Art Needs More Space
Interview with Famous Photographer Fu Wenjun, by ChongqingTimes
Fu Wenjun now works in his Independent Image Art Space, the 2nd floor of 501Art Space at Huang Jue Ping. He’s honored with many titles, such as national first-class photographer and senior craft artist. He is member of the China Photographers Association (CPA) and of the Professional Photographer Association of America(PPA). Moreover, he is the founder of two art studios: Dayin Studio and Independent Studio, and the judge of various art contests. As early as in 2009, he was reported to be the leader of conceptual photography in the Southwestern region, when he was attending the 4th Chengdu Biennial.
One piece of photography was auctioned for RMB120, 000.
The work auctioned recently is Neighbors: A Memo of Human Livings, produced by Fu Wenjun in 2009. Its auction price rose to RMB120, 000 at the Autumn Art Auction. It is quite high to a piece of work of art and it set up the highest record in the auction of work of art inChongqing. However, it is not the highest auction price to Mr. Fu’s works. One of his graduation works was auctioned for 37000 US dollars at Shanghai Grand Theatre in 2007. His works are well accepted by the public, yet his promotion of conceptual photography is not that easy.
Modern artists need to enforce influence.
At the end of the 1970s, Fu Wenjun picked up photography. Only in 2005 did he start to take photography as an art language for art creation. How to be unique in the art field? Mr. Fu’s answer is conceptual photography. In 2007, financial crises stroke the world. Art is devalued and many artists suffered from decrease of earnings. Some of them gave up art and changed for another profession. However, Mr. Fu did not give up and went on with his art creation. Till now he has been spending more than six years on conceptual photography.
When asked why he did not give up, Mr. Fu has a unique answer. “Art was first separated from photography, as photography is more like technology. However, the West treats photography as one form of art and photographers are artists. Furthermore, conceptual photography is quite different traditional photography, in that the former is to express the subjective understanding of the artist, while the latter is quite objective to facts.” As to the direction of his art creation, Mr Fu believes his works shall not be money-oriented. He will keep on doing art creation until his works reach perfection and win popularity from the public.
“It is important to attend academic exhibition if you want to be a good artist”
In the past 60 years,Chongqingsaw no influential exhibition being held. Some reports are even negative. “I want to set an example to promoteChongqingphotography. And I don’t agree with some people when they say exhibition is not important to art.” He believes photography can reflect the development of society and human civilization.
From 2008 on, Fu Wenjun started to invite talented planners to prepare a solo exhibition for him. The first solo exhibition, namedLeaving the Stage was planned by Wang Lin, a famous exhibition planner. Then the chief editor of New Weekly planned “Show of Formality”, “Story of Two Parks”, and “Show of Formality II: Move the Old Summer Palace 1400 km southward”. At these exhibitions, his work Twelve Chinese Zodiac Signs, and Story of Expo Parks were exhibited. Later he made such religion-themed works as Illusory Metamorphoses, Thought Thinking and No Realms. At his solo exhibition, Ravings of No Life, No Death, he said, “history is easily forgot. If my works can arouse some historical memory in our audience, then they are beneficial to our whole society.”
Thought Thinking was exhibited at Lianzhou Foto, themed by “Toward the Social Landscape” on November19 in2011. Then this piece of work won International Excellent Article Prize at the 14th World Chinese Arts General Meeting atHong KongCity Hall. Moreover, Mr. Fu Wenjun was invited to attend the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, themed by “De-glamour Chinese Images: Exhibition of Modern Chinese Art, which was held inGuangdongArtGalleryon January 17, 2012 and New York World Art Expo on March 29, 2013. Mr Fu wishes to travel with his works and promoteChongqingart to the world.
“Road to art is of solitude.”
“No pain, no gain. Without any study on modern art, one can never succeed. If an artist is always seeking how to make money out of his works, he can easily get lost.”
The key to success is to make good work of art
Mr. Fu is serious. “Make a hit or just give up” is his motto. As he is too serious that some exhibition planners are unhappy with him. For example, there is an exhibition for works of old industry. The exhibition hall is not attractive, so the exhibited works become more important. However, the holder of the exhibition wishes to make the exhibition simple. So Mr. Fu refused to attend and his absence from the exhibition can easily offend the holder.
Mr. Fu attaches great importance to the quality of his works, so the equipments in his studio are the best, and the mounting of his artistic works are the most beautiful inChongqing. Only those works of good quality can be accepted by the world.
Whenever he thinks of local conceptual photography, he feels sorrowful. As Chairman of Contemporay Art of Chongqing Photography Association, Mr. Fu once gathered local artists, hoping to lead them to develop conceptual photography by combining art and culture. He wished in the futureChongqingart could take a place inChina. Pitifully, they gave up and the dream was shattered.