Wenxin Zheng

Work Text Inquiry

Wenxin Zheng’s paintings question the thin line drawn between what we see and what we think we see. Indeed, the relationship between „interior“ and „exterior“ prevails in her work. The latter can be characterized by the permeability of materials and the unique quality of gauze transformed and applied as a transparent medium. Her paintings reveal the thin texture and lay the basis of the coexistence of the many spatial layers upon the same image. The second quality of her work leans towards two-dimensionality, featuring light and bright colours. Finally, space and time are always heterogeneous – possibly as a result of confrontation – as the „interior“ and „exterior “ contradiction escalates throughout creative practice and development.

The conception of her ‘New Media’ series started a few years ago when communication apps became very popular in China. The artist began to transcribe pictures posted by her friends from her social media platforms onto canvases. The subjects covered are mundane and the sharing of selfies, food, travel and news that has become a collective signature. Zheng paints the exact number of photos and in the order of her friend’s posts; furthermore, she uses strong and emotional colours to lay out the figures while eliminating only the mid-tones and volume, maintaining the familiar brightness and two-dimensionality of the medium. When Wenxin Zheng allows the internet, mobile devices and other characteristics of new media to determine the process of painting, it is a venture into seeking whether existing media could be further provoked and presents us with new creative possibilities. Her paintings move between memories, imagination and reality. The viewer comprehends the world as re-envisioned by the artist, but we only see the relationship between the transformed exterior and the intimate space. Situated within our physical reality, we rely on our vision to confront the obscure and reserved painting.

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