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ZENG JIANYONG
The Artist

Born in 1971 in Chenghai, Guangdong province.
Graduated from the Chinese painting department at Huaqiao University.
Graduated from the printmaking department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Currently a professional artist living with his wife and son in Beijing, but also spends some time in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Solo Exhibitions
2007 Works of Zeng Jianyong, Jiushi Space 798, Beijing
2007 The Header – Works of Zeng Jianyong, Times Space, 798 Beijing
2008 Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2008 Rohrer Fine Art Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions
1994 China Art Student Annual Art Awards, Shenyang
2002 China Computer Graphics Festival 2002, Beijing
2003 China Computer Graphics Festival 2003, Beijing
2007 Outside Exhibition of “Art Beijing 2007”, Beijing
2007 No Living at that time, Beijing
2007 Institute of Traditional Chinese Fine Art Painting, Beijing
2008 2007 Chinese Contemporary Art Document, Beijing

2009 Artxpo New York

2009 Bohemia Galleries (UNICEF SHOW) York, England

 

Publications:
Drawing Book “Sapiential Seed” Series, Beijing Publishing House Group
Drawing Book “Interesting Experiment” Series, Beijing Publishing House Group
Drawing Book “Learning Math with Albert”, Time Warner-Time Life


The Technique

In both the Header and Spare Time series, Zeng uses materials that are associated with traditional Chinese painting and watercolor-handmade paper, inks, and watercolors. However, the technique that he employs is uniquely his own. Using two sheets of handmade paper, Zeng adheres one sheet to a board, then takes the second sheet and paints the image on the surface. Once the image is dry, he flips it over and adheres it to the first sheet on the board. Thus, the image is sandwiched between the two sheets, which have the delicate translucence of rice paper, and the viewer sees the image through the paper. The result is that the paintings have a luminously faded look-a look of faraway urgency. While there is a mild obscuring of the image, its intensity still shimmers through, accented by a layer of black ink added to the top surface of the children's scarves, making them pop off the canvas.

 

The Works of Zeng Jianyong

The Header series, a group of recent paintings by Zeng Jianyong, refers to a term used in the People's Republic of China to denote the head of the class-the top pupil, a child who not only earns good grades, but respects his or her elders and gets along well with others. The "header," held up as an example of all-around excellence, is something that Chinese children eagerly aspire to be. At the same time, the existence of this lauded position highlights how much cultural pressure there is to excel in both scholastic and social environments-pressure that can at times become harmful and oppressive. In more extreme cases, this pressure has led to depression and even suicide.

Zeng's paintings depict a single child or group of children in ordinary dress against an empty, neutral background. An armband bearing three horizontal stripes and a prominent black scarf worn about the shoulders identifies the header. Intended as emblems or caricatures rather than realistic portraits, Zeng's children, while discernible from one another, all have a distinct trademark look-ruddy marks on their skin that could be blood stains, overly large heads, tiny noses and mouths, and startling silver-gray eyes that look like shattered marbles.

Like Margaret Keane, whose paintings of big-eyed children became an American pop-culture phenomenon in the 1960s, Zeng uses his children's remarkable eyes to fix both the viewer and the subject, providing a focal point for tension and interaction. We look into the children's eyes to see what they see, and to see ourselves reflected. Unlike Keane's children, however, whose eyes are so large and clear that they seem to take the whole world in at once, Zeng's children seem to be saddled with malfunctioning glass eyes, perhaps introduced into their bodies following some kind of trauma, and now dooming them to forever see the world in some sort of skewed fashion. One wonders, what went wrong here? The splintered eyes seem to be the origin for an entirely splintered sensibility, which reveals itself in the bloody vein-like markings spreading across the children's faces and arms.
Zeng's Spare Time series, which takes animals as its protagonists instead of children, uses the same framework, but with different effects. The faces of cats, dogs, horses, and other animals are portrayed as though they are human, some with doleful or angry looks, some with apparent tears streaming down their faces. Instead of the shell-shocked, robotic look of the children, however, these animals have lively personalities, which come through the more one gazes at their images. They seem to act as mirrors of our adult behaviors; just as the children have disturbed their childhood, the animals have lost their animal nature by interacting with us and responding to our demands.

Zeng has said that as an artist, he "treasures the weaknesses of human nature, such as irrationality and fragility," and tries to tap into these qualities when making his art. The Header series was partially inspired by Zeng's young son, whose current experiences in primary school are reminding the artist of his own upbringing. Stylistically, Zeng cites the influence of Western contemporary sources. In addition to Keane, his work can be linked to the whacked-out portraiture of Lisa Yuskavage, John Currin, or Egon Schiele. It also has something in common with the social criticisms of George Grosz. Zeng himself cites the simplicity and modest charms, and perhaps the color palette, of Italian still-life painter Giorgio Morandi as an abiding influence.


For more infomation click Zeng Jianyong book

 



Header No.1
By Zeng Jianyong

Original on Hand-made Bark Paper

Image Size: 24" by 36" inches image size

SOLD


 

New

Growing-No-2-1
By Zeng Jianyong

Original on Hand-made Bark Paper

Image Size: 24" by 36" inches image size

SOLD

 

NEW

Growing-No-2-2
By Zeng Jianyong

Original on Hand-made Bark Paper

Image Size: 24" by 36" inches image size

 




Childhood Days No.
By Zeng Jianyong

Original on Hand-made Bark Paper

Each measuring 26" by 48" inches image size

SOLD

 

 

Growing-No.5.
By Zeng Jianyong

Original on Hand-made Bark Paper

Image Size: 24" by 36" inches image size

SOLD

 

 

For more infomation on click Archival Pigment Prints

SET ONE: 6 SIGNED PRINTS

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Set of six images
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

SET TWO: 6 SIGNED PRINTS


Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Set of six images
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

SET THREE: 4 SIGNED PRINTS

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Set of four images
Each measuring 36 by 44 inches image size
Edition size of 20 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

Header No.1
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

Header No.2
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

 

Header No.3
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

 

Header No.4
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

 

Header No.5
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

Header No.6
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 22 inches image size
Edition size of 170 per image signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

 

Header No.119
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

 

 

Header No..120
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

 

 

Header No.1
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

 

Price on Application

Header No.115
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

Header No.116
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

Header No.2
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 18 by 33 inches image size
Edition size of 90 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

 

Growing No.11
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 36 by 44 inches image size
Edition size of 20 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

 

Growing No.10
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 36 by 44 inches image size
Edition size of 20 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

 

 

Growing No.5
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 36 by 44 inches image size
Edition size of 20 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

Growing No.13
By Zeng Jianyong

Archival Pigment Prints on Hand-made Bark Paper
Each measuring 36 by 44 inches image size
Edition size of 20 per image - signed by the artist
Release Date: 2009 New York

Price on Application

 

 

ZENG JIANYONG

 

 

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