Since 2002, the artist’s attitude began to change. He Sen commented on those western artists he was quite familiar with in his early studies of art – commentaries that did not reveal intimate excitements, but rather, reluctant farewells. He began to sense with his past experiences rather than “looking” and studying with expectations. He’s familiarity with these artists allowed him to cite from his memories on characteristics of these western artists from various periods. Even prior to this time, He was differentiating on the effects and approaches of “image” painting – for a long of time, Gerhard Richter’s art has been a catalyst for China’s New Painting - gradually, He Sen turned around to a realm behind him. Perhaps it is random to have such feelings, or certain opportunity captured the artist’s attention that was behind him, He Sen was determined to uncover new sources of dialogue that was left behind by our forefathers. In fact, he was informed by his own inner needs that, the way in viewing and representing the world had to transform.
In today’s globalized network of information, the search of true individuality and uniqueness has again become the new goal for many artists - a goal that requires one’s concept to accord with sensual experiences, where the contemporary should be bridged with the historical. In the last three decades of searching for new art since the 1980s to our present understanding on conceptualism, other than one’s own freedom of enlightenment, everything else can be rebutted. For He Sen, significant achievements have been made in his experiments in new oil painting who, successfully infused knowledge and experience into a new artistic era. In this era, language continues to be the artist’s focus, however, the quality and taste are becoming elements necessary in formulating new art history and the standard for contemporary art – if concepts are not accorded with quality, then it will not be worth mentioning.
The series of works in the nineties are basically a compilation of personal experience, an accumulation of culture, and a synthesis of many years of undefined urges. I endowed familiar people, friends and personal belongings with sacred meanings. The representational language that I made my own naturally became my spokesperson. In those images, the “close distance” in the unlimited expansion of personal sentiment matches up perfectly with the methods of the “new generation” of artists in Beijing – subsequently categorized as “Pop art” in the Post-89 exhibition. However, in my opinion, the heroic impression and representational language is in contradiction with the attitudes of “Cynical realism”. But, apart from a release of personal emotions, these works lack broader social meanings. Thus, in 1993 the only adjustments I made were in my subject matter – for instance, marches presenting a social scene and a symbolic copper bird. －1992
Everyone knows that what’s most contemporary is most direct, for instance popular films all make use of direct and shocking modes of expression. However, the more contemporary people become, the more complex is their psychology; this contrast will certainly become greater, and the inner complexity will become impossible to discard. As we put it into the form of art, we can express such complexity, but the directness will naturally be diminished. This is a contradiction.－1994
By re-organizing the compositional structure and basic language, I am hoping that painting will no longer remain a simple reaction to the outside world. In my basic language, it is necessary to sort out the more expressionist language from the danger of simply venting my enjoyment, and then setting this into a rational structure, getting rid of visual chaos, not adding meaning through the process of painting and the brushstrokes themselves, or else the origin of the concept would be squandered completely.－ 1996
Women and the world in which we live seem rather similar in appearance, to put it in simple words, girls nowadays are prettier than before, and they seem to get even more beautiful. And the actual society we live in is also more beautiful, architecture and streets are also more beautiful. But our hearts and spirits are far less fulfilled than in the past, and the current beauty and progress is entirely illusion, in fact it is only an empty shell, an appearance covering a void; idealism is gradually diminishing in actual life, and this society is becoming very realistic and cool. － 2002