Known for his interactive videogame installations and politically-laced Pop language, Feng has over the past two years been working on a new series of wildly inventive, mixed-media paintings created in an inimitable Post-Pop style. In these paintings Feng creates colourful, humourous and sometimes darkly disturbing pastiches whose imagery is drawn from the richness of mass media language, including political posters, cartoons, popular films and video gaming. Traditional artworks are not exempt, as Feng lifts motifs from artists such as Xu Beihong, Qi Baishi and Li Kushan, whose works have been absorbed into mass media language through kitsch appropriations.
Painting on a multitude of surfaces–everything from the more traditional xuan paper and canvas, to old-fashioned lenticular prints sourced at Beijing junk shops and plastic drum skins, Feng creates fascinating juxtapositions of invented and appropriated imagery, where familiar “heroic” characters such as Chun Li from Super Nintendo’s “Street Fighter” arcade game and martial arts star Bruce Lee appear in tandem with a Xu Beihong horse or a tacky lenticular landscape scene. Through these sometimes–outrageous compositions Feng is engaging in a revision of the Chinese cultural world, and more particularly of the era that has formed the foundation of the visual imagination of artists of Feng’s generation. By choosing a figure such as Chun Li for his heroine, he is also periodizing history, as she belongs very much to the days of his youth and his childhood memories, both social and familial, and circumscribed in part by impressions of the Cultural Revolution.
The more than 70 new paintings by Feng will be displayed in a salon-style installation at the gallery, and will be accompanied by a “gaming centre” created from four of Feng’s interactive videogame consoles in which the audience can play his Long March: Restart videogame. A monumental two-channel version of Feng’s Long March: Restart has just been shown in the major group exhibition “Scenes from a New Heritage” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
An enthusiastic musician in the techno and electronica styles as well as an artist, Feng Mengbo will perform in a live mini-concert at the opening reception on 8 May.
About the exhibition
Date: 2015.05.08 Fri – 2015.06.02 Tue
Opening: 05/08/2015 18:00
Venue: Hanart TZ Gallery
Address: 401 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong (Central MTR Exit D)
T: +(852) 2526.9019; F: +(852) 2521.2001
Courtesy of the artist and Hanart TZ Gallery, for further information please visit www.hanart.com.