2001 (Translated by Bian Jiang)

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