Interview with Artist Mr. Fu Wenjun, by Magazine ART TIP-TOP
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Mr. Fu，we have noted that you issued a series of photographic works, based on the natural scenery of Inner Mongolia Alxa. It seems you love the scenery there very much and can you share with your story?
Mr. Fu: I love populus for its greatness of quietness and tenacity, so I traveled to Inner Mongolia Alxa to observe it. It’s known that populus can live for one thousand years, stand straightly without falling down after death for another one thousand years, and shall not rot for one more thousand years after falling down. The populus shines for its beauty like a young charming girl when leaves are blooming, and brightens like a weather-beaten and battle-worn man for its strength and tenacity when standing in the wind and sand. Its greatness teaches man to live poetically and think philosophically. At the sight of the populus with chapped bark and cracked trunk in the sand-storming fall, sun-scorching summer or ice-frozen winter, I cannot help asking myself how it can endure the harshness and toughness of nature. At this quiet scene, everyone shall realize how little he is. And of course, every one of us shall also learn from populus for its tenacity and persistence. We are not vulnerable to mighty dominance or subject to domineering power. That is the very reason why I linger on the great scene.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Have you projected some personal preference in your works?
Mr. Fu: In fact, my photos are of documentary style. When taking photos, I tend to think carefully and take a perfect and complete angle. So little make-up is involved and photos are not beautified by computer. Actually, different ways are adopted to show different sceneries. As to the characteristics of the Inner Mongolia Alxa scenery, I prefer to show its great power and tenacity after its going through the toughness of nature. In a contrast, the beauty of Liangshan Yi nationality autonomous prefecture is more natural. Therefore, preference in photography is subject to the characteristic of the scenery itself.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Please share with us the relationship between your photos of nature and Totem series works
Mr. Fu: News photography, documentary photography and scenery photography are to tell the truth of the subject. However, some artists of photography nowadays often do some make-up or adjustment of their works to achieve special effect. So I’m wondering how to combine photography with advanced technology and what the result shall be. For this reason, I use PS technique and apply imaginary environment to my Totem series works, which were therefore praised for being like stationary 3-D Avatar by some of my friends. Some of my documentary photos, like animals and historic spots are fine parts of my Totem. You see, it’s quite easy to see the relationship between my photos of nature and Totemseries works. Through my work I try to approach new-media art, without losing my photography style.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: We see primitive scene and nature in your
Totem series works. Is this atmosphere that you are seeking for?
Mr. Fu: As we know, human knowledge of totem is rooted in the primitive rock painting and wall painting. The images painted, brushed or carved on the rock or the wall, are the first totems of human beings. People are in awe of beasts of prey, and their desire to tame them push men to paint or carve vivid images of these animals onto the rock or the cliff, in this way, totems are primitive, natural and mysterious. Therefore, I often add mysterious and primitive atmosphere in my creation. It has nothing to do with personal emotion. I treat totem as a special part of culture, as it can present to us such social and cultural realities as society, history, politics, class and race of that particular period history.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Mr. Fu, you have taken landscape photos of Gobidesert, desolate beach and dead wood, and then written a self-preface titled The Watcher of the Gobi Desert. So what do you want to say?
Mr. Fu: Contemporary art is immersed in thrilling, exaggerated and gaudy atmosphere, while I wish my works can last for ages. If every artist shall not be vulnerable to mighty dominance or subject to domineering power, just like the strong populus, then a great many pieces of artistic works shall last for centuries? In this way, artistic works shall not fade away in the face of economic crisis.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: We see the clash between nature and culture in your Totem works. Is the clash avoidable, and what are you worried about?
Mr. Fu: Actually, there is no sharp clash between nature and culture in my works. As they two are just put together, with the help of metaphorical meaning of totem, to present the preset society, culture, history and living conditions
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Do you like to involve any drama elements in your works?
Mr. Fu: Involvement of drama elements or not is up to the theme of the work. For example, in my work on the populus and totems, little drama element is involved.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Please introduce to us your new workSkillful.
Mr. Fu: In my work, I, by using my own and others’ cultural symbols and artistic languages, juxtapose various cultures that seem to have no connection to produce new meaning. In the field of contemporary visual art, the relation between Western centralism and other cultures are quite complex, in that the former tends to dominate the latter, and in the meanwhile, they melt into each other. In fact, our modern art creation is a kind of individual art creation based on personal understanding of aesthetic, which is just the development of the western culture. We know each nation has its cultural tradition. As to the modern art of the East, its concepts and meanings are not the natural involution of its own tradition of aesthetics. They inherited more from the West in the process of colonialism. We feel happy that our culture is no more secluded from the outer world, but compete and melt with foreign culture. Therefore, in my works, I skillfully match Chinese impressionistic ink painting with Western sketching. In the process of mutual melting and competition, Chinese traditional art creation is developing and ready to catch up with the world trend.
ART TIP-TOP: Is there a consistent theme in these works?
Mr. Fu: Yes, most of works focus on history and the exploration of the present state of culture. They are basically associated with history and culture, though with different forms of art and techniques of photography.
Magazine ART TIP-TOP: Which do you like better, your old works or new ones? Or you are fond of thinking over and exploring in between them, in order to have new knowledge?
Mr. Fu: Actually, they are incomparable, as each art creation deals with new social reality and has different theme. All I can do is to try all my efforts to improve my skills, sharpen my inspiration and widen my knowledge of art.
 This area is located in the west corner of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, northwest ofChina.
 This prefecture is located of the southwest ofSichuanProvince, southwest ofChina.