Feng ZhengJie

” It’s very easy to change one’s appearance or pick up a kind of fashion.”– Feng Zheng Jie

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Feng’s works are mostly concerned with the inner state of people today, showing the tension betwwen the inner self and the trapping of being fashionable and trendy. His best-known work is his Portrait of China series, very large Warhol-style oil portraits, in a red/turquoise palette, of glamorous faces of Chinese fashion model faces with vacant diverging eyes. their eyes change and follow the artist’s transformations year by year, with different thoughts, loking towards and within his country’s history and culture.

Feng’s paintings has the look of polished fashion imagery with his signature streamined style and airbrush techniques. His paintings has gotten increasingly “eerie” as his subjects’ irises and pupils have shrunk to little dots on largely white eyes, giving them a artificial, glassy, doll-like look, which probably represents a critique of contemporary consumer society, in modern China.

 

I totally agree that women in the paintings are representing the contrast between exterior beauty and inner trap of today’s world, raising the question of the definition of beauty. A “perfect” woman today must have, like those in Feng’s painting, silky hair, porcelain like skin, luxurious clothes and beautiful lips. The dreamy and bright colors were used to refine the beauty of charming women, adding to the sense of perfection, making them so beautiful, yet so unreal The rims of light around every woman creates an effect that seems to make them glow like aliens.

Besides all the potrayal of perfection, one must have noticed their pupils of the eyes lined with long and curled up lashes were shrunk so small that their expressions become difficult to read, appearing empty. This gives the women an acidic tone, and a sense of unease. As if because they no longer act as windows to the souls, as if no one in the world would care more about their inner than their exterior perfection. This however is ironic as those little dark green or black pupils attract most attention on the bluish-green or bright hot pink monotonous painting, making the viewers look deep inside the eyes, not able to find a focus point, and only to get a sense of uneasiness. Revealing a strange far away look in their eyes that introduces a weird, enigmatic, quality to their pictorial presence.

The eyes of his portraits evoke a condition of vacuity, the women’s beauty is undermined by an apparent separation from reality into an artificial world, becoming both enigmatic and an empty shell. Eyes are indeed the windows to one’s soul, then the women in his painting seems like they are trying to hide their souls by looking away, not daring to focus. these actions of hiding their inner selves forms a dramatic contradiction with their proud and charming appearance that eveyr man and woman yearns for. 

Generally, the images of women that Feng portraits are cold, icy and alien. Their level of perfection were nearly unachieveble in reality, however, as if no life, they look like they were only tools for modern days’ entertaionments, without a single trace of unique individual.

 

 

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