Chen Wenling Studio is located in the northeast corner of Beijing, Red Square Art District (Eastern Sun River Station) which covers an area of two thousand and three hundred square meters.
Brief Introduction on Chen Wenling and His Studio
Recognized as one of the top contemporary sculptors in China today, Chen Wenling has participated in a number of prestigious exhibitions, such as Art Basel in Switzerland and the Shanghai Biennale. Chen Wenling says he was a playful child, “always monkeying around” and he wants to “challenge the extremes in both work and life.”
Born in 1969 in a poor family at Anxi, a small, remote village in Fujian province, China, Chen remembers growing making figurines out of clay to entertain himself, yet he counts himself lucky because his parents encouraged his artistic talent. Chen spent his formative years at the Xiamen Academy of Art and Design, and then at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.
The two main themes of Chen Wenling’s sculptures are the manifestations of extreme humanity and immaterial images in a consumption society. He shot to artistic fame with his Red Memory series (2001-07): more than 100 outsized figures of naked boys while at play, all covered in shiny red car duco. While the red boys (a colloquial expression for newborn sons) were bursting with innocent fun, Chen Wenling’s focus has since shifted to adults and their vices. It is neither realism nor vanguard sculpture, but the self expression of Chen Wenling himself on the critical state of life.
Many of his more recent works involve pigs, which he finds a perfect metaphor for Chinese people today. In Chinese tradition, he says, pigs are seen as “gluttonous, lazy, dirty, horny and stupid as well as content and happy, while science has shown that pigs are very clever. In my eyes, the pig also symbolises speed … and enormous productivity.” Chen Wenling depicts pigs as human and humans as pigs, interdependent almost to the point of fusion. In terms of artistic language, Chen Wenling’s recent artworks are closer to a type of surrealistic legendary language while his recent series blurs the directness of the social metaphor, but is inclined to reveal the preposterous being of the self.
Courtesy of Chen Wenling. For more information, please visit http://www.chenwenling.com/