The Image World of a Pilot in Concept - Works by Mr. Fu Wenjun
The Image World of a Pilot in Concept – Interpretation ofNeighbours-Document of Human Ecology by Mr. Fu Wenjun
——Sichuan Fine Art Institute, Professor Li Wei
Today's society has entered the era of visual culture with visual image as its center. In this image consuming society where being new and creative prevails, the way people used to understand the world and life has been altered, and images play a very important role in our life.
The great influence of images goes far beyond the power of word; it takes a dominant position in visual culture, and encourages and brings forth image thinking.
The emergence of contemporary art enables people to get the pleasure of obtaining images through photographic language, step into a higher level of aesthetic experience, and greatly expand modern photographers’ imagination and creation.
Great Visual Impact of Large Image Screen
In the face of a large displaying screen with 1.6 meters high and 16 meters wide, what kind of visual experience will occur in your mind? Some sort of dizziness, depression and suffocation which you have to face, look at, and judge? This is just the expected psychological effect the author want leave in the mind of the viewer via his work.
The large volume makes the audience have a strong psychological appeal and visual shock.
The rich connotation leads the audience into a wide space and emotional echo field for interpreting the images.
The solemn tone reminds the audience of melancholy memories in the passed hard time.
The pronounced nostalgia recalls the audience the former secular life style in Sichuanprovince.
This is a historical witness to the change of this mountainous city’s life style, a new interpretation for the change of interpersonal communication, a virtual world created by artists of images, and a secular nostalgia in people's heart.
This “Giant” will certainly take a special position in the gallery of contemporary image art. Its unusual form and unique connotation is there to draw attention and comments from critics and scholars, and to be identified for its special artistic value.
And this “Giant” will absolutely give the audience a unique memory of aesthetic experience. Permeated with charms of local culture and folk customs, it will sometimes re-appear in people’s memories.
This large volume is a must for artistic creation, a breakthrough for rules of the game, a go-beyond to photographic history, and a manifestation of the artistic value of the works.
The Creation Process of a Pilot in Concept
As for Mr. Fu Wenjun, he is more well-known in advertising industry than in the field of photography. In his advertising career of more than 20 years, he is not only a successful operator of A-class advertising enterprises, but a senior advertising man. As judge forChina’s International Advertising Festival for many times, he communicates the true meaning of advertising creation with Chinese top creative advertising masters who are also the judges.
He learned oil painting in Sichuan Fine Arts Institute at early time and had a great ability on imaging and aesthetic judgment. Though it was a short time of only three years that he turned photography, with excellent grasp of photography for years, great ability to skillful control of image expression, and rich accumulation in advertising creation, he soon mixed his talents of painting, advertisement thinking and aesthetics with photographic creation. Through the process of borrowing from, synthesizing with and colliding against each other, steadily he put forth a number of new concepts and unique photographic works.
His giant work Neighbours-Document of Human Ecology was awarded the outstanding prize for invited artists overseas at the thirty-fifth session of the AJAC show which was held inTokyoMetropolitanArt Museumin October, 2009. The recognition by AJAC, one of the most authoritative and influential artistic displaying organizations, signified the artist’s great accomplishment.
In the third presidium meeting of Photography Association in July, 2009, it was decided to set up the professional committee of contemporary photography and Mr.
Fu was appointed chairman of the committee. The leadership of contemporary photography art inChongqingestablished his leading position in photography.
New Conceptual Interpretation of Neighbours-Document of Human Ecology
The nineties in the last century witnessed a new period of Chinese contemporary art through continuous experiment, changes and development. Stimulated by many a new concept and contemporary electronic culture, the art of photography underwent a transformation from "means" to "goal", which changed artists’ concepts and made photography fundamentally an art in concept.
Photography has become a way to express ideas; the dominant position of its traditional aesthetic function is replaced by ideological expression. Photography, which used to be called “to take photos” in daily life, has developed to a new medium for avant-garde artists to create and express new ideas, promoting itself from an art of retinal form to that of conceptual.
Conceptual photography does not require artists of superb skills, but a careful social observation and thinking ability to review the existing culture which thus expresses the individual’s spirit effectively through images. Works of photography are just “forms of concept”, a virtual image conceptually more than that in reality.
The new idea holds that photography is only a fundamental base and visual presentation for concept. The presentation for ideas is the ultimate goal for the pursuit of photography works, while photography is only a means to serve the expression of ideas.
In the imaging of Neighbours-Document of Human Ecology, the documentary function of photography is obviously weakened, in which photography transforms from a photographic language of “Reality” to an artistic language of “Imagery”, and then becomes a medium to express concept.
