The huge oil paintings concern the comparison between “happy clouds” and outer power, exaggeratedly and outstandingly describing the colorfulness, happiness and expectation, floating among the layer of clouds, sucking into the bottomless, swirling abyss without consciousness. All this happens in a nice situation.
Meanwhile, the swirl forms has a kind of power to involve the crowds who are happy in the clouds, the audience into the clouds. Such strategies of perspective are not only technical ones, but also a kind of language, in which Fang Lijun tries to express his feeling of survival---clouds become a kind of image of a power out of control.
Such treatment of clouds, in Fang Lijun’s words, draws the attention of the audience gradually into the swirl-like cloud layers with its realistic areas.
These large-scale works of Fang Lijun are mainly about crowds floating on the clouds, with a feeling towards the “crowd living happily in the flashy world”, thickly dotted with living things, appealing in their colorful attitudes and flamboyance, some laughing together, with their heads up conveying yearning and expectation...
Fang Lijun’s print series are different from the lacking of tip feelings---the images to stand out not the flavor of oil paintings---and helplessness in apathetic Romanticism of oil paintings. Fang Lijun’s print present his helplessness experienced in his life strongly, which is also a kind of sadness scarcely seen in Fang Lijun’s works.
Since late 90s, Fang Lijun has also created several huge block print. With his print-making learning background, he has always expected to make some breakthrough in block print, especially the woodcut, which are usually in small sizes, like book illustrations. But Fang Lijun pursues his complete one-piece creation, huge size and visual impact in the block print.
Huge size but still with fluent knife-wielding techniques is a technical puzzle in Fang Lijun’s woodcut printing, but also his contribution to block print. He uses tools like electric saw, so it is sharp, strong, powerful and arbitrary, showing its strength as industrial tools, different from smoothness made by traditional woodcut tools.
Alternatively, his block prints stress the creator's strong emotions brought about by the tragedies of life.
Meanwhile his ink-and-wash paintings care nothing about sentiment of “painting related to calligraphy and writing”, but the “human situations” in his heart, the worries about human’s situations, “something similar to the works of swirl and tunnels mentioned just now, but from another point of view. Here is something like globe, like the galaxy. Realistic but romantic. It is a status out of control to some extent, actually out of the control of human, who can not even control their desires. It may not work if in oil painting treatment like this. However, in ink-and-wash paintings, it is OK.”
He cares nothing about traditional brushwork appeal, but human’s desperation before the power out of control, romantic as well, “something oriental, light and not strong”.
In his ink-and-wash paintings, Fang Lijun is concerned the large area of grey tonality, the transparency of water to express helplessness in a fairly light and soft way.
In this exhibition, Fang Lijun shows several of sculptures and sculpture installations intermittently created over the last few years.
One of them is about golden head portraits treated with real goad. The treatment of golden heads, similar to the way in crowds in the clouds, is originated from Fang Lijun’s feelings of such flashy world and money worship. However, the golden heads are fixed on the ground with thin steel wire swinging with the flowing air, leaving people with feelings of golden and shining, but extremely unstable and unbearable like fence-sitter.
Another piece of work is the image of many small golden people climbing along a thin iron wire, with similar meanings of the happy crowds on the clouds, just keeping upward, upward, regardless of the situations.
Weight about 5kg
Gold foil, copper, steel wire
In Fang Lijun’s sculpture installation, the artist pays attention to the feelings of being neglected and downtrodden, so rather than starting from nice situations, he directly chooses the figures in the corner seemingly downtrodden to show the human's' tragic situations.