The New World Is Opening
Fu Wenjun’s newly-released serial work of photographs is keen in its visual sense: an extraordinary effect has been achieved through the new visual perspective penetrated into it. Such effect happens to be the intended purposes that the artist wants to realize. After all, today’s photographic work is a visual creation of initiative, rather than a passive reproduction. Passivity possibly means capturing or recording—though the artist discovers the subject actively, he is actually run into a passive situation.
Fu Wenjun’s work belongs to the creation of initiative, and represents the genre of the domestic photographic art prevalent in recent years. The flashes I have seen in this serial work are much more explicit than in those of his previous works; so are the clarity and straightness of his photographic language. The background is the architectures of the Eight-Power in the ExpoGarden, while the foreground is the screen of a portable computer containing the scene of theWinterPalace. In this way, the images in the computer and the images of the exterior space have constructed a dynamic relation, and have formed several connections under the temporal contrast. Computer is the offspring of modernity as well as the contemporary high technology; thus it is endowed with contemporaneity. Yet, the images in the computer are the ancientWinterPalace. Therefore, the exterior and interior scenes have formed the contrast and confrontation of time. In fact, this is precisely where the photographer’s purpose lies.
The photographer’s naming of his serial work—The Eight-Power—is a displacement of historical concept. He transplants the vocabularies that had been cast the darkest shadow of historical tragedy into the contemporary scene of globalization; in other words, he actively and subjectively makes conversation among Western countries. There are many latent words behind such conversation. In the Chinese sense, “the Eight-Power” means the aggression againstChinaand the powerful imperialists, instead of the equal status in regard to the contemporary relation among nations. Though the equality among everyone, and the equality among every nation, ethnicity, and culture has not yet reached through this relation, and the economic, cultural and political conflicts and contentions are still existed in the process of globalization, the naming of “the Eight-Power” surely means the regression of time. And the photographer means it.
Here, the key concerning the re-thinking of the modern history ofChinarepresented by theWinterPalaceis whether to propose a new cultural view of contemporary criticism under a certain position. Therefore, the choice of “the Eight-Power” , a culturally symbolic word as the name of his work will arouse the Chinese’ reflection upon history. Actually, the photographer tries to use a word with historical connotation to make conversation with the contemporary society, the contemporaryChinaas well as the contemporary globalization.
Obviously, the artist is pursuing a new height, a new vision, or a new view to perceive the society and culture ofChina, and is hoping that today’sChinawill have an open attitude to see the world. “The Eight-Power” is a historical concept—while as the generalization of the naming of G8, G20, and even the Asian-Pacific Zone, this concept has been magnified. The magnification of the concept of “the Eight-Power” means the abandonment of the shadow cast by history. It also means the release of an oppressive cultural mentality. Such release happens to be a new cultural attitude towards the international relations, and is formed after being confronted with the new world scene; it is also an attitude manifesting the national mentality and confidence. Only when a nation has gone through its lack of confidence in history can it go forward to a more open and self-conscious cultural domain. Therefore, the information or the visual sense that Fu Wenjun’s photographs has given is positive, rather than passive or pessimistic. In a twinkling of time, a new world is open.
The method of the conscious application of computed technology combined with photography to form new visual sense is applied to the creation of the contemporary photographs, both domestically and internationally. They create new possibilities for today’s artists, making them more subjective and active. For Fu Wenjun, such technology and means have become part of his artistic media, and have enabled the free realization of his creative ideas. This is a cultural expression of art as well as a trend of fashion. Through concrete practice, Fu Wenjun expresses a posture, and also a combination of the promotion of the traditional photography with the contemporary digital technology. Such combination is not confined within the technological sense, it also includes the integration of how the contemporary culture and society perceive things and express themselves. In this way, art turns out to be more valuable and meaningful.