Huang,the embodiment of nothingness
I cannot describe how I felt when I was having the interview with Saifeng. I just remember feeling something in my becauseI was so emotinally involved with all those stories he was telling me behind his art. His thoughts are so deep and feelings so real that they are contagious. He could make you comfortably listening to a storythat would normally give you goose bumps if told by somebody else. You just feel his words instilled in you that you resonate.
Saifeng is handsome gentleman with an air of melancholy. He calls it his base color of life which permeates in all of his art works. He thinks each of us has been endowed with a base color of life,it’s something ingrained in us, say defects in character, whichshows in everyhing we do without we even realizing it.
He sees his art as a way of speaking to the world and a way of having a relationship with life itself. He takes great interest in topics such as time, solitude and humanity. They are all in a state of nothingness which you can’t touch and see yet they exsit in all of us. He wants to make these abstract conceptstangible and concrete through his art.
Saifeng is influenced by film directors rather than painters. WangJiawei and Andrei Tarkovsky are among his favourites. He likes how they are able to deliver emotions meticulously in an implicit way yetstill manage to create a strong tension that seem to be bursting out of the scene. He believes that the restrained always lasts longer. He wants to paint something that could been mulled overby people for a long time instead of flashy pictures that only appear to be interesting at first sight. He would rather people to develop a long term relationship with his paintings over time than to have an impulsive crush on them.His paintings always resemble film scenes with a grainy texture and the colours toujours unsaturated. He is also fond ofthe dramatic light effect in the films. You could always see some kind of light in his paintings.
Saifeng’ s art
His first colletion was inspired by a film called
《The tin drum left in memories 1》
His path of pursuing art hasn’t been smooth. At one point his obsession turned to film directing which led him to study in Shanghai Thertre Academy. Sadly after he got into it, he had discovered what he thought he wanted wasn’t for him. Near his graduation, he felt lost and pressured especially when he saw his peers have all grown in some ways.This painting was the true reflection of his heart at that time.He felt like this pressure comes from the mundane rules the soceity has imposed on him. And he thought if he could transcend time, he could be spared from all of them. A professor then reminded him to always stay true to his heart and do not forget about painting. The glow in the far behind represents hope in the dark times.
《The tin drum left in memories 3》
Houses are much more stronger entities than the human flesh as they usually has longer duration than human lives. Spacious hallways seem so empty and desolate. There seems to be nothing but hollowness. Those stairs are leading to some place unknown. The red baloons symbolizing the good memories of childhood are also flowting that way. It implies the past always disppears to another space against the will.
13/14 < Drowsy Memories >
< Drowsy Memories > has t do with Saifeng’s childhood regret. He never got to go to the playgrounds when he was little for some reason. A few years ago, he walked into a park by accident and saw the merry-go-round. He decided he’d finally have a go on it. But he wans’t happy, “It just felt different “ he said,” It’s like you couldn’t be with the girl you were so in love with when you were young, years later when you finally could be together, you’d find out she’s not the same girl anymore and you are not same person you were.”
Merry-go-round, which Saifeng found extremely tragic, whoes moving is meaningless. The merry-go-round hourses are going nowhere but running in circles on the platform. Imagine we accelerate its movement, it will be moving too fast to look like it is even moving. In a sense, it is in perpetual stillness. Saifeng sees it as another state of nothingness. It’s just like time it self, the past has gone past, here and now is a point without extension, the future hasn’t yet come.
《You are not really happy》
Is merry-go-round really as merry as people think it is ?Or it is just a widely believed assumption? The horse seem to be running to the far away place where the light comes from.Each of them is merely a step away from each other, but it is distance impossible to cross.
People are purposedly eliminated from these paintings because Saifeng wants to create an unreal atmosphere that makes people feel it is a mysterious unattainable fairy land beyond reach, it could only exist in the imagination.
A group of performers on stage in darkness, the spotlight illuminated on one of them, all of a sudden the one person was isolated from others. Sometimes sadness would creep on you like the light, when your enveloped by the light, you got nowhere to run.
《Sorrow shines one me the way light does 5》
Saifeng saw an old man smoking by the river looking into the distance while his peers were playing cards or walking the dogs. He felt like this man was somewhat different like no one could relate to him. So he put a deer next to him to be his pet because deers are sweet understanding creatures and unique enough to be his company.
Light is the of the essential elements in our lives. But we pay little attention to it. When we are used to something, we tend to take it for granted.
When Saifeng was sitting by the window one afternoon, he’s noticed the shadowy shapes on the curtains. It’s when the light caught his attention again. He thought to himself if there’s no light, there wouldn’t be any shadows. Then he thought of how water takes the shape of any objects it is in – it is sqaure when it is in a square glass. Light is the same way. But unlike water, the form of light is much more transient as it changes almost every second. It reminds of him how time fleets. He felt obliged to record that one second on canvas to make it eternal.
《Fleeting light 2》
《Fleeting light 3》
《Fleeting light 4》
It is the latest collection Saifeng is working on. He was inspired by the movie
He discovered the sandbox game by chance which is designed to explore the psychological activities of people. During the game, one is asked to place certain objects in the sandbox, the objects he/she chooses and how they are placed is the projection of their state of mind. Psychologist would observe the process and analyse the result.
Saifeng wants to explore the process of how the true personality of people is modified and misread by others and how people learn to identify themselves through others’ opinions.
He found a sandsbox in a psychological clinic, and he would invite people from different class with different occupations to play the sandbox game with a camera set up to record the process as well as to make the participant aware they are being “watched”.Then He would talk to the person after he/she finishes placing objects. After he would paint the sandbox with his own understanding of that person. In the end he would show the painting to the person and ask him/her to name the painting. It is a double modifying process of the character of the person. On the first level, the person modifies himself for the camera because people usually are different in public from when they are alone. On the second level, the artist would rearrange the objects in the painting according to his understanding of the person. The point is people perceive us differently than what we perceive ourselves and what we are trying to show who we are. Some people are really surprised to see the modified painting Saifeng did same way we are surprised to hear what others think of us sometimes.
Saifeng is planning to ask more people who we don’t normally see or conmmunicate with in our lives, ” to join this game, for example, the LGTB community , the super rich and piliticians etc. He wants to prove the yearn for happiness and love is universal regardless who you are.
The girl works as a editor and is also a Buddhist. The first thing she did was to draw two circles like two hands holding each other in the middle on the sand. She said she’s seen it in a Buddism event in India. Then she placed Doraemon (her childhood favourite) and the cloud because she thinks it is cute . The chair was chosen to stand for her longing for something.
In the painting, Saifeng made the circles glow because it is related to her belief. He thinks belief is the only thing that makes us persevere in times of difficulty and hardships. He has also made the Doraemon look straight at the light.
When she looked at the painting, she thinks the painting is a little bit of gloomy and sad. She doesn’t see herself as a sad person. Saifeng explained it is only his interpretation of her. How we perceive others can be quite subjective because of our own experiences in life.
Saifeng is such a sentimental individual, he notices the littlest details in things and make them metaphorical scenes on canvas with a cinematic sense of beauty.
Saifeng says painting is the process of emptying himself. From dissecting his own thoughts from the start to radiating his interest in other objects, you can always find a touch of his dim. Painting is a medium for him to communicate with the world. He thinks one’s feelings have a certain level of density and concentration which gets diluted from talking to others. So he retain them in himself and release them in his paintings.
One of his favourite directors once said: if you are destined to lose something, at least think of a way to keep it in some form as a reminder or your own testimony of its past existence. It is what Saifeng did with his childhood regrets, his thoughts of time, and his observation of light.