The Giant in the Attic
Artist: CHEN Zifeng
Chen Zifeng’s works have a temperament that makes people feel nervous. It is as if we were glancing at a giant hiding in the attic, facing away from us, doing things we could not know or understand. We will have a hint of curiosity and fear, but then turn around and leave.
The attic is such an existence. It is dark, crowded, always ignored and forgotten, and people see it as if it is not related to their own world. Thus, the thin partition on the top floor of the house becomes a big box for storing secret traces.
Chen Zifeng, who has acquired traditional Chinese painting theory and technical training, lives in a house and its attic at the same time. When the giants living in the attic were constantly condensed in the images created by the artist, the accumulated weight of multiple emotions and desires made the attic squeaky, and the suppressed dialogue agitated. Man is neither born free nor has absolute freedom. On the artistic level, what Chen Zifeng wants to fight against and break through is not only the constraints of Chinese painting techniques and forms, but also the unresolved contradictions of traditional art in the contemporary era. Due to the rapid transformation and development of economic models in China, there is abyss between traditional Chinese culture and contemporary society. Traditional art is stuck in fundamentalism and is out of step with contemporary civilisation. Its core has long been compressed by the so-called “advanced civilisation” into a mocked schema. When history is unable to help advance, contemporary people selectively forget the “remains”, as if we no longer have traceable roots. Faced with these houses built on an unstable, easily collapsed, and hollow foundation, Chen Zifeng has been making silent protests, naively insisting on the creation of a culture in his own attic.
The giants’ images created by the artist do not exist to please, they are twisted and perverted organic structures born with suppressed desires. Behind the vague and plump body, the sluggish eyes and the cyber colour is the uneasiness that swells in the dark. This uneasiness is not only in the picture, but it is just like a mirror, reflecting the contradictory minds of contemporary people living in the traditional concept and the current society.