中文 / English

Chen Jiagang ,the Living Sample -TanPing

The name Chen Jiagang is closely connected to the various nodes of contemporary Chinese art development, so his personal experience has gained more consideration than his works. This focus of this exhibition in his name is not on his multi-identities, but rather on his photographic works.

 

Whether as an architect, curator of Upriver Art Museum or an photographer…the ups and downs of his life has never been away from his consideration for the “living” methods and living spaces of human beings.  This may has something to do with his educational background of architecture.

 

People have to find some place to live, to live in a certain space. When Haussman turned the tree-lined roads into streets for carriages, when  Peter the Great realized his modern city dream of monarchism in St. Petersburg, when the skyscrapers in New York became the modern living model for the whole globe,  the modernization had changed the living spaces of the people, thus overturned people’s living conditions. What kind of cities are Chinese people living in now? Chen’s eyes focus on the little industrial towns in the west part as well as big cities. His worries and meditation overflow from his camera lens, and are condensed into pictures with surreality.

 

His works series of Shadow, Gone and Escape series are the reflection of industrialization and modernization of the 70s in China. He shot pictures through realistic style with a modern girl in a cheong-sam, appearing among local people in the scene of a small town in western China. The girl became the “embodiment” of his concept when he shot the pictures. With this embodiment, he merged the lively snap shots with the portrait shooting, combined the true reality with non-realistic poetry, and inserted the subjective intentions directly into the objective real scene. This series of works give the impress of “super” realistic impression of time and space confusion, and Chen Jiagang called this “Re-reality”.

 

 

Compared to the forgotten small towns along the third lines, big cities are more familiar to us.  He has turned his sight back to large cities recently and has created a number of works. On the first sight, you may think that these pictures were snap shots, but after you scrutinize them, you may fine the secrets in them. In these pictures, besides the embodiment, he also used the method of permutation and combination, he used the computer software to make seamless collage with cities images taken. All kind of things either possible or impossible appear on the same picture. The urban signs with iconic significance emerge here and there as specific urban landscapes, but they are actually abstracted landscaped collaged with urban icons. This kind of collage creates a strangeness for the visitors, and reveals his usual revaluation of the reality.

 

Seeing pictures has become the main method of seeing things of this time. Photography as the major method of image observation has contemporary significance itself. In the processing method of this series of pictures, Chen Jiagang was unique, he cast off the aesthetic sentiment possessed by most photographers, and got rid of the realistic method of “speaking through the lens ”. His works are neither total subjective interpretation, nor absolute objective description. His consideration for the liver spaces is from multi-angles, from the angle of an architect, of an urban constructor, and of an artist. The historical mission brought about from his age and experience adds some heaviness to his works, and creates much power for reflection. Hope this exhibition could present you a multi-identity Chen Jiagang through his works. And I would hope that visitors pay more attention to these invaluable works rather than the stories of the artist himself.

 

中文 / English