“Leaving and Presence”-Preface to Fu Wenjun’s Photography

      To track down the memory of a city, the photography must focus on the concrete entities among which residents and factories are the most important objects. Fu Wenjun conducted his creation from the very two aspects. His works will first give the viewers an impression of Daguerreotypes effects and remind them of the early names in the photography history. Though the technical methods adopted by Fu are quite different from the early photographers, the historical feelings conveyed by the pictures and the persistence of the artists’ pursuit of memory is of little difference from the early photography works.

      The Industrial Memory series is mainly white and black, just like images emerge from the darkness of memories. The engines, the tracks, the workshops and the plants are all shrouded with an illusionary surreal atmosphere. The dense and delicate lines make the pictures look like the computer modeling diagrams and etchings. The post processing not only strengthens the preciseness of the industrial objects but also makes our mental state of capturing the memory realized-the physiological disposition to grasp the details while the image is fading away. If we say the linear feature of the Industrial Memory is somewhat rational and cold, another series, the texture of the Memories of the Southern City is more emotional and warm. The former uses far-reaching space, tall constructs and heavy objects to reserve the lofty sense of industrial civilization, while the latter uses close and plump layouts and verified and discontinuous chunks to enable the viewers to keep their subjectivity. The warm colors make the photos full of obvious and non-detachable emotions. The artist used different technological processing methods and expressing skills to differentiate the attachment to the past country life from the pity of the industrial memories. The aesthetic feelings are delicate and refined, which are thought-provoking and worthy of pondering over.

      With the rapid development of China’s economy recently, city relocation and factory desolation have become common. The reminiscence of the historical memories has become a hot topic for a large number of photographers. For an artist, how many documentary pictures you take does not matter. The key is to use unique photography concept-photographing methods, technical processing and expressing methods to get rid of the collective aesthetic habits and present your personal, concrete and real feeling. In a sense, you can only make your individualized creativity break through the habitual ideology and present by exiting from the established group consciousness. Without getting rid of the manipulation of ideology, the autonomous mental clarification of aesthetics is impossible to be present. The creation power of modern art comes from the pertinence for the coming problems and methodologies for solving problems. Fu Wenjun used the technological processing method that removes or hides the documentary features in his woks and attempted to form his own ways in redrawing the historical scenes. His attempt was fruitful and inspiring. It is worthy of further thinking on how to deal with the aesthetic habits while doing the technological form processing. During such a process, the contradiction between loftiness and destruction and the contradiction between beautify and destroying are unavoidable. We live in a world with contradictory reality and real contradictions, and we should not give up the pertinence of the practical problems for the sake of the habitual force and power of beautified forms. Therefore, as to the artistic scene, the leaving of Fu Wenjun’s works is just a strategy of advancing by retreating first.

      January 2ed, 2009

      Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, by the side ofTaohuaMountain


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