Culture Integration and Digital Pictorial Photography
--- Review on Fu Wenjun’s recent artworks
By Wang Lin
Art creation is always a personal matter. We live in a world with diverse and complicated information, so it’s crucial to be able to face the multi-cultural communication, collision, conflict and integration. The American scholar Samuel P. Huntington draws out the aspect of conflict, and believes it as the proof of world split. However, the conflict is inevitable, and the politicians never forget to make use of it to serve their political purposes. But the so-called culture, to the end, is the way of living under different circumstances and different historical moments. Therefore, people who believe in common human natures will always strive for the world cultures’ communication among the collisions and for the integration among the conflicts. In personal terms, the diversity of culture --- from ancient to modern times, in every corner of the world --- is the base of spiritual abundance as well as the precondition for personality. It is noteworthy that Fu Wenjun aspires to it.
Fu Wenjun travels around the world and collects the images that inspire him, from architecture to street scenes, from portraits to artworks. He doesn’t rely on image shot straight away to complete his works. Just from the beginning, while shooting, he’s getting prepared for the later stage of “painting”. He is more interested in the solid subjects, in order to make up the virtuality of the digital images. His attention moves from the comparison of the Western and the Eastern culture into the changes of the world cultures from the ancient times to now. This makes Fu Wenjun be able to get rid of the restriction of ideology, going back to the creative process inspired by the artistic nature and the perception on cultures. In his recent works, the extraordinary accidental and arbitrary elements obviously show his freedom and confidence on separating himself from the power of control.
Firstly, he doesn’t care about the difference between photography and painting. His works come into being by the destruction of the photographic images. This is not only because the incomplete remains carry the vicissitudes of history, but also because, within the mutual relationship of different cultures, the integrity of a certain culture doesn’t exist. The demand of this integrity starts always from the cultural hegemony. In a sense, Huntington believes in Western culture-centered theory, so that he draws the conclusion: cultures are bound to conflict, world is bound to split. Cultural and religious fundamentalism can’t succeed in our times. The traditional culture is scattered and fragmentary, the contemporary culture is open, tolerant and integrative, meanwhile both are inseparably interconnected. In the works of Fu Wenjun, you can find that the different cultures with a very long distance and time can be juxtaposed harmoniously, so you can feel that nowadays people really live with a new cultural psychology. To Fu Wenjun, diverse cultural integration is a very natural thing; what he should face is just the computer screen that gathers all images. Photographic source materials have left their original situation, go into the computer and become the information that will stimulate the artist’s inspiration. What he is doing is to feel the relationship between history and present time, the objects and the individuals. Because Fu Wenjun has the freedom of destruction and the possibility of recombination, he doesn’t care about the documentary nature of the photography, neither the style of painting. Thanks to scrawl lines, freely-appearing or hidden forms, unexpected light and darkness, simple or cool-warm combined colors, and various photo post-treatment methods, his artwork images are very variable: juxtaposition and transparency, high definition and obscurity, solid and dreamlike effects, harsh brushstrokes and slight changes. Fu Wenjun has really entered a computer quick processing and freely on-the-spot creative state, which is phylogenic and stepwise. The formation of his personal style is not rational nor based on the regulations, but is the result of the interaction and the mutual promotion between the subjective conception and the potentiality stimulation. From the mottled, bright, abundant and even extremely complicated color effects, we can feel Fu Wenjun’s excitement during the art creation, filled with intense art endowments and impulsive aesthetic pursuits.
In Fu Wenjun’s works, post-production is an important part, but different from computer painting, he never gives up with the images shot and throughout the illusory image drawing he always loves the relation between photography and reality. His photography is the result of a continuous drawing and altering process; his “painting” is a “painting” which can’t be finished by hand. Just along with the endless changes of reality and illusion, fact and fiction, the art probably can catch the secrets within history and human beings, human beings and history.
Inspired by Fu Wenjun’s distinctive creation as a photography artist, I call his recent works “digital pictorial photography”.
About the author Wang Lin: Chinese art critic, Professor at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Doctorial Supervisor at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts.返回搜狐，查看更多