Albert Camus once said that, no artist can live without reality. Art can question reality, but art cannot escape from reality. Compared with most mature artworks, the living conditions and life stories behind the art production seem to be more intriguing. Taking from the first-person perspective, CAFA ART INFO is now presenting you with our latest micro video program, “Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”. With a focus on individual artists’ life stories, we will take you on a tour to explore how an artist actually works and lives in real-life situations. This series will be filmed at a part of the artists’ studios at some art districts in Beijing. Each artist’s unique character will be revealed to our audience in a more realistic and tangible way.

“Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”

Episode 7: Xu Feng

(Time:03′ 29”)

01 Xu Feng Buddy oil on canvas 120x90cm 2018 447x598 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Buddy, oil on canvas, 120x90cm, 2018

It really requires a lot of courage to fully reveal yourself to others. Usually, people use a mask and pretend that they can calmly face the world.

Born in Jiangkou in Guizhou province in 1980, Xu Feng used to be a local art teacher. Then with the help from a Beijing-based oil painting artist Ran Jinsong, Xu Feng was able to come to Beijing and became an assistant to the artist Xia Xiaowan. Afterwards, Xu Feng started further studies at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation, he became a professional artist. Now, Xu Feng lives with his wife, son and his mother in Beijing.

03 Xu Feng New Refugees oil on canvas 93x245cmx13 pieces 2010 598x128 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, New Refugees, oil on canvas, 93x245cmx13, 2010

04 Xu Feng New Refugees oil on canvas 93x245cmx13 pieces 2010 details  465x598 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, New Refugees, oil on canvas, 93x245cmx13 pieces, 2010, details

05 1 598x441 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, As Trassient as a Fleeting Cloud, oil on canvas, 40x30cm, 2013

Initially, the subject of Xu Feng’s art is mainly the human body. Xu’s art is known for his portrayal of hideous faces and monstrous human bodies. Xu hoped to display a distorted form of human nature through the “bizarrerie” of form. However, Xu Feng’s style changed drastically in 2013. Perhaps it was due to the fact that he had recently become a father. He grew into a man who started to hide his feelings with a soft heart. The focal point of his art then shifted to the figure of a “rabbit” that seems quite cute. And since then, Xu Feng’s art career has been significantly inspired. His figurative sign of a rabbit has evolved into his own personal style and it has been recognized by more and more people in society.

06 Xu Feng Rabbit Series oil on canvas 2018  598x594 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Rabbit Series, oil on canvas, 2018

07 Xu Feng Rabbit Series oil on canvas 2018  598x596 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Rabbit Series, oil on canvas, 2018

08 Xu Feng Being Embarrassed oil on canvas 160x270cm 2018  598x354 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Being Embarrassed, oil on canvas, 160x270cm, 2018

Xu Feng’s mother comes from the Miao culture in Guizhou, and she is very good at embroidery. Under the influence of her son, Xu Feng’s mother started making art using embroidery to record the things that she experienced and the people she met. Xu Feng was born one of the villages in the mountains, and he truly understood the struggle of the life of the kids living in the mountainous areas. Recently, Xu Feng has been preparing “Warm Rabbit: Xu Feng Art Exhibition” in Beijing and “Wise Rabbit” Teaching—Assistance Project in Guizhou. Xu Feng is a very kind person and he receives support and help from many people. The studio that he uses currently is also provided by the artist Ran Jinsong for free.

09 Warm Rabbit Xu Feng Art Exhibition Beijing 2018 598x399 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Warm Rabbit: Xu Feng Art Exhibition, Beijing, 2018

10 Wise Rabbit Teaching Assistance Project Jiangkou Guizhou 2019 598x356 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Wise Rabbit Teaching-Assistance Project, Jiangkou, Guizhou, 2019

Xu Feng, as a man from the mountains, he may not be fully involved in the life of modern urban cities. Therefore, he creates a fairy land for himself. And within this world, he wishes to build his art castle usi ng the figure of a rabbit.

11 Group Photo of Ran Jinsong and Xu Feng 2005 382x598 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Photo of Ran Jinsong and Xu Feng, 2005

12 Xu Feng and Xia Xiaowan Talked about Creation in the Studio 2006 598x399 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng and Xia Xiaowan Talked about Creation in the Studio, 2006

13 Xu Feng Outlining oil on canvas 150x110cm 2018 434x598 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Outlining, oil on canvas, 150x110cm, 2018

14 Xu Feng Fruit No.2 oil on canvas 90×90cm 2018 598x598 - Xu Feng—To Embrace the World While Wearing the Mask of a “Rabbit”

Xu Feng, Fruit No.2, oil on canvas, 90×90cm, 2018

Photo Courtesy of the Artist. 

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