The Curator’s Words
The epochal spirits of time can be immediately perceived while the popularity (in terms of extensive receivers, prevalence, accessibility of object) appears as the heart of the matter of the cultural representation in Wang Jing's visual narrative, in his zealous reconfiguration of the historical memories of his experience, or, to be more specific, in his series paintings under the umbrella title A Grand Journey to the West. What are embraced within are the “journeys,” which he, following the memory motif, have waken up, recalled back from his memory pool and represented in the form of fragments.
Strikingly presenting everyday trivialities or fragmental memories, his pictures not only lead to a roam through his personal life stories and cultural memories, but also evoke memories among a generation, or even several, who own them as the commons. Also, viewers are invited to take a new look into the relationship between these pictures and the social milieu/ personal existence. For Wang Jing himself, who represented these memorial pictures with paintings, now not so sacred or significant is the painting itself as it was before; instead, in his mindset the picture becomes more prevailing. It can be said that picture has to some extent surged over painting, since it is the very expression method- also, at once a strategy and a carnival - that today dominates this pictorial epoch, in which Wang Jing grew up to be an artist, along a path commonly followed by a “visual generation.”
When presented in a public space, A Grand Journey to the West goes much further than simply a matter of a personal perception and reception, as, in such a circumstance, it more refers to collective reading experience and social mentality. It is during participating in such collective readings that we get to the heart of the popularity, a phenomenon in the representation of cultures in a consumer society. All objects and images herein are the things that make up the portrait of this world of consumption. In Wang Jing’s art, we can also witness the inroad of pictorial consumption intoeveryday field of life.
As also an acute social observer, the artist focuses sharply on the dilemma and anxiety in this transitioning society, and exposes his findings on the ground of the contemporary visual experience of his own. However, as it is, the interpretation of both his and his generation’s pictures is just started to begin.
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