Feng Zheng Jie, from colour to confidences

Feng Zheng Jie, from colour to confidences

The work of Feng Zheng Jie colourful, sulphurous, powerful, unique... Some might even say provocative! But of what are these paintings actually imprinted? Confessions of an artist...

Pébéo: There exists in your paintings a very sharp confrontation between tradition and modernity. Where does it originate from?

Feng Zheng Jie: In my work, two things influence me: Chinese traditional folk drawing and modern advertising.
The first comes from my childhood. When the Spring festival would arrive, every family would buy vivid and luminous folkloric drawings to decorate their houses. I very much appreciated this style of art. Several of my ideas are certainly inspired by it.  As for modern advertising, it follows fashion and is very impressive. I like trying to create a junction between these two opposites.

Pébéo: Your portraits are reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, can you elaborate?

Feng Zheng Jie: Marilyn Monroe is one of my models. I enjoy painting celebrities and movie stars. The crucial element in the choice of my inspiration is beauty.
It is therefore normal that the public makes such an association.
 

Pébéo: Women, women and more women! Do you believe you will someday change of Muse?

Feng Zheng Jie: Actually, I did not intentionally choose this topic. My emotions have led me to it. I am very comfortable when I paint women (laughs).
Thus I will continue to follow my emotions by painting pictures of women.

Pébéo: What is evoked by the sidelong glances in all your works?

Feng Zheng Jie: It is the sense of moving gazes. In China, I feel a mindset, a mindset where we want to see everything. You know, in the process of opening, Chinese people saw more and more new things. They became curious and eager to learn, to observe, to absorb. This curiosity is very strong for all Chinese. At the same time, all these innovations eventually dazed them and they began wondering how to go about making choices. Thus, given the opening of the society and the environment, the Chinese are in a situation where curiosity and perplexity coexist. This is the message I wish to convey with the eyeballs that are staring on opposite directions.

Pébéo: The colours that you use seem almost unreal. What are your techniques for rendering volume, luminosity, and texture to your colour palette?  

Feng Zheng Jie: Vivid colours are my favourite because I
find them expressive and tense: loaded with meaning. In using them, I hope to express my ideas and emotions with force as well as my feelings towards this society.  I mainly choose mainly red, green and white. It is believed that I apply fluorescent colours but this is not the case. Technically, I mix colours in the simplest and most traditional manner. The fluorescent effect is created by the sharp contrast between colours.

 

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Pébéo: In this work with colours, what is it you propose to a manufacturer of Colour? Pébéo :

Feng Zheng Jie: To my knowledge, Pébéo is the first paint manufacturer that has developed within its operations a "service for artists”. It is a great advantage. I believe I willl find answers to my questions. Pébéo gives me great hope. Its main strengths affect product quality, purity of colour,
light resistance and stability.
I know something about this as I frequently use the colour "Red Pink" which is usually rather fleeting, it hardly keeps its characteristics and has poor resistance to light.

Pébéo: Many think that criticism and provocation are hiding in your paintings. What do you think?

Feng Zheng Jie: Maybe! But more modestly, I mostly try to  
find a way to express my emotions, not to criticize or be
provocative.
Behind these images of women in my works can be found firstly emotion but also forms of criticism, provocation, introspection... A new understanding of the world. Because I am a person who lives in this country at this moment.
On the one hand, people watch a new world that has changed considerately. For example, they can acquire knowledge in the contact with these new things, improve their quality of life and have more opportunities to flourish. It positive. On the other hand, this new world also brings changes, not only material but also in value judgments. For example, feelings of anxiety in the face of extreme materialization. It's negative.
My view is like a coin with two sides.
My works convey a state of mind: curiosity and perplexity between which exists a conflict.

Pébéo : Art circles regard you as a pioneer of Kitsche painting. What do you think?

Feng Zheng Jie: This comment now exists for over 10 years. Kitsch is a sort of understanding. I believe that is reasonable to some extent. But when I paint I do not question whether it is kitsch or not.
Art circles are perhaps judging my art as kitsch, but this is
not why I chose bright colours. My rule is to follow my emotions which in turn lead me to paint with my colours, my style and my subjects.

Pébéo : Will you continue with the kitsch style?

Feng Zheng Jie: I do not know. I will change when my current emotion is no longer present or when new ideas will surface. For an artist, inspiration is not fixed, it flows, it happens naturally. When I have inspiration, I look for a way to express it, to share it. My painting is determined by the object that inhabits it.
To be honest, vivid and bright colours are my favourite: I
was born with them! If this ever changes it will be an overwhelming shock (laughs)! Of course, I will not enclose myself within.

Pébéo: Have you planned exhibitions in 2011?

Feng Zheng Jie: Touring and solo exhibitions are in preparation. However time and location will be decided after my new works are completed.

Pébéo : To conclude, can you tell us which experience has been the most influential on your creations?

Feng Zheng Jie: It is difficult to say as all experiences are
important. I have memories at all stages. Some are nice,
others are difficult. The process to fulfill a wish or a target is always complicated. But once you have experienced it you feel satisfied. I will never forget the period of my studies in Xichuan Arts College because all my knowledge and understanding of the arts start from there.
 

Pébéo : In your opinion, which are the essential qualities for an artist ?

Feng Zheng Jie: Actually I see four: sensitivity, fidelity,
independence and free spirit.



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