As an individual life with continuity, man has a constantly enriched, deepened, and sublimated process of spiritual growth, which is a historical and cultural process. Sticking to history and culture is the responsibility of intellectuals, and it is also the reason why I set historical reflection as a main thread for the “OldSummerPalace” series. Through photography, I would like to express my history positions and culture orientation in art. Facing the interferences of consumption culture, popular culture, and commercial culture, the populace, including intellectuals, is becoming more hypocritical and impetuous. The traditional outlook on life and values are facing severe challenges. This dilemma has also been reflected in contemporary art. Contemporary art is subject to a variety of cultural influences, which unavoidably include some dross. Those various cultural influences intervolve each other, complement each other or refute each other. Because of this, artists need to remain calm, obtaining the essence while avoiding the dross, in order to keep their independence, as well as the critical nature of contemporary art. No matter how “OldSummerPalace” series are read, positively or negatively, my main creating line will remain to be a personal reflection on historical and cultural problems in the contemporary society.
In terms of people’s spiritual needs, the overall defeat of belief is one of the issues that people cannot avoid or conquer. Without citizens who have strong beliefs and sense of historical responsibility, Chinese culture cannot get an overall development. In an impulsive contemporary society of spiritual deprivation, the rapid development of science and technology is not conducive to solve mankind’s ultimate problems. At this time, religion will continue to influence people’s spiritual world through involving in the secular world. As Wang Lin said, the worldly nature of Chinese Buddhist Belief is worth studying, but even the most religious Chinese believers have to face the issue of life and death. The fear of death is not only the psychological basis of religion, but has also promoted the primitive men’s imagination for another world—thus it can be said that it is the imagination of the unknown future that brings later generations the unpractical art, which in fact was expected to be practical. (From “Bring-towards-death of Words”, a brief commentary of Fu Wenjun’s works). As we all know, there is no lack of so-called artists who only skim over the surface of Chinese contemporary art; therefore, to get rid of those tasteless visual images has become my goal.
In later creation, I will explore the traditional Buddhist culture as my creation resources, to reflect on the dialectical relationship between religion and consumption, belief and technology as well as life and death. I am firmly convinced that to explore the meaning of death, one should, first of all, understand that death is not an isolated phenomenon. In other words, life and death are inseparable. This inseparability is inevitable, and will not change along with personal likes or dislikes. Therefore, to explore the meaning of death is in fact to explore the meaning of life, which is a long and complex process. My works may look shocking and abnormal, that is because in my opinion, only unusual state of mind can make my works get away with the convergence of mass culture and consumerism era. If my artistic creation of the next period becomes mature enough, I will continue to get it recorded in the form of books to thank those friends who support me and like my works.