WENG FEN: THE VANISHING LANDSCAPE

Artist
WENG FEN

Curators
XIAOYAN YANG
STEVEN DRAGONN

Exhibition dates
APR 9 – JUNE 4, 2022


The Vanishing Landscape features the work of Chinese conceptual photographic artist Weng Fen 翁奮. Selected in Capture Photography Festival 2022, the exhibition will showcase his latest two series of absurd realism, The Vanishing Landscape and Learning to Live Better in this World.

Weng’s hometown, Dongjiao Town in Wenchang County, Hainan Island, has been developed into a large-scale satellite launch centre. The entire area is planned to be built into a new modern town. Reflecting on the complex psychological dilemma in balancing individual wants and community needs, the artist has turned his attention to the contradictions and conflicts brought about by the modernization of the island rural development to the land of traditional villages since 2007.

The series The Vanishing Landscape revolves around the tension between urban development and land occupation, rural land industrialization and farming, globalization and local economies, and economic planting and environmental destruction that have emerged during the process of Weng’s personal research and observation.

Learning to live better in this world is a response to the pandemic which began in January 2020. Weng and his family were isolated at home. During this period, the internet was flooded with chaotic and complicated information, which filled him with anxiety and helplessness. In order to maintain movement of his body and occupy his mind, the artist used his old golf putter and created a small golf ball from paper to imitate a golf swing. He recreated this complicated feeling in words, and the paper ball became the carrier for his resistance as he made paper balls and posters every day. This process of creation made him realize the essence of life: to live daily life to the fullest in this world.

About the artist
From a critical social research perspective, Weng Fen 翁奮 focuses on issues between people and the world, cities and villages, and land and homes that have been divided by modernity in China’s modernization movement, which reflecting on the conflicts, contradictions and crises between individuals and the real world under the background of globalization, while face the dilemmas. Focusing on local knowledge, lifestyle, history, memory, climate, environment, people, land, homes, and social psychology, he emphasizes the research and discovery of the inherent logic of local problems, and the concept of how to resist in daily life. Practice with media and methods such as photography, video, social actions, installations, ground objects and textual research, Weng’s series of photography received a world wide reputation,  the series including “riding the wall” (2001), “a bird’s-eye view” (2002), “seeing the sea” (2003), “climate image” (2007), “gazing at Ordos” (2013), and “lost homeland” (2020); His works participated in Shanghai Biennale (China 2002), Guangzhou Triennial (China 2002, 2005), Prague Biennale (Czech 2003), Liverpool Biennale-collateral events (UK 2007) and Venice Biennale-collateral events (Italy 2013), etc. as well as in group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the V&A Museum (London), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), and the M+ Art Museum (Hong Kong). His works are also in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou (Paris), MoMA (New York), the MET (New York), the International Center of Photography (New York), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), and the M+ Art Museum (Hong Kong) etc.

The Vanishing Landscape-A huge artificial island was built at the sea entrance of our village \ 2021 \ inkjet print \ 150x450cm \ courtesy of artist
The Vanishing Landscape-A fishing village near my home is built into a commercial complex \ 2021 \ inkjet print \ 150x268cm \ courtesy of artist
The Vanishing Landscape-the place where cattle and sheep graze in our village has been developed into an industrial zone \ 2021 \ inkjet print \ 150x268cm \ courtesy of artist
Learning to Live Better in this World | 2021 | inkjet print | 30x38cmx342pics \ courtesy of artist