The theme of “Neighbor” originated from a hot situational comedy of 100-series inChongqingdialect in 2000, which tells the stories and lives of common people inChongqingwith regional flavors. In general, merry and festive concepts are the basic tone of the TV series.
Being quite different from “Neighbor”, what Neighbours-Document of Human Ecology shows is a tone of a deep depression and even some sort of tragedy, namely a new concept from a viewpoint opposite to that of “Neighbor”.
The work shows the process of urbanization by means of documentary techniques of retirement, in which the local human ecology undertakes a historical change. He makes memory retention the core of his artistic expression to urge people to think what is lost through these changes and whether we are recalling the residents characterized with original stilted building or the original ecological culture there.
As far as the theme “Neighbor” in his work which is close to that in the TV show is concerned, the author is to express a deeper concept, namely, changes of interpersonal relationship through the city’s transformation.
The replacing of original ecological dwellings by modern living space blocks the traditional communicating channels and makes the interpersonal communication more plane and broad, with little depth and emotion, but apparent motives left to communication.
Let's look at the screen images. The author intentionally conceals groups of people and communication between them by applying heavy and gray colors. Although each window shows traces of life, there is no hint of human beings who are the main participants in the activities. As the author notes, there are only two people in the huge picture of 16 meters long.
This technique of retirement, by which streets, neighbors and neighborhoods was hidden, is absolutely intentional. People’s habitual life style which is full of humanity and love is destroyed, and inevitably arouses beautiful memories of the past.
This is a new conceptual interpretation of the theme “Neighbors”from a sociological perspective.
Artistic Values of Neighbors-Document of Human Ecology
The author believes that the artistic values of Neighbors-Document of Human Ecology can be shown in the following five aspects:
1. A brand new expression of concepts for experience and mode of thinking
The author proposes a concept of value which is totally different from that of the traditional one through a thinking mode of returning to the material or a new experience that can better help understand the essence of the material.
He denies the value of traditional painting in terms of artistic expression and pays much attention to changes in thinking mode and experience.
2. A works with originality, fantasy and creative spirit beyond convention
Originality is an exploration of thinking and creation of formal expression with cultural meaning. This work, a betrayal to values and forms of traditional painting with a strong artistic personality, is an embodiment of creative spirit beyond convention. In other words, it is a brave game by those dedicated artists.
3. A work with rich artistic imagination and broad space to imagine.
The value of the core factor to success of an artistic work lies in its release of imagination. The huge stretch of picture gives people a broad space of imagination and enables people to appreciate. The real or illusory scenes and images lead the audience from the level of reproduction to the level of performance, and then fully mobilize the audience's imagination.
4. A demonstration of attention to humanistic spirit by a unique narrative way
The author describes the real life in an era of change, which is full of implication and contradiction, cares more about the survival and mental construction of people in modern society, and reveals the significance of life. As the main line for artistic expression, the urban transformation and renaissance as well as changes in interpersonal relationships demonstrate a strong sense of crisis and broad sentiments of expectation for ideal life.
5. A work of scroll painting manifesting the pursuit of Chinese national style
The author pursues linear drawing effect of classical works in the screen imaging via arrangement of image fragments in scattered horizontal structure and monochromatic treatment of the overall colors, pursues the traditional artistic form in Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival and presents to some extent the Chinese national style of painting.
The Languages of Post–Modernism in Neighbors-Document of Human Ecology
It is not too much to regard Neighbors-Document of Human Ecology as a deconstructive work because the popular skill of image collage in post-modern art is applied to the work’s basic framework.
The digital processing in today's computer technology, which deals with fragments by combining things from different sources, brings great unprecedented changes at the level of visual presentation.
Combining tactics of photography with painting put image fragments of dwellings, removed or to be removed, photographed in different places at different time and together form a whole picture according to the author’s purpose. A unity of totally different forms constitutes a “Montage” of space-time construction, namely, a new non-ordinal discourse structure by which these fragments are re-arranged and give birth to a new life and concept.
Though being different from each other, these "Fragments" with the same dilapidated style together form an image collection. The co-construction of images with different characteristics gives the unity a visual diversity, which provides the audience a completely different visual experience and aesthetic taste. This enhanced the visibility and readability of the images, so that the author's creative concepts can be highlighted in this combination of image collage.
This combination is a reasonable re-production as long as it represents the author’s purpose and specific concept of creation. To be new and to build a new relationship in which the audience are to be moved by oriental style of narration.